What is a real man? Esquire magazine published the article, “How to be a Man.” The author wrote a series of proverbs on manliness. One stated, “A man knows how to lose an afternoon. Drinking, playing Grand Theft Auto, driving aimlessly, shooting pool.” Please, do not follow their advice! Unfortunately, many already do.
Like most men, I learned what a man was primarily from my father, other men in my community and on TV. My favorite TV character growing up was the Six Million Dollar Man.
When I was 20 years old though, my life changed when I came to know my true model of manhood – Jesus. He taught me what it was to be a man. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). Truth refers to reality, what is not hidden. The life of Jesus was lived openly. He showed the world how to live a perfect life – men, women or children. I see in Him what a real man is.
- A real man has purpose. Jesus said, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose” (Luke 4:43). Jesus had a purpose for His life and work. What about you? When you follow Christ with all your heart, He will show you your purpose. Read His Word. Ask Him, then patiently wait, and He will reveal it to you.
- A real man loves. Jesus said, “. . . just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another” (John 13:34). Jesus loved a small group of men He mentored. He loved by telling them directly and showing them through acts of service. Jesus’ greatest demonstration of love was when He died and rose again for the sins of the world. He modeled love through sacrifice, by putting the needs of others above Himself, even to the point death. Men, love your wife, family members, friends and even your enemies, the way Jesus did.
- A real man has a pure heart. Jesus said, “. . . everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28). Jesus was single, ministered to women and had women among those who followed Him, yet in all this, He never lusted. He was pure in mind, heart and body. Men, say “no” to pornography. Say “no” to sex outside of marriage. Say “yes” to Jesus and invite Him to purify your mind and give you power over temptation.
- A real man has right priorities. Jesus said, “. . . what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? (Mark 8:36). Jesus was incredibly successful. Yet, despite His celebrity, He forfeited the riches of this world for something greater. Men, be excellent in all you do, but do not look to your career, possessions, income or achievements for your worth or identity. Live for more than that. Do not forfeit your eternal soul in the pursuit of temporal things that provide momentary pleasure. Live fully and wholly for Jesus. In Him is found everything you need in life.
Do you want to know what a real man is? Look to Jesus! Follow Him and change your family tree for generations to come.
A prayer for you – “Lord God, I pray that the men who read this will become men like Jesus. Help them to have purpose in life and work, to love like Jesus did, to have a pure heart and for you to be their number one priority. Enable them to take the first step today by turning to you and away from their sin. Bring them to call upon you in belief and for forgiveness, then transform them into new men. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”
–Clint Decker is President and Evangelist with Great Awakenings, Inc. Hope for Today is a syndicated column that appears online and in newspapers in the U.S. Go to greatawakenings.org to share your comments and learn how you can sponsor this column and/or invite Clint Decker to be a guest speaker at your church or outreach event.