What makes a real man? Is it the gun-toting, steely eyed, bad-donkey Jack Bauer-type guy? Is it the suave and polished Bond, James Bond-type guy? Is it the business man with the 3-piece suit and a bluetooth? Is it the guy who can drink the most, shoot the best, has the loudest truck, and has slept with the most women?
None of the stereotypes I listed above is what I consider a real man. Hollywood has given us the idea that if a guy isn’t super masculine in some way, then he isn’t a real man. That is simply not true. Being a man is more than drinking your whiskey straight. Being a man is more than spending hours in a gym blasting your biceps. Being a man is more than sleeping with every woman you can. It’s much more difficult. In my humble-yet-highly-accurate opinion, here are three things that a guy can do to be a real man: Pursue God, love well, and work hard.
Pursuing God is the most important thing you can do in your life whether you’re a guy or a girl. But pursuing God is the foundation for true manhood. If your life isn’t centered around Jesus, everything else in your life will be skewed. Jesus was the ultimate man. He was gentle but could be stern when the situation called for it. He was the wisest person to ever live but he was also a carpenter and could work with his hands. Jesus could listen to that Aloe Blacc song and genuinely be like, “I’m the man, I’m the man, I’m the man.” So in your pursuit of manhood, find your identity in Jesus. Dive into the Word on a regular basis. Make him the rock from which everything else in your life is built on.
This is something that I think gets overlooked sometimes when talking about being a man. And even if it is talked about, it’s only mentioned in the romantic sense. Loving well is a very important aspect of being a man. A real man loves the people around him like Jesus loves them. He thinks of others as better than himself. He doesn’t ask what people can do for him but rather figures out how he can serve others. And he does all this out of a posture of loving well. If he’s in a relationship, this posture extends to his treatment of special lady in his life. A real man cherishes and serves his lady. He treats with her respect. He realizes that he is out-kicking his coverage. A real man’s relationship is one in which both he and his lady are being drawn closer to God.
God always intended for mankind to work. After God created Adam and Earth and stuff, he put Adam to work naming the animals. He didn’t say, “Adam, go chill and play Xbox.” One reason that God didn’t say this was that there was no electricity in the Garden of Eden. But the other, more important reason was that God wanted to make a precedent that would show that mankind was supposed to work. So if you’re not working…go work. If you’re in a season of your life in which you’re not working but are in school, then do the best that you possibly can in your studies. The point is that you shouldn’t be sitting around on your butt eating Cheetos all day. Go do something productive with your life. Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” So whether you’re a CEO of a Fortune 500 company or a cashier at Kroger, do your best.
I’m not saying that these three things are the key to manhood. There are so many more aspects of manhood I could go into. Heck, there are whole books written about this subject. I’m not even 20 yet so I have so much to learn about being a man. But I think these three steps are a good start on the path to manhood. Men, let’s start stepping into the identity that God has prepared for us.