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How To Be A Real Man

What does it mean to be a “real man” today? Although presidential politics may benefit from this discussion, it goes far beyond political party affiliation. According to current websites:

• Real Men Do Yoga
• Real Men Don’t Ask for Directions
• Real Men Cook
• Real Men Own Life Insurance
• Real Men Do Love Cats
• Real Men Wear Kilts
• Real Men Vote Republican
• Real Men Do Therapy
• Real Men Don’t Bond
• Real Men Don’t Get Nightmares
• Real Men Paint Their Nails

Paint their nails? I don’t think so. Actually, pop culture has created a certain image of real men today, and it doesn’t include kilts and cats. Real men are rugged and macho, hard and callused, strong, admired by women, sexually promiscuous, not bossed around by a woman, risky and dangerous, not ruled by emotions, good at sports, wild and free, winners. Never mind character, integrity, restraint or honor.

If you don’t think this description is true, just look how much we reward men who embody these characteristics. They can be lovable, so we love them. They can be funny, so we laugh at them. They can be smart, so we compliment them. They can be friendly, so we hang out with them. They can be exciting, so we follow them. They can be interesting, so we talk to them. They can be talented, so we admire them. They have lots of fun, so we enjoy them. Hey! With all these, great attributes---why change? To many, this seems like the life!

But, what do many wives say about these same men? “He never follows through on promises. He doesn’t want me to nag him, but it’s the only way I can get anything done. He will not talk about God or pray with us. He always says, “Whatever you want”, when I really want him to tell me what he wants. He doesn’t know what he wants. He just seems like another one of my kids. He wants me to take care of the money, but he complains when something goes wrong. He won’t discipline the kids. He leaves the kids totally up to me. He never makes any decisions except about his “stuff.” He doesn’t seem to care.”

Men who aren’t real men want people to accept their good points and overlook everything else. They use their charms to hide their character flaws. In most cases, these behaviors are not sub-conscious or psychological defense mechanisms. They are deliberate forms of manipulation. Men choose these actions for selfish gain. These things do not make a man a real man. They actually depict a pathetic and immature joke of a man.

There are two words that really sum up what it means to be a real man:

Taking responsibility.

Sounds simple enough. But this is what truly divides the men from the boys. Taking responsibility means that a man must hold himself accountable for what happens in his own life. Taking responsibility means a man must do what he is supposed to do. Too many men today fail in this definition. In fact, a counter-culture persona has emerged in which irresponsible men equate running from responsibility with being a real man. They yuk it up between themselves when they talk about all they’ve gotten away with in their games.

Why do men hate to take responsibility for their homes and families?

Fear of failure!

You see, men have a secret rule: Play only the games you know. If you don’t know the game, don’t play, because you’ll lose. Worse yet, you’ll look stupid. Losing is bad enough. You sure don’t want to look stupid doing it.

Therefore, here are the games that men play:
• Insulting the opponent.
• Acting mad.
• Refusing to accept blame.
• Fact-twisting or lying.
• Clamming up.
• Diverting attention.
• Jumping in the car and taking off.
• Arguing in a circle.
• Being totally unreasonable.
• Picking a fight on a winnable subject.

But, men use other reasons for resisting responsibility. Responsibility means accountability. Once he accepts responsibility, he must commit time, money, energy. Once he accepts responsibility, he puts his reputation on the line. Once he accepts responsibility, he opens himself up for criticism.

Here are the fundamental truths about men taking responsibility: I alone will be held accountable. I must not expect nor must I allow anyone else to do what I alone am supposed to do. I would rather fail in an honest attempt to take care of my responsibility, than fail to take responsibility. I am willing to be the most influential man in the life of my family.

Warren Wiersbe makes these truths clear in his study of the responsibilities of priests in the Old Testament. In Leviticus 8–10, we find a detailed outline for the eight-day ordination ceremony that Aaron and his sons had to follow. They had three solemn responsibilities: 1) submitting to God’s authority, 2) revealing God’s glory, and 3) accepting God’s discipline.

1. Submitting to God’s authority. (Lev. 8:1–36). God ruled by command. Everything the priests did was in obedience to definite commands: They called an assembly, Aaron and his sons washed themselves, Aaron clothed himself with priestly garments, Aaron was anointed, Aaron’s sons were clothed, they offered various sacrifices, and finally, the priests were anointed.

