Let me pose a question: Is it more manly for a guy to get down and dirty replacing his transmission or to fold his family’s laundry?
Does it require more masculinity to hang drywall or do dishes?
Is it more courageous to go on a solo hike of the Appalachian Trail or take the kids to school every morning?
Well obviously, it’s always the first. Right? After all, that’s what we men do.
To which I say yes! And no! And it all depends! And I need to clarify!
Being A Real Man – Bible Style
In recent months, I’ve come across a number of Christians who think that evangelical Christianity has wussified men, basically boiling masculinity down to serving women. That being a man has been reduced to appeasing the spouse and keeping things peaceful at home.
To those who level such an accusation, I say, “Clearly, you’ve never stepped up to the plate when it really matters.”
Being a biblical man is about strapping on the armor and stepping into the arena when it’s all on the line. When courage is required. When the result is going to be you on the ground, facedown, with your lip split open and a few teeth missing(occasionally physically, but usually metaphorically).
If a husband serves his wife only because she constantly (and sinfully) nags him, sure, that’s not being a man. That’s being an absolute milk toast pansy who doesn’t have the stomach for difficult conversation.
Being a real man is about taking the burden and running with it, straight into the teeth of the defense. It’s about courageously entering the fray, whether the fray is a rebellious child or a busted hot water tank.
Here’s the thing: it takes a lot more courage to take play with the kids outside after a long day of work than it does to isolate yourself in the garage while you putz around with wood carving tools. It takes more heart to have a hard conversation when you’re completely exhausted than to change the oil by yourself.
My dad didn’t know much about home repair or taking care of cars (frankly, he was terrible with cars). But he had the courage to talk to his kids about sexual sin. I know a lot of men who crap their pants at the very thought.
He had the fortitude to cook dinner and do laundry when my mom was sick in bed for weeks.
He had the manliness to teach me how to fish and how to keep my voice calm in a heated argument.
And, as a pastor, he had the strength to go into the ring with “manly men” who were screaming at their wives, neglecting their kids, and having affairs.
My dad is, hands down, the biggest servant I know. And he’s a bigger man than most.
A Biblical Man…
…Dies to himself and lets his wife sleep in because she’s exhausted after a particularly rough week with the kids.
…Takes on the burden of getting the car fixed (either by him or someone else) so his wife doesn’t have to stress about it.
…Doesn’t avoid talking about hard things even though he’s wiped after work (only romper-wearing guys do that).
…Takes one for the team when everyone is sick and loads of laundry need to be done.
…Refuses to selfishly isolate himself in his “man cave” even though he’s burned out.
…Feels equally comfortable talking with his daughter about dance class and with his son about double plays.
…Doesn’t wuss out on tough conversations with his kids about sex and gossip and modesty and lust, just because they’re uncomfortable.
In The End
Being a man is about three things: death, greatness, and true love.
Real men march courageously to their death every day.
Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? (Luke 9:23–25)
Real men go hard after greatness.
But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. (Mark 10:43-44)
Real men defend true love.
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13)