Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Traits of real men, and they're getting rare nowadays

 One of the funniest and most popular status messages on my Facebook timeline is actually Biblical advice geared towards single young ladies.  It goes something like this:

"To all the girls who are in a hurry to have a boyfriend or get married, a piece of Biblical advice: ‘Ruth patiently waited for her mate Boaz.’ While you are waiting on YOUR Boaz, don’t settle for any of his relatives; Broke-az, Po-az, Lyin-az, Cheating-az, Dumb-az, Drunk-az, Cheap-az, Lockedup-az, Goodfornothing-az, Lazy-az, and especially his third cousin Beatinyo-az. Wait on your Boaz and make sure he respects Yoaz."

I don’t care who you are, that’s funny!  But at the same time, it’s also a bit serious, and not just to the ladies, but to the men. 

This was further emphasized when a former student of mine, who just entered his first weeks of college, came back to the school to visit.  I’m honored that he sees me as more than a mere teacher, but as a personal mentor, and he tells me everything from ambitions to fears to observations to secrets.  This is what he said after he experienced his first week of college life:

“You know, Mr. Carlo, the guys in my class talk about what being a man is, and for them it’s about the ability to drink lots of alcohol and stuff like that.  I wanna show them what real manhood is…based on what the Bible says.”

I can’t get the words exactly right, but that’s the basics of what he said.  While I was proud of him that he said so (influencing the character of young people: one reason I love my job, hehe), I felt sad that there are so few guys like that and they’re getting fewer all the time.  While I’m confident he can successfully go against the flow, it’s a pretty big flow….like, Amazon river flow.   

I’m also reminded by a comment made by a very dear friend of mine who’s been deeply hurt by a number of “Boaz’s relatives” as mentioned above.  Being one of the few guys she trusts, she cried out to me:

“There’s something terribly wrong with this generation of men!!”

I feel ya, girl, and I’m truly, truly sorry. 

We can point the finger at many things: videogames; porn; lack of guidance due to fatherlessness/faulty fathering; crazy amounts of hormones (that mimic estrogen) in our food supply…and the list goes on.

I, however, would like to stick to what my former student said and “show them what real manhood is…based on what the Bible says.” 

But what exactly is Biblical manhood?  What does the Bible say about what a real man is?

I recently read an article in Boundless webzine that totally nailed what by God's standards are traits of real men, and they're getting rare nowadays.  It’s called The Marks Of Manhood, by Dr. Albert Mohler.  I will list down the article's 13 traits of real men as featured there, while quoting a sentence or two from each.

The Marks Of Manhood

1.     Spiritual maturity sufficient to lead a wife and children.

“A man must be ready to lead his wife and his children in a way that will honor God, demonstrate godliness, inculcate Christian character, and lead his family to desire Christ and to seek God’s glory.”

2.     Personal maturity sufficient to be a responsible husband and father.

“True masculinity is not a matter of exhibiting supposedly masculine characteristics devoid of the context of responsibility.  In the Bible, a man is called to fulfill his role as husband and father.”

3.     Economic maturity sufficient to hold an adult job and handle money.

“A real man knows how to hold a job, handle money with responsibility, and take care of the needs of his wife and family.”

4.     Physical maturity sufficient to work and protect a family.

“A boy must be taught to channel his developing strength and emerging size into a self-counciousness of responsibility, recognizing that adult strength is to be combined with adult responsibility and true maturity”

5.     Sexual maturity sufficient to marry and fulfill God’s purposes.

“…the true Christian man practices sexual integrity, avoiding pornography, fornication, all forms of sexual promiscuity and corruption…but rejoices in the sexual capacity and reproductive power God has put within him, committing himself to find a wife, and to earn her love, trust, and admiration—and eventually her hand in marriage.”

6.     Moral maturity sufficient to lead as an example of righteousness.

“The Christian man is to be an example to others, teaching by both precept and example.”

7.     Ethical maturity sufficient to make responsible decisions.

“The indecisiveness of so many contemporary males is evidence of a stunted manhood…A real man knows how to make a decision and live with its consequences—even if that means he must later acknowledge that he has learned by making a bad decision, and then by making the appropriate correction.”

8.     Worldview maturity sufficient to understand what is really important.

“An inversion of values marks our postmodern age, and the predicament of modern manhood is made all the more perplexing by the fact that many men lack the capacity of consistent worldview thinking…The Christian man must understand how to interpret and evaluate issues across the spectrum of politics, economics, morality, entertainment, education, and a seemingly endless list of other fields.”

9.     Relational maturity sufficient to understand and respect others.

“While a man is to demonstrate emotional strength, constancy, and steadfastness, he must be able to relate to his wife, his children, his peers, his colleagues, and a host of others in a way that demonstrates respect, understanding, and appropriate empathy.”

10.    Social maturity to make a contribution to society.

“A boy must learn to fulfill a political responsibility as a citizen, and a moral responsibility as a member of a human community.  The Christian man bears a civilizational responsibility, and boys must be taught to see themselves as shapers of a society…”

11.     Verbal maturity sufficient to communicate and articulate as a man.

“A man must be able to speak, to be understood, and to communicate in a way that will honor God and convey God’s truth to others.”

12.     Character maturity sufficient to demonstrate courage under fire.

“In the end, a man’s character is revealed in the crucible of everyday challenges.  For most men, life will also bring moments when extraordinary courage will be required, if he is to remain faithful and true.”