Real men accept the responsibility to obey God’s commands. This means obeying all the commands about being a father, a husband, a provider, a priest to his family, a disciple, and so on. If he cannot accept responsibility for God’s commands, how can he accept responsibility for his wife, his children or his church?

2. Revealing God’s glory. (Lev. 9:1–24). After obeying God’s commandments, Aaron and his sons were ready to begin serving the Lord at the altar. Up to this point, Moses had been offering the sacrifices; now Aaron and his sons would take up their priestly ministry. They consisted of the following:

Sacrificing on God’s altar. The priests offered a bull calf for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering; from then on, they would begin offering a burnt offering on the altar every morning and evening (v. 16; Ex. 29:38–42). It signified that each day had to begin and end with total consecration to the Lord.

Glorifying God. One of the main purposes of the tabernacle ministry was to glorify the God of Israel whose glory dwelt on the mercy seat in the holy of holies. The pagan nations around them had priests and sacrifices, but they didn’t have the glory of God.

Deal with their own sins first. After the sacrifices, Aaron and his sons and all of Israel were forgiven, dedicated wholly to the Lord and in fellowship with Him. This work was done in proper order. It reminds us that men must first deal with their own sins before they can dedicate themselves totally to the Lord. Only then can they enjoy fellowship with Him.

Sharing God’s blessing. One of the privileges of the high priest was that of blessing the people. On the first day of his ministry, Aaron gave two blessings. He gave the first one alone. He shared the second one with Moses after the ordination ceremony was finished. It was a deliberate act of selfless sharing.

Seeing God’s glory. The glory of the Lord had appeared when Moses finished erecting the tabernacle (Ex. 40:34–35), and it would appear again at the dedication of the temple (2 Chron. 7:1ff). Our gracious God shares His glory with sinful people!

Men must determine that God’s glory will abide in them. Every man must see himself as a lamp through which the glory of God will shine to his family and his world. He must think, “Let them see Jesus in me. Let them see love, grace, forgiveness, truth, honesty, respect and all other evidences of spirituality as they exist in me.”

3. Accepting God’s discipline. (Lev. 10:1–20). Nadab and Abihu sinned grossly against the laws of God. They wrongfully usurped authority which did not belong to them. They had the wrong fire. They had the wrong motive. They wielded the wrong influence. All of these wrongs led to Aaron’s sorrow. He had to learn that with the privileges of the priesthood come responsibilities and sacrifices. Unless punishment and discipline follow broken commandments, divine orders will be meaningless.

God’s discipline for Aaron was severe. Both of the sons were stricken by God and died. Aaron wasn’t even permitted to mourn their deaths. He remained in the tabernacle to complete the ceremony of ordination and his two nephews buried the bodies. Aaron learned that it wasn’t enough for the priests merely to teach the people the difference between the holy and the unholy. Priests were more than teachers. They had to practice holiness in their own lives. This is one of the burdens of the message of Ezekiel the prophet. (Ezek. 22:26; 42:20; 44:23; 48:14–15).

Real men learn how to live in the real world. That means living within the parameters in which actions count. When real men make mistakes, they accept the punishment and consequences that come to them. In this way, they teach justice, truth and peace to those they serve. This also becomes a de facto method to condemn lying, fraud, violence, disrespect, hatred and other sins or vices.

There are false ways of taking responsibility: Arrogance. “I am the head of the house!” Stupidity. “Shut up and listen to me!” Anger. “I’ll teach you to never do that again!” None of these work and they do not yield legitimate authority. All attempts to take responsibility will fail if a man is not under God’s authority. When a man’s family sees that he is doing God’s will, they are far more likely to accept his authority over them.

How, then, does a man take responsibility?

He shields his wife and children from the load and takes it himself.

He makes right decisions that deal with morality, character and spirituality.

He puts God first, regardless of the costs involved.

Don’t you think it’s time that we took back the definition of real men from the fashion designers, the Budweiser crowd, the sports junkies and the con artists? Real men find their definition in core character traits, not from muscle tone or party animal behavior.

Apostolic men must be real men who willingly accept their rightful responsibilities in life.

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Reader Comments (1)

Hi, great blog. Keep up the good work!

November 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAstrologyReadings

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