“When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” – 1 Corinthians 13:11
What a powerful statement! “When I became a man…”
Growing up I had an amazing step dad. I never referred to him as such. He was always “Dad” to me because he was the one that raised me but the idea that my real Dad didn’t want me definitely messed with me. I did and tried everything to be like my biological father. I figured that’s my Dad. He must be the guy I have to look up to because even though my step dad is amazing this is the man I will become because well, that’s my Dad. So as I grew up, I modeled my life after his. Man, was I wrong. I didn’t know how to be a man but most importantly I didn’t know where to look to be a man. My step dad was a great role model but I wanted to be in ministry and he didn’t know anything about that. So I looked at all the manly men in my life to help guide me to be the man I needed to be. So this one goes out to all those pastors that took the time to help mold me into the man I am today.
So in the process of trying to learn not just how to be a manly man but a gentleman I picked up a book called “Manfield’s Book of Manly Men” by author Stephen Manfield. I recommend picking this book up as soon as possible. It was recommended to me by a man I find to be a great gentle man, Chris Mercado. In the book, they talk about how to be a man in different aspects of your life. In the beginning of the book, the author writes about the four fundamental pillars to being a man. The book is a Christian book but I will also be using these pillars along with biblical stories of Jesus to show you how to become a better man. A gentle man. A manly man.
I’m pleased to say it has nothing to do with the size of your muscles, the money in your bank account, or any skill level you may have. There are four basic pillars in which Manfeild writes about in his book.
- MANLY MEN DO MANLY THINGS– Before you get mad at me by saying that you thought manly men didn’t have to go and do “MANLY” things, let me explain myself. To be a man and do “manly” things you must do things. Men do not talk about what they will do, real men are men of action. It is not enough to talk to about how you want to change the world. A real man goes out and changes the world. Actually, a real man does little to no talking. He is a man of action. They go. We don’t talk about the hunt we go out and hunt. Metaphorically, to be a man you have to do manly things. There has to be action involved in your life. It wasn’t enough for God to talk about bringing salvation to the world, he sent Jesus to prove he was willing to make moves to do so. Jesus could have spoke about salvation and people could be saved that way. Jesus didn’t have to die on the cross but Jesus knew as a man he had to do more than just talk. There had to be action. He had to do something. This is pretty ironic because the Bible talks about how Jesus is “the Word” and yet the very thing we use to speak, WORDS, Jesus chose to not use while on trial so that He may fulfill the action He knew He had to commit.
- MANLY MEN TEND THEIR FIELDS– No that doesn’t mean you need to go outside in some designer overalls and start cutting the grass and buy a lamb or two. Although, cutting the grass would do some of you some good. The way a farmer tends his field is the same way you must tend your field. Your field is anything that directly correlates to you. Your car. Your house. Your friends. Your wife. Your girlfriend. Whatever directly correlates to you. Men have a bad reputation of being sloppy. I can attest to that. My room looks like the set of the “Walking Dead” as I type this out but if I don’t care about my stuff, then I don’t care about myself to enjoy and appreciate and tend to the things that God has given me. My car is one of the biggest blessings in my life at the moment but if you walked in and I hadn’t changed the oil in years and the car was a mess, you probably wouldn’t believe that. A man knows that it is a blessing to tend to your field. If your field is your wife or fiancé or girlfriend, tend to her. That doesn’t mean that she is wearing the pants in the relationship, it just shows that if you are asking a woman to leave the comfort of her life and be involved in your life, she has to feel safe enough to actually go through and include herself in your life. If you ask a girl out you are to protect her in every way possible. If that means physically, you protect her physically. If that means emotionally, then you don’t cause anything to ruin her night. And if that means financially, than you make sure she doesn’t have to worry about her finances while she is with you. Tend to your field as best as you can. No one on your land should worry because you put in the work to provide through your land. Jesus always provided for his disciples, for the people around him, and most importantly for all of us. He provides salvation to all who will believe in him.
- MANLY MEN BUILD UP OTHER MEN.- The manliest thing a man can do is have children and raise them up to be like him. There is no greater sign of integrity, commitment, and perseverance. It shows that no matter what happens you are deciding to take ownership of what belongs to you. Not the child, necessarily, but the responsibility that comes with it. Now this doesn’t mean you are not a man until you have a child. I am a single male with no children of my own but I can tell you that I know what it is like to be a father figure. To have kids come up to me and talk to me about troubles they are having in life and asking for my advice. I have had countless opportunities to practice my fatherly skills as I grew up in student ministry; developing and growing men. There is nothing masculine about teaching boys to run from life or how to degrade women. Your actions can be cloned by the people that follow you. Your social media following are all potential men that can be raised by you if you do it right. Jesus took on some of the most rowdy of the bunch to follow him, so he may raise them up to be proper men. All of the disciples, with the exception of one, were under the age of 18 and some as young as 14 or 15 years old. These were teenagers. Why didn’t Jesus choose men that were already developed? Because he wanted to grow in them the true spirit of being a man and he wanted them to learn how to transition from boys to men.
4. MENLY MEN LIVE TO THE GLORY OF GOD– to be a real man you must understand that you serve the manliest man. Jesus is at the end of everything. All you do is for the glory of God. This helps out a lot because then to be a real man you understand that not everything is about you. In reality nothing should be about you. If you look back at the first three pillars of being a man, they are all for the benefits of others. The actions are for the benefits of those watching. The tending of the field is for those on the field you are tending. The growing up of manly men benefits the boys that learn to be outstanding, Manly role models. A real man knows that it’s not about themselves and that within that God has given us the great role as men we can ask for. There is nothing more satisfying, knowing you are serving others and others can depend on you. Jesus did everything for the glory of his Father and he lived the most fulfilling life any man will ever be able to live. You must do everything on to God.
“But WHEN I BECAME A MAN……” what a powerful statement. What an amazing privilege. What a great honor. What joy we should have that we get to be men. Amazing, disgusting, farting, burping, sweaty, caring, passionate, loving MEN!
I really want to thank all of the men in my life that have helped mold me into the man I am right now. Pastor Johnnie, Pastor Matt, Pastor Chris, Pastor Michael, Pastor Carl, Pastor Jason, my dear friend, Cale and all the countless of manly men out there that have helped along the way. Thank you. I dedicate this blog to you and the hours you have poured into me. I especially want to give a shout out to my step dad for showing me how to be a real man.