If someone asked you guys what your definition of a real man was, what would your answers be? Some guys think that being a real man is telling your girlfriend/sister to make you a sandwich in this authoritative, strong, really annoying way, like…
Hahahahaha. For some guys, it’s if you can wear the color pink and get away with it. Other guys think that it’s not being emotional – if you never cry, you are a real man. If you walk on the danger side while crossing a street; does that make you a real man? If you can do 10 pull-ups straight with enough energy for more? If you drive a car that makes the most noise in the world….. and it’s stick shift? What makes the measure of a man?
I know I’ve posted blogs on guidelines and all that stuff, but this time, I am addressing the MEN. Man-to-man. Admit it. You all secretly want to know what the girls think. Some of you, not even secretly anymore! Nevertheless, being a real man = harder than it looks. It’s not just about being the one paying for the meal, or the one driving around.
One thing that’s funny about you guys is that you all have this standard set level of pride that rises and falls through time. When something needs fixing, who here honestly likes looking at the manual first? Or do you guys tinker with it first and see if you can fix it yourselves before looking at a manual?
How about when you guys are broken? What do you use to fix yourselves? Alcohol? Drugs? Self-pity? Because, believe it or not, you guys have a manual, and that’s THE BIBLE. No, you do not have a chapter in Proverbs – “The [Husband] of Noble Character” – unlike the women who do, but if you have tried reading the Bible more, a great deal of what is written is addressed to men, and written BY men.
Classic story of someone who thought he was a real man? SAUL. (Acts 9) He’s now called Paul, by the way. Because in the Bible, when you change your name, it also symbolizes a change in the person whom you used to be. Anyway, going back to the story… Saul thought that he had it all figured out. He considered himself a “real man” because he had a heck-load of authority back in his time. He would persecute the people who followed the Lord – threatening them, arresting them, torturing them, and even killing them (Acts 8:1). He even had the high priests on his side! And they probably all thought that they were real men too. Saul was the epitome of the man described in Titus 1:16, “Such [men] claim that they know God, but they deny Him by the way they live..” and the verse continues on to say, “..They are detestable and disobedient, worthless for doing anything good.”
If you claim that you love God, but people don’t see it in the way that you live, the you have got a big BIG problem. Sudden death. And I am sorry, but that automatically removes you from the “Real Man” list.
So, what happened to Saul… While he was on his way to Damascus all pumped up for a “killing spree”, a bright light from heaven suddenly shone down on him (maybe it kinda looked like that light that beams on Mr. Bean at the beginning of every episode), and a voice from heaven called out to Saul saying, “Saul! Why are you persecuting me?”
And Saul’s reply was, “Who are you, lord?”
Saul just called someone “lord”. Although he didn’t recognize God as his Lord yet, he already knew that the person who was talking to him, must be someone important to have all that light, right? I’m sure that a lot of you already know the rest of the story. Saul’s godlike stage was over. After his conversation with God, Saul ended up blind and only when he fully surrendered to God’s will, did he regain his sight, and he was a forever changed man. Thus Saul now became Paul and he wrote: Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, and Philemon. That is about HALF of the New Testament in the Bible, I’ll have you know.
Now, I asked a bunch of women what they think about who a “real man” is – setting aside their dream guys and really defining what being a real man is – and here’s what I got…
Know this movie, boys? I know that some of you cried in this movie!
“A real man would choose what God wants him to do, even if it means losing what is important to him.”
Paul wrote in Philippians 3:8, “What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ..”
“Someone who is humble enough to listen and be open to correction…”
Proverbs 12:1, “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid.”
“A real man is willing to change and obey with the goal of being more like Christ. [He has] back bone…[isn’t a] people pleaser.”
Philippians 3:14, “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
“A real man can embrace his weaknesses.”
2 Corinthians 12:9, “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
“One who sets himself aside to serve others.”
1 Peter 4:10, “God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.”
“Someone who prioritizes and values his relationship with God… [and] knows how to love the way God wants him to love.”
1 Corinthians 16:13-14, “Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.”
I personally love that last verse. It has so much masculinity in it, save for the last part. Love? Love is some cheesy thing that girls faun over. Men have to be tough. Yes?
No. Because even the King of Kings died for you and for me, because He LOVES us. Face it, boys. Haha! I know that some of you might not understand still.
Love is many things. The mushy-icky stuff, is just one part, and YES you can reserve that for the girls. But real men are called to love the way God loves us and that is unconditionally. That means hugging your wife even if she’s been cranky to you the whole day. That means saving sex for marriage and not using it to express your “love” to a woman. That means keeping your word and knowing how to follow through. That means being nice to your siblings; supposedly nicer to THEM than you are to your friends. It means respecting your parents and professors, even if they can be pains sometimes. It means really listening to a person even if you’re all so ADHD nowadays. And it means forgiving even when it hurts, and forgetting even if it’s hard.
So, have you passed the test? May all the real men step forward.