Authentic Manhood

When you hear the phrase “a man’s man,” what picture comes to mind? It is probably a picture of a rough and tough man. Maybe a burly guy who likes to hunt and fish. A guy who likes to shoot guns and is ready to fight for what he sees as important. A man’s man is someone who is rough, tough, and usually has a little dirt under his fingernails because he is a hard worker.

There is some truth in this. Men are wired to be defenders and protectors.

David is a great example of this. While a shepherd boy, he was ready to defend against any threat that came against the flock.

34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep sheep for his father. And when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb from the flock, 35 I went after him and struck him and delivered it out of his mouth. And if he arose against me, I caught him by his beard and struck him and killed him. 36 Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God.” (1 Samuel 17)

I don’t know about you, but I have never fought a bear or a lion with my bare hands. In fact, I have never fought any wild animal with my bare hands…I guess I’m not a man’s man after all.

A man’s man is rough and tough. He is someone that no one should mess with, but that is only part of the story.

That same guy, David, was known as “a man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22). A real man loves God and follows His ways. Life, especially as a man, is not about doing what we want when we want with no one telling us what to do. It is about submitting to God’s plan for our lives, our families, and every other aspect of our lives. Hear David’s words on this:

I love you, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
    my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
    my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,
    and I am saved from my enemies. (Psalm 18)

David also wasn’t afraid to share his feelings.

I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up
    and have not let my foes rejoice over me.
O Lord my God, I cried to you for help,
    and you have healed me.
O Lord, you have brought up my soul from Sheol;
    you restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit.

Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints,
    and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger is but for a moment,
    and his favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may tarry for the night,
    but joy comes with the morning. (Psalm 30)

We are told that real men don’t cry. Well…that is a bunch of hooey. Real men are in touch with their feelings and aren’t afraid to share those feelings. This should impact every area of our lives. How we respond to God. How we treat our spouses. How we raise our kids. How we speak to our co-workers. And the list goes on.

Our view of what a real man has been skewed for so long. It is not only about being a defender and protector, although that is part of it, but it is so much bigger than that. It is also about loving and serving well.

So, what kind of a man are you? Do you protect your family. Do you love God and serve Him? Do you care for your spouse and kids? We have to reclaim authentic manhood. This may seem over-dramatized, but our very society is at stake (there will be a follow-up post explaining this at a later time).