What It Means To Be A Man

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Today’s Guest Blogger is Joseph Stevenson

I’m in my 20’s and this is a question that I can’t seem to get out of my head.

What does it mean to “Be A Man”?

What the heck is “A Man”?

To those of us who grew up in a home with a father: we have a guide, an example of what it means to “be a father” or a guy. The thing is, I’m beginning to think that even having a man in the home doesn’t always guarantee that there is an example of Manhood.

Let me be clear. I’m not going to say that manhood is all about sexuality, nor am I going to say that it’s about your brawn. I believe these are attributes that men do have, but it must go beyond this.

See, if a man was only his sexuality, wouldn’t we be happy with having as many sexual relationships as possible? If a man were only his brawn and his brute strength this measure would disqualify a ton of us from being truly MEN.

Fact of the matter is this is NOT Sparta and men aren’t going through a gambit of war exercises from a young age. Today society encourages a passive, accepting, tolerating, and understanding nature. This is all well and good in my opinion; however, I will admit that it does seem that there is something lacking from the life of the male today and this is his connection with his masculinity.

Honestly, everywhere I look today, I can’t help but notice what appears to be an attack on the “masculine” nature of men. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying there is no such thing as creative freedom or fashion, or that a man is defined by his dress; however, what things are truly masculine anymore? There is an enormous push to taper off the aggressive edge that men were once known for having. Taking this a step further, some reports are cataloging a growing number of men who feel emasculated because of their inability to express aggressive behavior in the proper context. The press to become progressively feminine is burgeoning and affecting men everywhere. I happen to believe that there must a balance, but even this does not define “A Man.” So, the question becomes what does it mean to “be a man”?

Men Take Responsibility
Men take responsibility! Let me be clear, this goes beyond just making child support payments and seeing your kid on holidays. This even goes beyond buying your kids whatever they want. Taking it a step further, manhood isn’t simply being a dad. Men take care of their responsibilities. One major responsibility that men must manage is the responsibility to take ownership of their lives. Having a dream and striving to fulfill it. Accepting the responsibility to provide the best quality life for your family as possible. You don’t have to buy your kids everything, but as a man you cannot be afraid to get up and go take what you want from life especially if it means a better life for your family.

Men Protect
Men protect their values, and assets and this could mean family, career, and property. Whatever is in a man’s life, he must take full ownership of it and seek to protect those assets. A man understands the value of the assets in his life and has an innate desire to protect those assets. It’s possible that it is something that we must mature into, but it nonetheless is something that we must do as men. Today, society’s image of the millennial man is a random guy who sits on his living room couch playing X-Box and PS4 all day. This is not manhood, this is a man still in his prince! He’s conquered by life and not accepting responsibility for himself or its direction.

God places the man over the household. Many will argue that this is just due to the society and the culture of the age; however, we cannot negate the fact that God did say the men are the heads of the family. This means that at the end of the day, everything comes back to . . . Yep – YOU! So whether you like it or not and regardless of what roles of the house you decide to assume, it’s your responsibility to protect those who God has placed under your headship.

Men Let God Lead
Listen. It’s not about lording over other people. It’s not about authority or subjecting people to your every whim and desire. Men today must begin to become leaders again. We have got to begin accepting the burden of leading our households and communities; however, this must start with a personal prayer life. Seriously. Being manly is not a switch, it’s not something to be taken lightly, nor is it something that can be done without God. Prayer and meditation are vital to spiritual development and maturity, which you will need to navigate manhood and manliness.

Any man can be “masculine” if it means liking sports, meat, and breaking things. There is a time and place for these things and contrary to what society is screaming, they are not wrong. But being a man means knowing when to cry and when to hold back the tears. It means knowing when to not say anything and knowing when and how to speak the truth. It means being afraid and doing the best thing for your family any way. It means understanding that at the end of the day, YOU will have to answer to God for how you lead your tribe – your family! It means being a good steward of your responsibility, understanding that one day this day will come!


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One thought on “What It Means To Be A Man

  1. I especially like Joseph’s emphasis on the three areas of taking responsibility, protecting, and letting God lead.

    Responsibility goes far beyond what many of us as men think it means. Taking responsibility begins with us, each man, accepting responsibility for every action we take. It’s so easy to say or do some “little thing” that brings hurt to others unnecessarily. Yet, sometimes it’s the little things we do that make all the difference in the world. Either way, and regardless of the result, we each are responsibility for those little acts.

    Protection is often seen in the light of providing physical protection of our property and the lives of those God entrusts to our care. But protection also includes those little acts we take on a daily basis which creates security of our loved-ones, our friends, and our/their possessions. Paying bills on time, using our resources wisely, being in-tune with others needs, etc., all can be ways of providing protection for others and ourselves. Being willing to speak-up when someone verbally assaults the good name of others is another way we as men can provide protection.

    God appointed men to take leadership of first his home and then by reaching out in the community. All great men have learned leadership by first being a good follower. When we follow God’s leadership in our personal lives, we learn how to be better leaders in all the roles He places us in.

    Thanks for making us aware of these qualities which really define us as men. God blesses and rewards us when we pay attention to these things and truly allow Him to take leadership of our lives Joseph has pointed out.