Money. Sports. Beef. Women.
Our culture tells us that this is what makes up a man (not necessarily in that order). It is how a man is defined and if he is successful or not.
If a guy can make tons of money, then he is awesome and is envied by many men. Same thing goes if he has lots of women or goes out with a different one each night or weekend. That same guy can also attend the best sports events or maybe he is an athlete himself. Lastly, he can always have the guys over for beef and “manly” time. You could really call him, the most interesting man in the world.
Don’t get me wrong, I think that ads that run for the most interesting man in the world are pretty funny at times, but I think you are starting to get my point. Culture does not define manhood. The Bible does.
Can a biblically defined “Man” eat beef, enjoy sports, make money, and marry a woman? Of course he can. There is nothing wrong with that at all. It’s where his priorities are located and what he does when no one is looking that counts. Those things are called integrity and character.
Men & Marriage
Years ago before I married my wife, I must have asked about 20 different married men to give me the best advice they could. I was curious to see if there was a similar trend among married men that I looked up to or if I could get a head start on anything I needed to start learning ahead of time. I did receive very wise counsel from all of them and I am very appreciative of all those conversations, but one of those stood out to me in particular.
I was told “At the end of the day, it’s always our turn to take the first step.” The responsibility of the well being of the marriage is up to the husband (the man). The best example that helped with this was to think of a husband and wife having an argument. Regardless of who is right or who is wrong, and even if the wife is 100% wrong, it’s still up to the husband to take the first step towards reconciliation. It is always his turn.
There are many things that go through my mind when thinking about this and it has already played out within my own marriage. There have been “conversations” (really, arguments…but conversations sounds so much better) where we have had a cool down period in separate rooms. As I have sat on the couch thinking through our “conversation,” I remember this advice and I am immediately convicted because I haven’t taken the first step towards reconciliation. I’ve even had mental arguments with myself saying “I’m not going in there,” “I didn’t do anything wrong so I’m not getting up”, or my personal favorite “I don’t care if this takes all night, I’m not moving.”
Ephesians 5:25 tells us how the husband is to be sacrificial. The man is to love his bride like Christ loves the Church. Jesus was obviously pretty sacrificial with the Church and no man will ever compare to Jesus. If that is what we are striving for, surely God will equip us to die to our own “rights” and be sacrificial towards our wives. I was dead wrong in my thinking and I needed to apologize to my wife and take the first step towards reconciliation.
But this applies to more than just marriage.
“Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.” – 1 Corinthians 16:13
Whether you are single, married, divorced, retired, or even a teenager, if you are a man…it’s always your turn. It’s always your turn to take the first step. It’s always your turn to step up when things get tough. It’s always your turn to be the leader, be responsible, and to be selfless.
22,600,000 18-34 Year Olds At Home
A recent study from Bloomberg News reported that 22,600,000 18-34 year olds are still living at home. Now I don’t know all the details of that study, but that is a huge number! It no doubt shows a concern for 18-34 year old men…we should really call them boys. Again, I want to be sensitive to situations where I don’t have all the facts, but I believe a large part of this is due to men not acting like men, but acting like boys who don’t want to take responsibility.
Instead of our calling being a burden, we need to change our perspective on this and see it as a honor. It’s a honor that God sees us fit as men to step up, take the first step, and lead by example. It’s a honor to lead and love our wives, just like how Jesus loves His bride (The Church). It’s a honor to get a job, move out on our own, and to support ourselves as we pay the bills. That is manhood.
What is holding you back? What is preventing you from actually being a man besides yourself? Satan loves the fact that we have so many “men” running around really acting like boys. He knows what would happen if men were to step up according to the Bible.
“At the end of the day, it’s always our turn to take the first step.”
Jesus Is The Ultimate Man
There is no need to wait to start acting like a man. Whatever it is that is delaying you from being a man, I guarantee you that you are not justified in it. I don’t always act like a man myself so I am not saying I have it all right, and there are plenty of things that God calls women to do as well, but we are not talking about them….we are talking about men. Don’t let sin get in the way any longer to becoming a man. Don’t wait until you “feel like it.” I would think that even most boys have a drive to actually become a man, but they don’t really know where to start or who can lead them by example.
Jesus is the best example we have. We are without excuse because we all have a man we can look up to. There is a ridiculous trend in our culture that portrays Jesus as a soft and weak man. If only we would read the Bible to see just how manly He really was…and is. Whether it was Jesus interacting with children (Matthew 19:13-14), talking with the woman at the well (John 4:7-26), crying (John 11:28-44), or dying on the Cross and rising again (John 19:17-30, John 20:1-18), He handled all of these situations perfectly, and like a man.
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. – Philippians 2:3
Let me encourage you that if you aren’t a follower of Christ, to read one of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John) and see how Jesus was a man. I believe there is something in all of us that wants to find that true satisfaction in Christ since God designed us as men to be real men. If you are a believer, be renewed today in your manhood to repent where you are falling short and step it up from this day forward.
Men, remember, in whatever situation you are finding yourself in today, it’s your turn to take the next step.