Ask Donnell - What Is A Real Man?

Ask Donnell - What Is A Real Man According To The Bible?

We received the following question from Georgia;

"What is a real man?"

This is a great question. However, before I answer the question I have a question of my own; "What is real?"

2 Corinthians 4:18(KJV) - While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Spiritual things which cannot be seen with the natural eyes are more real than the natural things which can be seen. Spiritual things existed before time was created and will continue to exist after time expires. So in the grand scheme of things, all that's natural is a mere shadow of true reality because it's here today and gone tomorrow. Therefore, the "realness" of a man cannot be measured only by natural criteria because they don't last. The spiritual side of a man is eternal and that's what matters the most. Nonetheless, let's get back to the question; "What is a real man?"

The answer to this question will differ everywhere you go. Manhood in usually defined by the prevailing culture. In some cultures, the boys don't even have to prove themselves. Once they reach to a certain age they are considered men. Therefore, for them, age is the only determination of manhood. There's nothing more to being a man than living long enough to reach the specified age.

In some tribal cultures a boy becomes a man when he can withstand a certain level of pain and carry out certain physical tasks. Therefore, they hold these elaborate ceremonies during which boys "cross over" into manhood after they prove themselves by purely physical and mental standards. From a Western cultural perspective, we may not agree with the tribal approach but at least they have a clear definition of manhood. We, on the other hand, are all over the place.

There are rogue elements of Western culture which have greatly influenced some of the most popular characteristics of manhood. This is especially true in urban "hip hop" culture which still has strong elements of slavery. I've heard many historical accounts of the strongest male slaves being required to sire children "at will" to provide an increased workforce for their masters. These men or "bucks" were not required to take care of their children. They were only used like horses to breed more strong Thoroughbred slaves. Every one of them was considered the master's property anyway.

Fast forward to our time and boys cross over into manhood when they lose their virginity and start having sex with girls. Therefore, the age when boys start having sex keeps dropping until now there are kids in middle school passing on sexually transmitted diseases to each other. They are influenced by images in entertainment and want to become "pimps" or "players" like the guys they see on television. The man with the most ladies is the most "manly" man because his manhood is measured by his sexual prowess.

Sadly, they are completely unaware of the roots of their actions in slavery. Maybe it's time for a history lesson. If it's true that having sex "at will" with women and siring children is a sign of manhood all these deadbeat dads and absentee fathers are real men. I doubt their children and single mothers would agree. It's only cool to be a "player" when you're young and fly. When you become an old player people start hating you.

Ask Donnell - What Is A Real Man According To The Bible?

Another area of Western cultural confusion concerning manhood is evident when boys are taught that their manhood is connected to their money. "That's right Johnny. You ain't no real man until you can bring home some real money. When a brother can get that "paper" he's the man. So go out there and get money." Guys then have no choice but to find innovative ways to earn cash and in turn earn the respect of their women and their peers. They feel insecure when their cash flow is not at the level it's supposed to be and it lowers their self esteem.

In the end, men with money get treated with more respect than men without money because their manhood is measured by their money. Western society continues to perpetuate this with the reverence and worship we give to celebrities and rich people in general. Regardless, if it's true that money makes a man, every male professional athlete and entertainer is a real man because they have lots of money. Every drug dealer, thief and Ponzi schemer is a real man. Also, if they mismanage their money and end up broke do they become boys again?

Last and definitely not least, our culture likes to portray a real man as a tough guy. We love those heroes on television who can beat up all the bad guys with their brute strength or supreme fighting skills. Ladies love the big strong guy with the big muscles because he makes them feel safe. The little boy who can fight gets respect from his friends. The teenager in the gang gets respect from his peers. The grown man with the gun gets respect from everyone. "If you mess with me, I'll shoot first and ask questions later. I'm a real man. Hear me roar. Roooooaaaaaar!"

Real men don't cry! They suck it up! They don't express any emotions except joy and anger. They just hold things in until they can't handle it any more then they get angry and hurt people. If that's the case, the jails are full of real men. There are tough guys all over the jails. Guys who beat each other up. Guys with big muscles. It's cool to be the tough guy with no regard for people's feelings until they get put in a cage with other guys just like them. Suddenly, it's not cool anymore. They just wish they could go home but that's no longer plausible.

Ask Donnell - What Is A Real Man According To The Bible?

What's a real man? Last Saturday, I attended a men's breakfast and this was the first question asked. As men stood up to express their opinions it was refreshing to hear the array of positive responses that were given. They included; "A real man is responsible. A real man provides for his family. A real man is a leader. A real man follows God. A real man is selfless. A real man is faithful." After listening to all of these great answers I was asked for my input. Instead of just adding a few more characteristics to the list I felt the Holy Spirit leading me to approach it from a big picture perspective. Today, I'll share my response with you.

My car came with an instruction manual. My phone came with an instruction manual. Everything in my house came with an instruction manual. Even my watch came with an instruction manual. Just like many other intelligently created things on the earth, men also came with an instruction manual. We don't need to create an original definition of a man when The One who created us was very intentional in voicing why He created us, who He created us to be and what He created us to do. He made clear His exact intentions when He created the first man on the earth. Therefore, if this is all we ever know about true manhood we're on the right track.

Genesis 1:26-28(KJV) - And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

God's original intention for mankind was laid out in Genesis 1:26-28. Therefore, if we're looking to define manhood we must start there.

