I often heard growing up that there was a list of things men should never do in order to keep their manliness intact. Some of the more popular ones were:
- Real men don’t cry.
- Real men don’t wear pink.
- Real men don’t eat quiche.
- Real men don’t let other men eat quiche.
While this man-made list was more of an attempt to bring some humor into the differences between the sexes, it also sheds light on the shallowness of true manhood in today’s culture. Beyond the lists, there is an obvious cultural norm that uplifts a message of manhood that greatly contradicts God’s blueprint for being a man of God.
Within God’s master design, He created two distinct gender-types that would bring completion to His creation of “man.” From Genesis to numerous books of the New Testament, God provides a very defined explanation of what real men should purpose to look like, and trust me, none of God’s instructions mention quiche. However, God does touch upon the topic of men crying.
As a Christian man, my man code needs to be determined by God and not by the prevailing cultural norms of our day. Within the Person and life of Jesus Christ, along with God’s Word, I have the absolute picture of what a real man should look like. I also know a number of God-given directives that reveal some things that men should do as well as never do.
Here is a list, albeit a short one, in my pursuit to be a real man of God:
1. Real men don’t leave their wives. See Ephesians 5:25-32, Mark 10:9
2. Real men honor their wives as co-heirs. See 1 Peter 3:7
3. Real men are missional leaders to their children. See Deuteronomy 6:6-7, Ephesians 6:4, Psalm 78:5-7
4. Real men build into the lives of other men. See Proverbs 27:17
5. Real men don’t use their words to demean others. See Ephesians 4:29
6. Real men don’t let their anger get away from them. See James 1:19-20
7. Real men lead best when they love most. See Ephesians 5:1-2; John 13:34-35
8. Real men are sacrificial for the sake of their Lord, family, and others. See John 15:13
9. Real men are servants. See Mark 10:45
10. Real men covenant to honor their marriage. See Job 31:1
11. Real men can show their emotions (this includes crying). See John 11:35, Matthew 21:12, Matthew 9:36
Again, this is just a quick “hit list” of ideals I know that God calls me to pursue to be a “real man” that lives for Him and His glory. I also know that I will never get it all right. Yet, my life objective is not to get it all right per se. My life aim is to follow after The One who has and to trust that He will establish my steps along the way.