Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Real manhood

this blog is devoted to biblical femininity.  most of my readers (i'm guessing) are women.  so why would i write a post about biblical manhood?  because far too many women don't understand biblical manhood.  biblical womanhood cannot be practiced well without the complementary role of biblical manhood.  furthermore, a misunderstanding of biblical manhood by women leads to unbiblical expectations in marriage and settling for dating and marrying weak men, as well as the desire to take over when men aren't leading in the home or church.

a basic place to start in understanding biblical manhood is with the acronym "R.E.A.L. manhood" and explain how jesus perfectly embodied these things and how men should (by God's grace) live these things out.

a real man...

rejects passivity.  jesus actively pursues his bride, the church.  he is not passive, waiting for others to act.  he initiates salvation, he actively paid the price through his death on the cross so that we can be saved.

passivity was the first sin that the first man committed.  adam sat idly by while he let his wife eat the forbidden fruit.  he did not protect her or try to stop her from sinning.

real men imitate jesus when they reject passivity.  they don't sit around and wait for their wife to discipline the kids, they take the initiative and do it without hesitation.  real men initiate the pursuit of women they are interested in, not waiting to be asked out by her (or even waiting for her to "give signals").

embraces integrity jesus was perfectly holy and committed no sin.  he always chose to do good.

real men choose holiness over sin.  real men never lie to their wives or girlfriends.  real men live a life worthy of being imitated by others.  real men work hard and never put halfway effort into something important.  real men are faithful to their wives.

accepts responsibility  jesus took responsibility for his bride, the church.  he did not cause her to sin, but took responsibility to pay for that sin and rescue her.  he also gladly takes on the burden of leading and empowering the church to do his will.

real men shoulder the burden they are given and don't try to heap those responsibilities onto others.  real men accept the responsibility to provide for their family, serve in the church and grow in their relationship with God. real men joyfully and humbly serve in even the smallest ways at church. real men do not let women take over roles in the church and family they weren't designed to take.  they work hard at this with joy and without complaining.

leads courageously jesus leads his bride the church without fear.  he forages ahead in the face of hardship.  he looked squarely ahead when he faced the cross and didn't look back.  he never lets his bride lead, but leads her perfectly, tenderly and courageously.

real men lead courageously in church and at home.  real men lead out in difficult family decisions, including the wife on the decision process but not leaving her to do it herself.  real men know that they were designed to fulfill leadership roles at church and gladly serve in this way.  real men lead the family in seeking God.

the men in your life will fail in some of these areas, because they are sinful, just as you women reading this will also fail at times in fulfilling your biblical role as a woman (and praise God that there is forgiveness in jesus when we repent of this sin and bring it to him).  my hope in writing this is that women will have a better understanding of biblical manhood so that they can pray for and encourage (and not nag) the men in their lives.  moreover, this is especially applicable to single women, so that you choose to marry a real man and not just someone who goes to church and maybe even reads the bible sometimes.


  1. Full disclosure: I am a man (hopefully a R.E.A.L. man).

    I know this post was just an overview of the topic, but how did you pick out these traits as the primary characteristics of manhood?

    1. full disclosure: i didn't come up with the acronym, so i can't speak to the author's original intent (i don't even know who the original author is, i have heard this acronym many times in various christian circles). :) but i can speak to why i like it.

      i think it does a good job of emphasizing the roles that men, whether married or not, are uniquely called by God to fulfill (ex. leading in the church for all men, but also leading at home for those who are married.) it also identifies the areas that men uniquely struggle with more than women. i don't know many women who struggle with passivity, but i know many men who do. an example of this is the proliferation of single moms and the paucity of single dads.

    2. also, its important to mention a few of the passages that i get this from, including genesis 2, ephesians 5 and 1 timothy 2-3

    3. Thanks a lot! R definitely seems more difficult for men, at least in my experience. E and A seem like good ideas for everybody to attempt.

  2. Hey there, it's your cousin Josh! Really well put. Too many men (and women) don't understand or don't care about how the Bible calls us to fill our roles in a house. It's effort on both sides for sure, and seems like many (even Christians) don't seem to think it's applicable anymore. Anyway, thanks for sharing this.

    Can you send me your email address? I don't think I have it.

    aj@twistedlexicon.com - Thanks!