13.     Biblical maturity sufficient to lead at some level in the church.

“While God has appointed specific officers for his church—men who are specially gifted and publicly called— every man should fulfill some leadership responsibility within the life of the congregation.”

Well, there you have it, and I have been very blessed to have in my acquaintance more than a handful of men who exemplify these marks of manhood.  Although I often fail more than I succeed, I strive to have these marks of manhood as well…and so should you.

Please click here to read all the great words of wisdom that Dr. Mohler gave in the real article, as my quotes above only skim the surface and don’t do the real article much justice.

In you're into CHH (Christian Hip Hop) the PERFECT song for this topic is called Man Up Anthem by 116 Clique.  It challenges us to do just that: man up and be the man God wants you to be.

Recommended reading (magazines):

Recommended reading (books):


  1. Good men seem to be a dying breed. But I believe there are still a handful out there. The question is, how do I get my hands on them! :)
    Seriously, yet, he has to be mature in all aspects. Even a reformed ass-hole has hope, I guess.

    1. Thanks for the comment. Well, let’s see, how can I help you there.

      First of all, yes, reformed a-holes can be redeemed. Some of the great men I know are these types of guys. What’s interesting is that all of them got the change from a spiritual experience, not a force of will. The strongest they were was when they finally got down on their knees and allowed God to finally do His thing in their lives. The transformation was then night and day. Now that I think about it, I may be one of these cases (not a big a-hole though, but I had a pretty big pride issue).

      Second, while there are lots of fish in the sea…I feel that if you wanna catch the right one you gotta fish in the right pond. Where are you fishing? If you ask me, the highest concentration of men who qualify for the above are found in the singles/men’s ministries of churches that practice a high level of accountability and discipleship.

      Third, and I always tell me female friends this, if you wanna snag the right guy…BE THE RIGHT GIRL! While the most important aspect of this is character (your private self), how you conduct your public self, such as the way you look and act around people, is also vital. I firmly believe that you’ll attract what you advertise. If you act loosely and foolishly, you’ll attract loose and foolish guys. But if you look and act like you’re serious with your life, you’ll attract serious guys that would be serious with you.

      Wow, that’s a mouthful. Hope that helps. Thanks again for the comment and I hope you enjoy the other articles from this site.

  2. this reminds me of a book im reading.. God's Gift to Women. really interesting you might wanna' check it out.

  3. On the positive tone, there are still men who are God-fearing and only trust on God. Perhaps, you need to know them deeper.

    1. Yes, there are, and as mentioned earlier, I'm privileged to know a lot of these guys personally.

      Others may not be as privileged as me...so I hope these guidelines help. :)

  4. Men like that are nice to breed. :) I mean, I hope he keep motivating young guys to act like a gentleman. I am happy that I married a man who has some of those good characteristics.

    1. "Men like that are nice to breed"...I think that's an unintentional green joke there, Mel ;)

      Kidding aside, I'm glad you married well. I think I have some of these traits as well...but I wrote this blog because I want us men to strive to get them all!

  5. a very interesting topic. i know that guy in the right side of the picture, he is from the Jersy Shore reality TV series show. Oh boy! if you watch that show, you'll surely hear all kinds of cussing and profanity. they even publicly show their intimate moment. yikes. i don't know what happen to this generation. so modern and liberated. I would rather choose the traditional man, of course he has to be a spiritual person that way lust won't be his priority, it has to be true love.

    1. Yeah, things have fallen pretty low. We can be the solution, though. We train our sons to be the men this world dearly needs...and first thing's first is Matthew 6:33

  6. it is very interesting! thanks for sharing.

  7. how funny! this is worth reading....thanks for sharing!

  8. just depends on how people sees it. thanks for this great share..
    cheers :)

  9. in the same way that good breed of women die away..lol... blame it to social and cultural change, there might be good kicking ass men around but if you're looking for the old kind, I mean the vintaged character men, they might still be around but has changed to fit along with our current time and space .... don't find those marks of manhood, just be yourself and be a good steward of God... that all it takes to be a man.

    1. Funny you said that. In the site I got the image from, a comment read, "you can replace the two men with Audrey Hepburn and Snooki." LOL

      That said, I have to disagree with the latter part of your comment. These marks of manhood are timeless, and women would be wise to find men who have--or at least know and strive to have--these traits. In fact, being a good steward of God means you have these marks of manhood down.

  10. I'm so thankful and blessed that my husband has those traits you've mentioned. not bragging though but he truly is ONE GOOD MAN! i'm just sad that we know someone (who used to be so close to us) who has all those AZ-traits... i feel sad and i pity him... he's nowhere to be found now... :(

    1. Happy for you in the first part of your comment; hurting for you on the latter.

  11. I was laughing at those AZ but yeah there are really men have those traits. So women should be careful out there, anyway in fairness to some, there are still who have positive traits...

    1. Sad no? I'm determined to mass-produce the student mentioned above. There just has to be more like him.

  12. I only have one man and that's my man! :)

  13. this is a very great post! i enjoy reading it. a couple of days ago, my husband and i are watching some old movies from the 50's. Here in US they still play those movies. I told hubby, ' looked at all those men, they look so yummy(good looking). and he told me, men in the 50's look so much healthier than now, they respect women, and they listen to their mothers. it was really so different back then. Now, Men matured so fast, and cant wait to experience it all, and they dont respect women anymore, even their mommies. =(

    1. I hear ya. All is not lost, though...yet it falls on our shoulders. We must put an indelible imprint of these Marks of Manhood in our sons.


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