Elbow deep in grease, hands screaming in pain from shoving them into the tiny spaces in my car’s engine for two hours. My neighbor had come over to help – you know it’s a real manly project when the neighbor feels the need to get involved, (or does that mean I’m strugglin – hmmmm). I was feeling prre-tty man-ly that day, until I realized that all that effort and I’d only changed the blinker light on my car – hahaha. Well, it was more manly than taking it to SOME OTHER MAN who was manlier than me, to do the man-thing, so I was OK with it!
Manhood has been exalted, exaggerated, then satirized, made fun of, and most recently demonized. None of those responses are healthy. However, the Bible shows a clear and awesome picture of Godly manhood that must be EN-COURAGED. Give courage to a man in your life today by sharing this with them.
Manly Men Dream – both literally and metaphorically. Abraham, Joseph, Peter – all guys who’s man credentials are unchallengeable – all dreamers. God gave them dreams, they interpreted them by the Spirit of God, kept those dreams in their heart, and acted on them. Those dreams changed the world because of their Spirit-inspired actions, which leads to the next trait . . .
Manly Men Act. As Christians we’re not “waiting on the world to change” as John Mayer sings. We are the change. We catalyze. We’re thermostats, not thermometers. Every person in the Hall of Faith (Hebrews 11) and throughout Scripture was a person of action. There might have been hundreds of people God called, who didn’t act and therefore we don’t know them at all. But manly men, particularly Godly men, act. That means we have a bias toward action. It doesn’t mean we never rest, but it also means we don’t celebrate laziness in ourselves; instead, we celebrate productivity and especially kingdom fruit!
Manly Men Cry. Abraham, David, Jesus, Peter – all of them wept – crying is in your DNA spiritually and probably physically too (Abraham is the literal father of hundreds of millions). Abraham was an alpha male leader, who earned extreme wealth, and had a personal army that defeated kings. David was a conqueror warrior who made a life of killing enemies in defense of God’s people; and he wept many times in the text and even writes about all his weeping in Psalm 56:8. Jesus was a carpenter (used to hard physical labor), who traveled in the harsh conditions of the desert, he wept for his friend Lazarus and at Gethsemane. Peter was a rough fisherman with course mannerisms at every point, a natural leader and a man’s man, yet he’s shown weeping bitterly. These men not only had emotions, but God is not afraid to put those emotions on display for all generations to see and learn that manly men cry. There will be a time with no tears, but until then crying is helpful part of our mental processing.
Manly Men Take Courage from the Spirit of God. The conqueror Joshua was strong and courageous as his life message! Samson had to rise up through the Spirit of God over and again. Peter and John facing the same people who killed Jesus for doing miracles, were DESCRIBED BY THEIR ENEMIES as having courage because they had been with Jesus! (Acts 4:13) There’s a time to cry and there’s a time to take courage. “Gird up your loins” (2 Kings 4:29, Jer. 1:17, 1 Pet. 1:13) is a phrase used in the Bible as a call to action (run!) for God. The Spirit of God is longing to fight for you, when you take courage to act!
Manly Men Seek God. Moses, David, Josiah, Jesus and Paul (all have confirmed man credentials), and all of them sought God. In fact, everyone who did anything great for God in Scripture (unless they were an unbeliever being used by God) all of them constantly sought the heart, character and presence of God Himself. These are our examples, and the adventurous pursuit of God will keep men and those they influence successful in ways that matter.