The world offers conflicting views of what being a man is all about. Some say that being a man requires grit, square-jawed determination, a working knowledge of weaponry, and, preferably, rock-solid abs. Others say that manliness is about getting in touch with one’s feelings, caring for the less fortunate, and being sensitive. Still others would include leadership skills, a good work ethic, physical stature, riches, or sexual prowess. Can these things truly define masculinity, or is there another standard?
To know what a true man is, you need look no further than the life of Jesus Christ. As the Son of Man, Jesus is the epitome of manhood, the perfect example of what true maturity looks like. Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit and lived in complete dependence on and obedience to the will of God. Christ fully displayed the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). A true man of God will show evidence of these works of the Spirit as well.
A true man, like Jesus, is obedient to the Father’s will and is about His Father’s business (Hebrews 10:9). Like Christ, the godly man will shun sin and follow after righteousness. He will, in the power of the Spirit, seek to keep God’s law and live in God’s will. He will evince a determination to accomplish God’s will, whatever the cost (Isaiah 50:7). He will endure opposition and never lose heart (Hebrews 12:3). He will be a man of the Word, using Scripture to overcome temptation (Matthew 4:1-10). He will be a man of prayer (Mark 1:35). He will be a man of love and sacrifice (John 13:1).
“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love” (1 Corinthians 16:13-14). According to these verses, a true man is vigilant against danger, faithful to the truth, brave in the face of opposition, persistent through trials, and, above all, loving.
The Bible’s qualifications for elders and deacons also contain a good description of a godly man: “Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well. . . . He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap” (1Timothy 3:2-4, 7).
“Deacons, likewise, are to be men worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience” (1 Timothy 3:8-9).
A true man is someone who has “put away childish things” (1 Corinthians 13:11, NLT). A true man knows what is right and stands firm in the right. A true man is a godly man. He loves the Lord, he loves life, and he loves those whom the Lord has entrusted to his care.