When it comes to how we in today’s society envision what a real man is we sometimes confuse the term with being an action movie hero. You know the type that can take out a whole army of bad guys single-handedly, make every correct decision driving a car in a downtown car chase, and always is attractive to the beautiful lady. For some, a real man may be a guy that lives by his own rules and proudly reflects a “Take me or leave me” demeanor to those around him. Others may look at a real man as the type that is going to live fast, live hard, and live to have fun until it all catches up to him.
Let’s look at a different kind of real man. When we look at Jesus’ life he was a man who was physically strong, emotionally caring, mentally expanding, and spiritually growing. Jesus modeled these characteristics for us and as men we should seek to strive for them as well. So, what are some ways that we can make acting like a “real” real man a part of our daily lives? I am going to call these the Real Man Rules.
Real Man Rule #1
A real man is loving, kind, gentle, and sensitive.
I know you are saying that this sounds like 1 Corinthian 13, not really the man’s man kind of start you might have been hoping for. A man’s ability to show gentleness may be one of the most attractive characteristics a man can possess. Author Jay Dennis describes gentleness as “strength under the control of grace.” It is easy for a man to be intimidating to do the “sway his way”, but using gentleness shows his heart is in the right place. Another point not to miss here is that a man needs to show love to his wife and kids. Too many of us have built up such a glass house around our hard exterior that we miss out on letting our own family feel loved.
Real Man Rule #2
A real man can cry
This one is tough for most, but we need to be able to express our compassion toward someone or a burden we have for someone. Most of us know, because we all used the most coveted bible memory verse of them all when we were young, “Jesus wept”, that Jesus often would weep and pray because of the compassion he had for his people. I know when I was younger I felt almost prideful of my steel demeanor when it came to compassion. After having kids, I tear up during cartoons.
Real Man Rule #3
A real man doesn’t need to act macho, but he can do things that reflect his manhood.
Sometimes we feel that we need to act a certain way in some situations to be accepted by other men. We may use words that are crude or crass to fit in with the crowd that we are around. We may allow our conversation to not paint our spouses or others with the care and respect that they deserve. A real man is secure enough within himself that he doesn’t always have to prove that he is a man.
Real Man Rule #4
A real man respects women.
A real man will go out of his way to show the value he sees in women. This can be reflected in his speech with women and about women. It can be seen in his chivalrous attitude to be mannerly and helpful. A real man is careful to control his actions so as to not allow his kindness to be seen as a temptation to the woman or be a temptation to himself. A real man is careful to show respect for his wife at all times. He must love her in a way that she feels secure and safe with him. He must not verbally, physically, or sexually abuse his wife.
Real Man Rule #5
A real man takes an active role in raising his children.
It is not just the wife’s place to raise the children. A man should take a proactive approach in helping to raise the children. That involves not just the big events of life but also the day-to-day tasks. A real man needs to communicate often with his wife to insure that each is working together and are of like mind on parenting decisions.
Real Man Rule #6
A real man grows spiritually.
A real man is constantly seeking to move forward in his faith. He reads his Bible and prays often. A real man seeks to be involved in his church and seeks to lead his family spiritually. His family should see that his belief is an important part of his life and be encouraged to model their beliefs after his.
Real Man Rule #7
A real man takes care of his body.
A real man does everything possible to take care of his body. He sets the example by refusing to put anything in his body that will damage it. He strives to get enough rest so that he can function daily at his best. He goes to the doctor when needed, gets checkups, and takes the proper medicines to make sure he stays around for a long time.
Real Man Rule #8
A real man is faithful to his wife.
A real man takes his wedding vows seriously. A real man takes steps to prevent looking on other women with lust. He is faithful to carry out his duties as a husband to the woman he married.
Real Man Rule #9
A real man doesn’t intentionally put himself in a place where he could fall to temptation.
A real man avoids situations that encourage letting down one’s spiritual and moral guard. He guards his heart against anything that threatens his purity. A real man understands that he should be in his home or his hotel after a certain time at night. A real man protects himself from temptation not only for himself but to protect his wife and family.
Real Man Rule #10
A real man forgives and asks for forgiveness.
By our own nature we are all sinners. A real man is quick to forgive and quick to beg for forgiveness from God and to those he has wronged. A real man will seek to show compassion when disciplining his kids. A real man will turn the other cheek.