What Makes a Man a Man?

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What makes a man?

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Former NFL player, Joe Ehrmann, says, “Our culture tells us manhood starts in the ball field goes to the bedroom and ends with your billfold” (Season of Life).

  • In the Ball field – Think about it, when you’re a kid, you always wanted to be picked first. If you were picked last, you felt like a loser. Everyone looked up to the person picked first. You were considered the man if you were the best athlete.
  • In the Bedroom – As you get in your teenage years, your hormones are raging, and locker room talk goes from your performance on the ball field to your performance in the bedroom. You’re considered the man if you date the prettiest girl, and if you can go far with her.
  • In the Billfold – As you age, the more you have, the more successful you appear. If you have a nice home, car, designer-clothes, and a money-making business, you’re considered to have it all together.

What’s the reality? These three things don't bring lasting fulfillment; they only bring temporary satisfaction.

Think about it:

  • When it comes to the ball field, you may be the top pick one week, but there will be a day when you won’t be. I remember that day. It was tough and a hard reality check.
  • When it comes to the bedroom, although it may appear that you’re the man for the number of girls you get, you will end up broken-hearted and cause emotional (and even physical) damage to the women you were with.
  • When it comes to your billfold, you’ll never have enough money to make you happy. You’ll always want more (Ecclesiastes 5:10).

If we measure ourselves by these standards, we will always be asking ourselves, "Do I have what it takes?"

I believe at the heart of every man lies the struggle with inadequacy. The main question we ask is, "How did I do?"

So often after I preach, I ask my wife, “How did I do?” I’m looking for affirmation and for her to tell me, “Atta boy, Seth! You did great!” We men want to know our lives matter. We want to know we are making a difference. We want to hear people tell us, “You’re the man!”

It's okay to want to make a difference while we're here. The problem is we often seek affirmation from other people and not from God.

A true man asks himself, "What pleases God?" or "Am I loving and obeying God?" instead of "Do I have what it takes?" A real man knows He is loved by God and has a Biblical self-confidence about him (Deuteronomy 7:6; 14:2; Exodus 19:5; Isaiah 43:1; I Peter 2:9). He doesn't worry about what others think, only what God thinks (I Thessalonians 2:4; Galatians 1:10).

Men’s Fraternity is a ministry that helps men understand masculinity. In their recent study “33: A Man & His Design” they define a true man as one who:

  • Rejects Passivity – Instead of hiding behind people and watching from the stands, men refuse to be passive at work, in their marriages, and while raising children. Unfortunately, too many men are “Yes Men”, and they let others rule and run their lives. A true man is not passive.
  • Accepts Responsibility – In the movie “Failure to Launch” Matthew McConaughey is a 35 year old man who refuses to leave home. Although the movie has some funny scenes in it, it reveals that more men today are extending their adolescence. You become a man when you accept responsibility for your own life, and when you begin caring for others.
  • Leads Courageously – A real man speaks the truth when it’s uncomfortable, teaches the truth to his children and others, and lives out the truth to his wife, friends, and coworkers.
  • Invests Eternally – An authentic man invests in heavenly things and not earthly things (Colossians 3:2; Matthew 6:19-21). Our focus is more on what pleases God and not on what pleases ourselves or others.

The things of Jesus Christ are what makes a man a man.

"Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth." -- Colossians 3:2

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