1) A real man is a reflection of God. He looks and acts like his Creator.

Galatians 5:22-23(KJV) - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

When God first thought about making a man He thought of making a being that looked and acted like Him. Therefore, the first sign of a real man is the character of God. If you're a man, can someone look at your life and see elements of Godly character? Do you exhibit the fruit of The Spirit? That's the standard of Godly character. Any man without Godly character might be an adult male but he is not a real man.

A real man is a reflection of God and since The Word of God is God according to John 1:1 a real man is directed by God's Word. As Jesus said in Matthew 4:4; "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." Hence, real manhood is defined by The Word of God. A real man has love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance.

2) A real man has dominion in the natural and spiritual realms. He is a leader who walks in Godly authority.

Revelation 5:10(KJV) - And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

Kings have dominion in the natural realm. Priests have dominion in the spirit. A man who walks in dominion has a handle on his life and those who depend on him. He manages his surroundings well and navigates through each day with some level of competence. He doesn't have to know everything but he should at least know how to find solutions when needs arise. He's a problem solver.

God created man to have dominion over created things. That requirement has not changed. A real man lives with order in his life and knows how to restore order when things in his life seem to be getting out of hand. He doesn't let his environment control his life, he keeps his environment under control.

3) A real man walks in The Blessing of God.

Proverbs 10:22(AMP) - The blessing of the Lord—it makes [truly] rich, and He adds no sorrow with it [neither does toiling increase i].

Ephesians 1:3(KJV) - Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

When God created the first man He blessed him. Therefore, it should be easy to assume that The Blessing of God is required for man to walk in the fullness of his creation. Life is hard for a man who only operates in his own strength. He has to make things happen for himself and if he can't, nothing happens for him. Male adults trust themselves to make it through life but a real man trusts God. That's why God's blessing is on a real man who stays in Christ and receives all spiritual blessings. The Blessing makes things work out much easier.

Ask Donnell - What Is A Real Man According To The Bible?

4) A real man is fruitful.

John 15:1-8(NKJV) - “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

A fruitful man is one who has turned potential into accomplishments. Boys have potential but men have accomplishments. If you're a man, what do you have to show for your life? What have you done? God has given you gifts, talents and opportunities. Over the years people have invested in you starting with your parents. Where is the fruit to show for all of it?

A real man is more than a big talker. He doesn't just say he's going to do something. He gets it done. When God made the first man He told him to be fruitful. Seed is potential. Fruit are accomplishments. God provides the seed. You have to produce the fruit. A real man is fruitful and the only way to bear fruit is to stay closely connected to Jesus.

5) A real man is always advancing. He knows how to multiply what's in his hands.

Job 8:7(KJV) - Though thy beginning was small, yet thy latter end should greatly increase.

Luke 16:10(KJV) - He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.

Luke 19:17(KJV) - And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.

When God told the first man to multiply He was giving him an instruction. Hence, multiplication is not an option for a real man. Real men are supposed to multiply their resources. It doesn't matter where you start, God expects you to keep advancing. You must increase from where you are and go to another level. A real man is not satisfied with stagnation and refuses to remain stuck in his situation. He works with what he has to make his situation better.

6) A real man is a problem solver.

Isaiah 58:12(KJV) - And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.

When God told the man to replenish the earth, God basically instructed him to fix the problem of an empty earth. In the same way, when problems arise, real men spring into action. If we know what to do we do what we know. If we don't know what to do we seek help from someone who does. Regardless, when things are presented to us that need to be fixed we fix them. If we could fix the earth on God's behalf, we can fix the minor issues we face in our lives. A real man is a problem solver.

7) A real man knows how to subdue the enemy.

Colossians 1:16(KJV) - For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

Ephesians 6:12(KJV) - For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Luke 10:19(KJV) - Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

Ladies, the same way you won't marry a punk that runs into a corner every time he's challenged or faces obstacles you should never marry a spiritual punk. Your man could be 6 foot 5 inches tall and 250 pounds of solid muscle but if he cannot pray he is not a real man. He cannot defend himself against his real enemy nor can he defend your house.

He cannot protect your children from the devil. He cannot cover you when you are under attack. He is an adult male but he is not a real man. He is helpless against the only enemy that really matters. When God created the first man, God gave him dominion over creation then God told him to subdue the earth. Why? The enemy had already been loosed in the earth and God knew that at some point Adam would run into him. Therefore, God gave Adam instructions ahead of time to subdue the enemy if he ever ran into him.

In sum, by just looking at Genesis 1:26-28 we can grasp a good idea of God's intention for men. These instructions were the first ever given to the first man on the earth and they are as relevant today as they were then. These are very general principles from which more specific characteristics of real men can be based. They apply to all men; single, married, rich, poor, young or old. Once we understand these general principles we are ready to deal with more specific principles outlined in the scriptures that address specific groups of men.

Since Adam sinned and dropped below the standard of manhood that was set for him God had to send the perfect man to replace him. That man was Jesus and He walked the earth for approximately 33 years before He was crucified. If you're looking for an example of a perfect man, look at Jesus. He is the ideal man and set the standard for all of us to follow. A real man is just like Jesus. Let's continue tomorrow with more on the characteristics of Jesus, the best man to ever walk the earth.

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