How to Be A Man

How-To-Be-a-ManSomewhere in the soul of man is this unarticulated, self-realized notion. The unspoken, yet undeniable “Bro-Code.” We all know it. Some of us have been called out on it. But there is a greater standard to which we have been summoned. God’s Way, his Code, is the true way of life. He wrote the manual of manhood. Masculinity was his idea, and he formed it from his own image. This list is by no means exhaustive, but here are ten rules for the Christian man from the Man himself:

Follow God
The first rule for the Christian man is to follow God’s rules. When David was on his deathbed he gave his son Solomon one final admonition: follow God. First and foremost we must follow God and obey his rules. David understood that if Solomon was to be a great king and leader he must first be a great follower of the King and Leader. “So be strong, act like a man, and observe what the LORD your God requires: Walk in obedience to him, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and regulations, as written in the Law of Moses. Do this so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go” (1 Kings 2:2-3).

Be brave
Courage is not defined as the absence of fear. Rather, it is being able to face your fears for a greater good. As men, we are God’s warriors who fight for truth and justice. We do not need to fear because God is greater than all our fears. “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes” (Nehemiah 4:14b). “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).

Gather comrades
No one can do this life alone. We were not meant to. In fact, life is better when there are people to share it with. We need other strong, Christian men to mentor and disciple us. “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17). In other words: godly men make godly men.

Strive for excellence
In everything we do, we represent God, our family and our community. So we must do it all well and strive for excellence (Colossians 3:17). Nothing in life comes easy. We must be willing to work for it and never quit. “Do you see someone skilled in their work? They will serve before kings; they will not serve before officials of low rank” (Proverbs 22:29).

Take responsibility
“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me” (1 Corinthians 13:11). Make the decision to be an adult. One does not simply come into manhood by age; he must intentionally make the choice. He leaves childish things behind and takes responsibility for all his words and actions.

Stand firm
“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love” (1 Corinthians 16:13-14). The true measure of a man is in what it takes to discourage him. Probably the greatest characteristic a person can have is perseverance. Remember, victory does not always go to the fastest, but to the one who finishes the race.

Love deeply
Men are called to be leaders—servant leaders. Men lead by loving and serving. Husbands do not rule over their wives. They honor and cherish them. A man is ready and willing to lay down his life for the ones he loves. “Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them” (Colossians 3:19). “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25).

Raise righteously
Men should do things for the sake of others. Fathers especially are supposed to be an example of true masculinity. God has chosen to identify himself to us as our Heavenly Father. The title of father is a high calling that we must not dishonor. “Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged” (Colossians 3:21). “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).

Be humble
To be mature means to take ownership: over our time, resources and choices. We must be humble before God and confess our sins. A man acknowledges his faults and then moves forward to become better. He recognizes his desperate need for God and his forgiveness. The Christian man’s life is a selfless life—thinking of himself less and others more. “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me… Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalm 51:1-3, 10).

Seek God
Finally, a man must be after God’s own heart. “But David found strength in the LORD his God” (1 Samuel 30:6b). As we follow God we must also continue to seek God. Seeking God is not just about obeying his commands. It is about coming to know him more, and to become more like him in the process. Our identity is not found in our job, our social status, our investments or our “stuff.” It is found in Christ alone. Our strength and courage is found in him. Our hope and wisdom is found in him. Our everything is found in the one who made us masculine and taught us what that means; the one who made us in his image.

Finley can be reached at: [email protected].

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