Over the last few years the internet has shown an interesting trend. ” Manliness ” has become cool again among males in their 20s and 30s. Of course, some of that has carried over from online trends into real life, which can be seen every day in the facial hair-growing, meat-eating, gun-shooting men that fill college campuses and cities. However, their attempts to proclaim manliness ring hollow. It’s not that there is anything wrong with those things, and they certainly are more associated with manliness than womanliness generally speaking, but it falls short of being what a man is all about. You see, it’s many of these same twentysomethings that have given into feminism and consider their wives (or potential wives, since they also avoid marriage like the plague) equally burdened with providing. While young women are ambitiously chasing education and careers, young men are now more commonly thought of as “sowing their wild oats” and playing video games rather than finding work and doing it with all of their might. It makes sense that the world would settle for a cheap misunderstanding of what being a man is all about, though. It is God who provided those guidelines, and without Him we can expect to find males exactly where we do today – dodging responsibility and avoiding their roles as God-given leaders of the home.
As with all things that our culture cheapens, we in the church must reject what they think and make sure we continue to uphold God’s standards and definitions. What does God expect of a man? A man must provide. From the very beginning God gave Adam the responsibility of caring for the Garden and watching over the animals, but it was after the fall that he was told to work to provide by the sweat of his brow. A man must protect. Peter tells us that husbands need to treat their wives as the weaker vessel, protecting them by giving emotional security, caring for them, and understanding and accommodating that which makes them delicate and special. A man must teach. Too many families rely on Bible school teachers, youth ministers, or the mothers alone to teach and train the children the ways of the word. Fathers, it is placed upon you to train, discipline, and teach your children according to God’s Word (Deuteronomy 6, Ephesians 6).
Manliness isn’t merely just some outward declaration of difference from females. Instead, it is living up to the calling that God has placed on men everywhere and leading families that will be faithful for generations. It is the man who is responsible for leading his wife and children to heaven, and responsibility brings accountability. Fathers and husbands, lead with eternity in mind. Single men, treat all women with respect as sisters and mothers, preparing yourself to be a spiritual leader and example whether you choose that path or not. It’s time God’s men showed the culture what a real man looks like and does. Are you up to the challenge?