This is for every man out there who needs a reminder of who they were created to be. No two men are the same, but we do have a common birthright as brothers. Some of these things are lost or forgotten on some level. I say it’s time we got took them back. Here are six things I think are true of every real man I’ve ever known.
1. Men don’t face each day – we attack it. No more lazy entitlement for what we’ve done in the past. Each day is a new opportunity to make an impact. There’s work to do and real men don’t play the “victim” card for having to do it.
2. Respect women. I want to punch a dude every time I see/hear him putting a women down. Especially his own wife. Man up, bro! And God help you if you hit a woman in my presence. I’m just saying… you’ve been warned, hombre. “Oh my! That’s violent!” No… that’s a man.
3. Take responsibility. It’s easy to wait for someone else to take initiative. Real men don’t stand around waiting for “someone” to do “something.” We see what needs to be done and become part of the solution. Anyone can be a critic on the sideline – it requires no honor. It takes guts to to make a difference, however.
4. Apologize. Yeah, that’s right. A real man can admit when he’s wrong. And he can verbalized it. And then do better.
5. Makes other men better. I love seeing men call other men into their God-given potential. Especially when it’s an older man to a younger man. But even between peers, it’s a powerful experience to see and be part of “iron sharpening iron.”
6. Keep their word. As best as they know how, real men do what they say they’re going to do. If they say they’ll do it, you can take that promise to the bank. They know that you can’t make excuses and progress at they same time.
This is not an exhaustive list by any means. But you have to start with these things, in my observations. And yes, eating meat, fixing things, and knowing how to throw a football help prove your manliness. But make you a man, they do not.
(That last line sounded kinda like Yoda, didn’t it? Hmm… Perhaps mentioning something about knowing Star Wars trivia, I should have…)
That’s what the magazine read on my way through the checkout line at WalMart (yes, WalMart, don’t judge me). Not that I’m racing home to catch Sean Lowe picking through two dozen plus women on national television for The Bachelor, but it’s hard to miss all of the buzz as the season is apparently winding down. The cliff notes of the buzz stirring lately seem to be that Sean, “a devote Christian” has been saving himself for marriage, sexually speaking – something difficult to maintain as a contestant of the show, from what I understand.
To be clear, I am not suggesting that The Bachelor is a suitable show, nor am I advocating getting emotionally (or physically) entangled with multiple people for the sake of millions of viewers’ entertainment. I also am not verifying that this season’s Bachelor is a role-model Christian. I don’t know the guy! However, if he has indeed committed to saving his sexuality for marriage, I certainly support such a commitment.
The rub for me, is that many of the news articles I’ve seen are treating Sean as if he has some disability for being an attractive man in his 20’s that is not sleeping with any number of the potentially willing women on his show. Apparently, now engaged to one of the “contestants,” he still insists on waiting until their wedding to have sex.
I’m tired of the way the media, internet, and movies try to brainwash our culture about our own sexuality. To the point that a man who appears physically healthy is criticized for valuing himself enough to save his sexuality for a commitment (a.k.a. marriage) where it can be freely expressed with a trusted person (a.k.a. his wife). If he isn’t “doing it” there must be a reason, right? Because “normal” people don’t wait until marriage for sex… right?!
Listen up men…
- Having sex does not make you a “real man”.
- Choosing to delay your own gratification makes you wise, not weird.
- Having sex with virtually every willing female does not make you a man – dogs do that.
- Real men commit to keeping their God-given sexuality for their wife alone.
- Sex before marriage ruins good relationships and prolongs bad ones. I haven’t seen an exception yet.
- If you’ve made some mistakes in the past, you can be different from this point forward – your past does not have to define you.
Assuming this season’s Bachelor and his fiance do maintain their sexual boundaries, I am very confident that it will all work out on their wedding night. For all the talk of the need for “sexual compatibility,” our culture forgets that their talking about people, not used cars. I know far more people who slept around that regret it, than those who saved themselves and wished they had not.
Be unique. Save your sex… And find something better than The Bachelor to watch, too! Gees, people…
“Husbands, love your wife as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her… for a man who shows love for his wife, actually loves himself.” Ephesians 5 :25,28
The idea of the husband “loving” his wife here in Ephesians 5, is the idea “to cherish.” In other words, to make safe; worth protecting; to treat as precious. This means that she can allow herself to be vulnerable because she is safe with you.
Husbands, if you want a happy marriage, you must make your wife feel cherished in the following 5 areas. Wives, don’t be afraid to point your man to this post:
- Physically: This one’s simple. Bottom line, she doesn’t have to be afraid that you’ll physically hurt her. This also includes providing a safe home, keeping “bad guys” away from your family, and getting up to chase odd “noises” out of the house at all hours of the night.
- Emotionally: This is most often displayed best during a disagreement by what you say and don’t say, and how you say it. If you resort to verbally attacking your wife during an argument, she will not feel emotionally safe around you. But if you can find a way to speak life into her even though you’re upset, then you can actually gain from an argument, instead of simply enduring it.
- Financially: Dude, you don’t have to make all the money in the house (although you could…). You don’t even have to make most of the money. Honestly, if you’re wife is some mega-millionaire author, I don’t even care if you work outside the home at all. But you are still responsible for making sure the financial needs of your family are met. You don’t have to make excessive amounts of revenue, but you must make her feel safe, financially.
- Sexually: Sex is more than a physical interaction between a husband and wife. It is emotional and, I believe, even spiritual. Many women feel the most vulnerable in this area, and her husband must make her feel loved, cherished, precious, and worth protecting. Men, be very careful about criticizing your wife’s body or giving her a litany of the things about her physically that you wish were different. Choose to see her as the most beautiful women in your world. True love isn’t blind. It just wears blinders.
- Spiritually: In too many homes, the wife is the one nagging everyone on the weekend to get ready for church. I’m just going to say it: Husbands, stand up and be a man. Take leadership in your home. YOU be the agent of spiritual growth for your family. Don’t make your wife have to take those reigns. Pray with your wife. Talk to her about spiritual things. If she knows more than you, it’s ok. Ask her questions. Initiate spiritual leadership in your home.
All these things are intertwined. They are connected and one affects another. This may seem like an over-simplification of how a husband should treat his wife, but if every husband (myself included) became masters at loving their wives in these 5 ways, we would all likely have better marriages.