"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”
“…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.
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