ENDANGERED SPECIES: Real Men
While contemplating “Father’s Day” this year, I’ve been reflecting on what constitutes a “real man”…and sadly they’re becoming rare qualities. Today the media norm seems to be examples of “testosterone-deprived-pansies”, “crude-sexist-thugs”, or “bumbling-idiotic-slobs”; all of which reflect the image of something less than what God intended. So this year, I want to issue a challenge for us Dad’s to consider five basic qualities. Yeah there are more, but for 2013, how about we start with these:
- Hard Work-In our role as family leader, it’s important to model an attitude of doing things “heartily, as to the Lord and not men.” (Col. 3:23). God designed us to work and have purpose (even before Adam sinned-Gen. 2:15). Our children need to know that we’re thankful for the chance to be productive. Naturally, there needs to be balance between work and family, but instilling a proper work ethic is part of our job (and hitting that “honey-do” list is good too).
- Keeping Promises-We should be men of our word. A man’s commitment to something should carry weight and the small things matter. Be careful about over-committing (that takes guts sometimes), but when you do, dig your teeth in like a hungry bulldog and don’t let go.
- Taking Responsibility-This one spills over into pride and can be tough. Words like “I’m sorry about…” or “I’m the one that…” taste terrible, but usually produce healthy results down the road. As the leader, it’s up to me to show a pattern of holding myself accountable for my own actions before I take someone else to task for theirs.
- Speaking Truth-Speaking the truth will often have a cost attached. It may be a monetary cost or personal, but in the end a real man should always speak truth. When compromise is calling, listen closely for the still small voice of truth and stand on it.
- Showing Love-As a Dad, I need to not only tell my family I love them, I need to demonstrate it too. There is nothing like a firm hug from Dad. As a grown man, I still appreciate a hug from mine and I hope my kids will always feel the same way too.
So what do you think? This year, let’s mark the day with a new commitment to be the men God has designed us to be. Yes, there will be days when we mess up, but if our trust is in Christ we have the truth of Phil. 4:13 to empower us:
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Let’s do this thing…let’s man-up and be the men our families need us to be and show the world what a real man looks like…