A man needs responsibility and ambition. He needs a Savior to follow and a Lord to worship. He needs a wife to love, a family to care for and protect. He needs a job to be done and done well. He needs a part of the world to repair and to keep. He needs a student to teach, a friend to stand with, a team to lead, an army to fight alongside. He needs a part in history. He needs a path to follow that sustains his soul rather than draining it slowly. He needs understanding of God, of himself, and of the reason he was created.
“The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.”Ecclesiastes 12:13 (ESV)
A man needs to be the master of his own body, mind, and soul. He needs discipline of his spirit, that he follow Christ above all other pursuits and seek to know him more fully. He needs discipline of his thoughts, that they not lead him to worthlessness, greed, or evil. He needs discipline of his tongue, to reserve it for only that which is true and purposeful, never to use it as a weapon against the innocent. He needs discipline of his eyes, that they not lead him into envy, idolatry, or lust. He needs discipline of his hands, that he use his strength to build and to protect rather than to dominate those weaker than him.
“Urge the younger men to be self-controlled. Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity”Titus 2:6-7 (ESV)
A man needs liberation. He needs the freedom to worship God. He needs the freedom to love purely and to feel deeply. He needs the freedom to protect that which is precious to him. He needs freedom to say yes and freedom to say no. He needs freedom to uphold that which is good and destroy that which is evil. He needs freedom from tyranny and slavery; freedom from any fellow man who would keep his teeth in the mud. He needs freedom from dependence, from addiction, and from the sinful, lazy man inside himself.
“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”Galatians 5:13 (ESV)
A man needs honor and dignity. He needs the respect of his family, his friends, and his peers. He needs the respect of his leaders, that they trust him to do what is necessary. Most of all, he needs self-respect and integrity. Those who believe in him, trust him, and challenge him towards greatness will fuel his actions, inspire his work, and mature his self-reflection from hollow selfishness into the humility he needs to receive respect like a man rather than a boy.
“Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land.”Proverbs 31:23 (ESV)
A man needs to determine his own destiny and change the world for the better. He needs to see the lasting impact of his acts of healing in people and objects alike. He needs to improve his environment, to create something new and captivating, to mold one thing into another. He needs to fell a forest, conquer a mountain, claim a land, slay a beast. His will is upheld by his ability to ultimately overcome through blood, sweat, and tears unto glorious victory.
“He rose and struck down the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand clung to the sword. And the Lord brought about a great victory that day, and the men returned after him only to strip the slain.”2 Samuel 23:10 (ESV)
Let me know your thoughts about what it means to be a man in the comments below. Enter your email if you want to be notified when my next post goes live. Thanks for reading. Godspeed.