A friend of mine invited me to come to a men’s Christian experiential retreat back in February of 2011, I signed up for the next retreat they had scheduled and it was in April. The instructions were pretty specific, arrive between 5:45PM and 6:00PM and anyone that knows me, knows that if I am not 10 minutes early, I consider myself late. Well on this day I was not 10 minutes early…or on time…or even 10 minutes late.
No, on this day the person that was riding with me got to my house nearly 45 after he was supposed to arrive, there was a construction crew that I was not aware of, a 40° drop in temperature and extreme rain, an accident that closed down most of the expressway and by the time I arrived…I was nearly 2 hours late….
Oh and by the way, they don’t start the weekend until everyone has arrived…the only saving grace that day was there were 5 others that were dealing with most of the same issues I was and showed up at the same time.
One of the first questions I heard on the weekend was “what makes you a man” which I thought I had a pretty good answer for. However that question has continued to gnaw at me for the longest time, I have read books, done Bible studies, small group studies and listened to multiple sermons to try and understand, what really makes me a man? What does the world say makes me a man? What does God say makes me a man? And how did the perfect example of a man, Jesus Christ, show me how to be a Real Man?
Here is what I have come up with for my definition of a Real Man and what I grade myself against when I ask myself “how am I doing as a Man?”
A Real Man loves God with all of his heart, all of his mind and all of his strength, this means he spends time with God daily, in His Word and in prayer. He loves his wife as Christ loved the Church and he lives with her in an understanding way. He realizes that it is his God given responsibility to train his children in the instruction of the Lord, that his children will get their self-image from what they believe he thinks about them and that the words he speaks to his children will determine their future.
A Real Man rejects passivity, accepts responsibility, leads courageously, exemplifies integrity, is tender yet strong, shows love, provides for his family, speaks the truth in love, is an able listener, humble in nature, has reconciled with his past, is working on leaving a legacy and expects a greater reward!
A Real Man walks in the truth of the Gospel and lets the beauty and light of Jesus Christ shine through him. A Real Man understands that without Jesus, he is nothing, but with Jesus he is capable of anything.
A Real Man is a Man of his word and is also a Man of THE WORD!