When boys today reach manhood tomorrow, what kind of men will they be? With so many boys growing up today without a father's presence, what ill effects will this have on their perception of manhood? Knowledge of what makes one a man and what doesn't make one a man is essential if one is to learn to respect himself as a man.
What makes one a man? A man possesses good moral character. King David told his son Solomon, "I go the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and shew thyself a man." (1 Kings 2:2) You show others that you're a man by your character, decisions and actions.
The following is a list of things which do not make one a man. They are big muscles, the fastest car, having a girlfriend, bullying others, toughness, good looks, and being a dare devil. A man who knows who he is doesn't have to prove it by these things. Next, consider some character traits a true man possesses.
He exhibits maturity. Children can be self-centered, selfish and self-absorbed. To get their own way, children will sometimes cry, pout and scream. Paul said, "... but when I became a man, I put away childish things." (1 Corinthians 13:11) Some males childishly demand their way. Some males exhibit selfish vanity and are in love with their looks, body and muscles. Paul said, "For bodily exercise profiteth little; but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come." (1 Timothy 4:8)
Honor is an important character trait of a man. He is not a liar, thief or cheat. He is truthful. He honors all women and would not act immorally toward any female. He views them as people who have feelings instead of inanimate objects to be used. He respects the honorable estate of marriage and would not lift a hand against his wife. (Hebrews 13:4; Ephesians 5:29) He doesn't covet a woman who is not his wife.
A man is also respectful of others. He practices self- sacrifice and puts the needs of others above his own. "... But in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves." (Philippians 2:3) He's thoughtful and does good to others. He gives honor to those who deserve honor. (Romans 13:7)
Another attribute of a man is that he is responsible. He takes responsibility for himself and his actions. He knows that as an adult he is responsible for providing for his own food, clothes and shelter. He takes ownership for his mistakes without blaming everyone else but himself. If he chooses to take on more responsibility by getting married or having children, he fulfills his obligations without whining. He won't gamble his money away at a casino because that would not be acting responsibly or morally.
A man is dependable. "Most men will proclaim everyone his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find." (Proverbs 20:6) The word faithful means reliable and dependable. He does what he promises to do. He is loyal to his wife and she can depend on him. He can hold a job. He's not lazy or afraid of work.
There is no contradiction with real manhood when I say that a man will also be godly. (1 Kings 2:2-3) Godliness is the moral strength that guarantees a man will be mature, honorable, respectful, responsible and dependable!