Thursday, 20 September 2012
In today’s society, culture and media, the ideal man is supposedly one who is tall, dense, arrogant, sexually immoral, six-packed, muscular, rude, aggressive and at least potentially violent. More also, a guy with a big genitalia is mostly regarded as the “real man”. I know you weren’t expecting that!
Sadly, the media has painted the wrong picture on how the real man looks like and how he should treat a woman. What is the result of this? Today, many men treat women with great disdain, malice and take advantage of them all the way through. This is not so surprising since God warned Eve of the fate that await her and the whole woman ‘race’ due to the fall. (Genesis 3:16)
Even though most males are raised by single mothers; these ones grow up to abuse and take advantage of other women. This happens because most men do not regard and appreciate role the ‘woman’ in their mothers played in their lives. While not holding brief for men, it is germane to realize that all these problems are fuel by the conduct or attitude of most women.
For us to discover what manhood is or who a real a man is, we have to go back to God and for that matter Jesus. Jesus represents or portrayed what manhood or who a real man is. Adam was in no way a “real man”. He lost his manhood right there in the Garden of Eden. He stood right by the side of His wife and watched the devil deceive her. That is not real “manliness”.
It is necessary for us to define manliness base on the standards of God – the designer of the human being – and not on the misconception and falsehood of today’s culture and media.
God warned Samuel to “look not on his appearance or at the height of his stature, for I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7, The Amplified Bible). God wasn’t saying the outward appearance wasn’t important. What He was saying was that the inward appearance is far more important than the outward appearance. It’s obvious that to God a great physique does not define a real man.
A real man is a matter of the heart –attitude, mindset, motives and desire. True masculinity can give us a clue on how a man should and must treat a woman. Who is a ‘real man’ and what are some of his traits?
A Real Man Respects
Real men recognize their value and purpose in life. They know their place in this life and know what God expects of them. Real men know that what God expects of them is more important than what men expect of them or what men expect them to achieve or look like.
A real man also recognizes the value or worth of a woman (beautiful or ugly) in the human race. Real men accept that women are a blessing and amazing gifts from God. (Men also are.)
To respect something is to regard that thing (or person) with honour or esteem. In Jesus’ time, women and children were considered as minors and nobodies. Yet Jesus accorded to these ones who were relegated to the background the necessary attention and dignity (John 4:7-26 and Mark 10:13-16). Jesus set an example for all men to follow: In that we should not treat anyone with disdain, prejudice or contempt.
True love is based on fundamental respect. The way you treat a woman whether she is your mother, wife, friend or sister matters to God. God expects us to treat everyone with unselfish concern and deep respect for their wellbeing; always looking for the best for them.
A Real Man Guards
A man who respects others will go the extra mile to protect them. To guard is to shield, defend or cover something or someone from destruction or harmful exposure.
Do you remember the story of the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11)? The Jewish leaders and Pharisees wanted to take undue advantage of this woman but Jesus came to her rescue. Jesus sets an example for us to follow; he protected the woman even though it seems somehow she deserved that treatment. What are you doing to the woman in your life or world? Are you exposing her to danger, injury, destruction or harm because you think she deserves it?
There are so many men taking advantage of women today because they think these women are not smart and wise: Don’t add up to such folks! Love does not seek its own ways. Love always defends, protects, covers and shields from all forms of harm.
There is another situation in the Bible where Jesus demonstrated guardedness and the guardian he was. Before he died he was sure to commit the care and wellbeing of his mother, Mary, into the hands of another disciple at a time when Joseph was no more (supposedly). [John 19:25-27]
Consider the biblical story of Ruth, Naomi and Boaz (Ruth 2-3). Boaz was a wealthy man of high social standing and could have taken advantage of Ruth easily because she was in need and a foreigner too (Ruth 2:4-16).
Though a noble man, Boaz was kind. Being a man of godly character, he chose to protect Ruth when she was at risk. He watched over her as she worked hard to support Naomi. Boaz took upon himself to marry Ruth in order to provide and protect her and her mother in-law.
Life presents to us countless opportunity to serve others by protecting them or their interest. What do we do? Most of us fail them, especially the defenceless among us.
A Real Man takes Responsibility and the Right Initiative
Many make much noise about what their ‘rights’ are and who is trampling upon them. But no one makes a blatant cry of what their responsibilities are and who they are responsible to. Responsibilities are greater than rights. If everyone will be responsible no one’s rights will be trampled upon.
A real man does not take a woman’s most precious gift (her heart and body) without having committed through marriage to keep them forever. Indulging in physical intimacy with a woman before marriage is stealing. That’s not cool, is it? Stealing is taking that which is the property of another without right or permission. The property owner is God. Ah, you thought it was the woman, no! This kind of stealing is failure to protect the woman - God’s property – and also respect the woman and God.
A real man doesn’t and won’t use the excuse of being caught up in the passion (fire) of the moment and the irresistibility of the temptation. Such stories do not hold water before/with God. It has always been hard and even harder (nowadays) to be responsible in such matters. But you know what? – It is possible to resist. Although, our “sex hormones” can generate powerful emotions and desires, nobody ever died for not having sex – There is no such report.
“A prudent (real) man sees the evil and hides himself, but the simple pass on and are punished [with suffering]. [Proverbs 27:12, The Amplified Bible, emphasis mine]. In other words, a responsible or real man has the sapience to anticipate compromising and threatening situations; and he takes the appropriate initiative to avoid them.
Build Yourself on the Word
Being a real man, you now know is not a matter of muscular strength but rather character strength – fit muscles of the mind. “He who is slow to anger is better than the might, he who rules is his [own] spirit than he who takes a city”, says Proverbs 16:32 of The Amplified Bible.
It is obvious that emotional intelligence is better than physical strength and self-control better than military prowess. The Holy Scriptures of the Christians gives us countless precepts and time tested guidelines on how to build godly character as a real man should. It will only be expedient for you to dig in, in that Scripture to find out how you can be that ‘real man” for God full of integrity, wisdom and love. This is because this article is not exhaustive. It is just a scratched on the surface.
You can be a Real Man
The precepts elaborated and the others you will find during your search are precepts that cut across all kinds of relationships that any man may have with a woman. Whether as a father, uncle, boyfriend, brother, nephew, husband, friend, son or whatever it may be, these principles can help as a guide.
Hence, you should be able to deem these principles expedient at all times. Make it your life goal to be a “real man” always. Now, will you pull down your pants and show me your manhood?
Copyright © 2011. Jacob Nana Kwesi Dapaah.
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