I feel like there are so many guys these days who don’t understand or care what it means to be a real man. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not claiming to be the perfect guy or have it all figured out by any means, but it’s just mind-blowing how clueless and careless some guys are!
When I think back to high school though, I guess I wasn’t all that different. I remember thinking that I had to be stronger or have all of my clothes from Abercrombie & Fitch or get the newest Jordan’s or have lots of money in order for girls to like me. There were times that I would look at other guys and convince myself that I needed to get what they had, or look like them, or drive the same kind of car. In fact, one time I remember purposely getting in trouble just to try to look “cool”. I had no respect for authority and for some reason, I thought other kids would like me more if I rebelled.
But this was high school ya’ll. I was a teenager! Of course I didn’t know what it meant to be a real man.
How is it that 20, 30, 40, even 50 year-old men are still walking around doing these same dumb things?!?
Maybe Abercrombie isn’t the cool thing anymore and maybe the Mercury Cougar isn’t the car anymore, but we’re still playing the same game.
A real man doesn’t waste time and energy trying to impress others. Our worth and identity come from and are found fully and wholly in Christ!
A real man is concerned more about others than himself. Kindness and gratitude are core qualities that make up a real man.
I’m obviously focusing primarily on some pretty superficial examples right now, but it’s not just the immature decisions and selfish motives that I’m seeing in so many men. A lot of us fall into traps. We believe the lies. We get caught up in what society and the media tell us.
I talked about it a bit in the Rules for Men post previously, but it’s easy to get it twisted. Working hard and providing money for our family is a crucial part of being a great husband and father, but it’s a fine line and often a gradual change of mindset that leads some men to working more and more hours, seeking more and more money, gaining promotion after promotion. At some point it becomes more about what you are accomplishing or where you are getting your worth from rather than providing for your family.
A real man takes a step back, often, and re-evaluates his situation. We have to analyze if what we are doing is still for the right motives. And we have to be honest with ourselves about it.
Servanthood is one of the number one things we saw Jesus model in His time here on earth. He served anyone and everyone He encountered. He was so servant-minded, that He literally died on a cross willingly for you and I. This is the ultimate picture of a true leader!
Not one person ever had more authority on earth than the Son of the Creator of the universe, yet He still never abused that authority. He still bowed down (not literally) to others. He still respected everyone, even those who disrespected Him.
In today’s self-taught, information-always-at-your-fingertips society, it’s so easy to DIY our way through almost everything. Heck, last month I watched one YouTube video about changing oil and suddenly thought I was a full-time licensed mechanic! Just because we have information and can Google the answer to all of the world’s toughest questions, doesn’t make us the smartest man in the room. Even if I was the smartest man in a room (it’d probably be an empty room), it still wouldn’t warrant me the right to disrespect any other person in that room. A real man understands that authority (old or young, man or woman, right or wrong) is something we must respect. We must follow the leading of those placed in authority of us.
I’m not saying we blindly follow anyone like lost sheep. God is our ultimate leader and we need to be in constant and deep communication with Him. When I think back to every time I’ve ever gotten in trouble with or rebelled from authority, whether it was my parents, a school teacher, a pastor, or a dead-end job manager, almost every single time I was not in tune with God in those moments. Whether it’s a spur of the moment rebellious decision or a somewhat more thought out decision, if I didn’t consult God about it first, it often led to me making a poor decision.
There are certainly times where those in authority of us are wrong and we need to separate ourselves from them. Those times are hard to decipher and even harder to leave, but that’s why and when our relationship with God is the most crucial. Pray pray pray! Seek wisdom and direction from God and He will guide you.
That’s the premise of this whole thing. If there’s one thing I’ve learned (and am still continuing to grow in), it’s that a real man prays about anything and everything! Constantly! And repeatedly!
We can’t do this alone. God didn’t intend for men to be stubborn, 100% self-sufficient, and prideful. That is what society has turned us into.
A real man can cry.
A real man puts his family before himself.
A real man is not afraid to admit when he’s wrong.
A real man does everything in his power to continuously reflect the image of the One who created us all. To be like Jesus should be our greatest desire; for in Him, we become a real man; the perfect man.
And while we can never perfectly replicate Jesus, admitting our faults, accepting our imperfection, and leaning that much more deeply into Him is what will make us into a real man.