Checklist: Are you a real man?
What does it mean to be a real man? Do the muscles maketh a man?
If we are working to usher in the Kingdom of God, then one crucial element of this is the culture surrounding what a real man is like.
In the cultural traditions of Buzz-feed, here are a number of things that would seem to me to be non-negotiable if you want to be truly masculine.
1. A real man knows the difference between infatuation and love. Infatuation is when you find somebody who is absolutely perfect. Love is when you realise that they aren’t and it doesn’t matter. A real man won’t date lots of girls. With the permission of her parents, he will court a friend that he has known for some time. He will be faithful to his wife until he dies.
2. A real man doesn’t hold onto excessive amounts of entertainment – movies, computer games, night clubs… but prefers a variety of balanced, healthy leisure activities that sometimes require the development of social skills and sometimes require contemplative alone time.
3. A real man looks after himself – but not obsessively. He gets enough sleep and down time. He showers daily and wears deodorant. His clothing is clean and appropriate to the setting. He spends time daily in physical activity. He’s moderate in what he eats. He reads and improves his mind.
4. A real man is good with money. He saves. He is generous where there are needs. He invests. He plans for the future. He is prepared to meet his debts. He pays off his credit card. He is not a slave to expensive brands. He doesn’t waste money on expensive toys at the expense of things that need to be a higher priority. His family feels financially safe.
5. A real man takes responsibility. This includes for the consequences of his actions. A man doesn’t lie to get out of something that is his fault. He takes responsibility for his family, included extended family that need him. He is responsible in his job, responsible in his driving, responsible in his attitude towards the law. When things go wrong, he doesn’t point the finger or pass the buck to avoid responsibility. A real man will take responsibility for things around the home and not leave other family members to do everything that needs doing by themselves. He keeps his family and friends protected.
7. A real man is never violent. There are appropriate times for anger, but in his anger he will not sin. A real man is self-controlled and disciplined. A real man will be patient, gentle, kind, peaceful and loving. Real men have emotions and can communicate them constructively without acting on them.
8. A real man is teachable and also teaches. He will seek out mentors who will provide him with accountability, training and correction. He will also be the man for others that he needed when he was younger. He will teach his wife and children by modelling to them how to life a righteous and sanctified life.
9. A real man is affectionate and warm. Just as it’s recorded that children were keen to spend time with Jesus and flocked to him, a real man is somebody who is welcoming and approachable to the least of these. He won’t be afraid to hug where it’s appropriate. He will be affirming and encouraging to those around him.
10. A real man will communicate. Communication is both sending messages and receiving them. Those who a real man has contact with each day will benefit from the things he says. He will also be a good listener. He will listen carefully and empathetically to his wife and children. He will listen intently and with purpose to what his Creator is saying through continual prayer and daily Bible study.
My wife would tell you that while I have written this list, I fall short, as I would think all of us do. Having said that, we have a list to aim for.
So if this is how a real man should be, why does some of this seem foreign to our culture? Is it because it’s hard and as Australians we often take the most laid-back path of least resistance we can find? Maybe it’s because the protagonist in so many movies shows men as weak, useless overgrown boys, demoralised by the militant feminists who work so hard to emasculate our culture. As artists we have a priority. We need to communicate to our culture what real manhood is through our creative gift. If enough of us do this often enough with the large variety of gifts and talents that we have, we will see change.
Ever changing; Thy Kingdom come
There are no comments on this entry.