Growing up I had a father, but he was not around and when he was, he was not interested in me.  Conversations around becoming a man didn’t occur in my home.  The only nugget of wisdom passed onto me was if I wanted a large family I better get a good job to support them.  The concept and ideas of what it meant to be a real man were somewhat foreign to me.  I really had no good male role models; those around me did not discuss it or consistently demonstrated through their actions and words how something I would not describe as being manly.  The small country town, white is right, there is only one-way to do it culture I lived it shoved worldly ideas in my face about being a man and I was repeatedly reminded of how I never measured up.

As I left my family, began establishing who I am as a man and what I was about, I began looking at the world around me, observing the ideas and concepts that most men used to define themselves as men – someone who does it all on his own, has no need for anyone else and lives a life filled with money, cars and women. Many of the men I knew were not living their lives the way I thought it would look like.  I observed men not discussing their thoughts or feelings, used women in unhealthy ways and could only relate to one another through sports or drinking.  None of which appealed to me and it certainly was not how I was going to define myself as a man.

As someone who has been a follower of Jesus since I was 7 years old. I began looking at examples in the church of what it meant to be a man.  I discovered morals preached and rigid guidelines followed. Few men in the church discussed what it meant to be a real man.  Most of the men I saw in church did not want to be there, were unhappy and appeared to be living their lives,  just existing, but never having much passion or desire.  Once again, I found it hard to find what it meant to be a real man.  There are plenty of examples in the Bible of regular men who God has used to do amazing things.  For myself the one person I most admire and look towards in being a man is Jesus.  Granted I am by no means Jesus, but his life and how he lived it demonstrates so many characteristics of what a man can and should do.

When my wife and I got married the first things that actually made me feel like a man was finding out I was going to be a father.  When it was confirmed, something inside of me said, “You’re the man.”  Prior to that, every time I looked in the mirror all I could see was a 16-year-old boy who was lost and had no clue what it meant to be a man.  Finally, I felt like I was joining the ranks of others and becoming an official man.

As I closed out my 30’s and start my 40’s I finally am beginning to feel like I am fully a man.  My journey into this has been a long and difficult one.  It has taken me going from not allowing other guys to be a part of my life to finding amazing men who have spoken volumes into my life.  Evaluating events that have shaped who I am today, seeking out, and understanding God’s purpose in my life.  I can tell you as someone who is a deep processor and thinker; there have been many days where my brain just never turned off.

A few years ago after reading a couple of books and completing some profile tests I took a week and came up with what I believe defines me as a man.  To me a real man means you are honest and true about who you are and where you have come from.  A man is not afraid to share his feelings, admits when he needs help and someone who takes care of his family and not just through monetary means.  It also includes spending time with each person, getting to know who they are and what you can do to build them up and influence their lives. Having other men in your life you can go to and talk with, men who will hold you accountable.

For myself being a real man is defined by my core values:

Knowledge – continually striving to be better than I am, through various means, which allows my words to be honest and wise, and my actions filled with insight and discernment

Honor – living a loyal life of commitment to God, my wife, kids, family and friends that includes faithfulness, commitment, responsibility and integrity

Fulfillment – living a courageous life filled with passion that allows me to serve others out of love and devotion

Impact – all that I do I do for the legacy I will be leaving behind me

Truth – seeking to live a life that stands up for what is right and just and using my voice to silence injustice, evil and wickedness in the world

For whatever reason men still today do not feel the need to talk about this.  It greatly saddens me to see men in church who are walled off, hurting and do not know who they are or what they are about.  Men who have been so wounded and hurt they do not even know which way to turn.  It is for this very reason I write about these things and use the gifts I have been given to try to build relationships with other men.  For me I strive to live an authentic life, which includes being a real man to everyone I meet.  Pouring my life into other men and asking the questions that need to be asked.  In doing this I hope I not only will be the example but it will help other men in their own journey.

What about yourself, what values define you as a person?  How long has it taken you to feel like a fully grown man?  How do you see yourself today?

  1. Jason says:

    I love the pic of the Old Spice guy. Made me laugh my butt off.

    Great post dude.

  2. Allow me to use this as I mentor my students today on Man Hood defined..This is exactly the word that God has for them

  3. Marie says:

    I thoroughly appreciate this article, and even used your core values as a means to pray for my ‘future’ husband, in hopes the LORD assists him with these values! I, myself, am in recovery from the ‘world’s’ vision of a REAL woman. I have yet to have pastic surgery (heehee,,, not above it, though), but the image of woman-hood today is absolutely VILE, ‘un’realistic, and unGODLY!!! Many young Christian men are (even w/in the church) are being promted to ‘feel good’ first, and deal with the LORD later. If, in fact, they continue believing in the effective power of JESUS as they grow up/mature. I, too, am closer to 40 yrs. old, and as a woman who has spent the last four years recovering from the devestation a sociopath left in my lfe, all because I wanted to be like everyone else and have ‘companionship,’ without waiting on what the LORD has for me, I now understand WHY Jesus said what he said! It’s down right scarry to live in America, where murder has swiftly become the *new* divorce! Yes, I know a certain caliber of men have been killing their wives since the OT, but it seems to have started up again in full force, whereas Christ came to show us a better, more effective way to relate to eachother. Yet, when 80% of Americans profess to believe in the LORD, whilst stats show the extremely high divorce rate, which by and large effect children the most, it’s no wonder ‘WE’ continuously struggle (men and women) to relate to eachother, thus the immature and immoral violence we often see and hear about; not excluding poor self-worth that usually causes these actions. Also, men are constantly encouraged to PLEASE their friends by seeking women who look like ‘video-vixins’ and NOT the women/woman who is living for the LORD, who may or may not look like a cover-girl,,, ALL of the time! The ‘heart/morals/morays’ have become less than 1% of what is valued, which has bred an increase in depression in society, especially in children. Again, I appreciate you sir, and your willingness to stand up for JESUS, whilst supporting and assisting other men to do the same. Jesus (if viewed as a star in a play) has the least lines in the Bible (script), yet his words/teachings appear to be the most difficult to live by (deliver). It’s sad, but true for most people, esp. if you watch loads of cable and read ‘editorial/feature’ magazines, like I grew up doing. Okay, GOD BLESS, and thank you for your ministry for men!!! ,,, pray my ‘future’ hubby is reading, seeking, and praying for your web-site and ALL of you beautiful men here!!! Selah.

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