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Six Characteristics of Manhood

Photo by Jack Sharp on Unsplash

Is it any wonder so many women are asking, “Where have all the good men gone?” A recent poll from the Pew Research Center indicates that 63% of the population in the USA consider themselves Christians, down considerably from 90% in 1990. Add to this the fact that far more women claim to be Christians than men, and the gap widens.

What is a good man?

A little research on the internet provides a great deal of information about how women define a good man. Words like faithfulness, dependability, trustworthiness, moral integrity, and kindness often surface. These qualities are common among Christian men. With fewer Christian men worldwide, it only makes sense that fewer possess these admirable qualities.

Being a Christian man today

Let’s examine six of the many good characteristics of a real Christian man.

Unless otherwise indicated, the following quotes come from Ed Cole (EC), the father of the men’s movement in America.

A real man seeks truth

The Bible contains many references that God and Christ are truth. Jesus states this directly in the following verse:

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 NIV

How can a man not seek truth? Those who do not seek it can succumb to the world’s ways, filled with lies, deceit, and dishonesty.

Those who regularly seek truth exhibit many qualities women desire in a good man, including those listed above and more.

“You seek the heights of manhood when you seek the depths of God.” EC

As you seek God’s truth, you grow as a man. When you regularly feed on His Word, you grow spiritually. To feed on anything else will starve your spirit. Starvation leads to atrophy, and atrophy leads to death.

Why starve when God has already provided all the spiritual nourishment you could ever desire by reading his Word, growing your prayer life, and becoming more like Christ?

“Men cannot make Scripture conform to their lifestyle; they must make their lifestyle conform to Scripture.” EC

A real man embraces manhood

“What God expects from men is manhood.” EC

Little defines a man better than the word manhood. The Oxford Languages Dictionary defines it as “the state or period of being a man rather than a child.” In other words, a real man is mature and accepts responsibility for all he says and does.

“Maturity comes not with age but with the acceptance of responsibility.” EC

There is no higher achievement for the Christian than becoming more like Christ. It is a process every person can strive for until they leave this earth.

“Manhood and Christlikeness are synonymous.” EC

Imagine the impact you will create by being Christlike! It will affect everyone you love and care for and all you come in contact with. No success in life can equal striving daily to become more like Christ.

The wonderful thing about being a follower of Christ is we will enjoy eternal life with Him in heaven! What can beat that?

A real man’s nature is different

A Christian man is not a man of this world. He is a man of Christ. His very nature is different from those in the world. His words, behaviors, and actions align with God’s Word.

“You can tell the nature of the man by the words he chooses.” EC

Who we are as a man shows up in what we say and do. When your words are measured and wise, your nature is measured and wise. When your words are vulgar, coarse, crass, and rude, your nature is likewise. When your words are joyful, gentle, kind, and loving, so is your nature.

Examine the words you speak to understand your nature. If your words do not align with God’s Word, ask Him to help you change.

“Men can change habits. Only God can change a [man’s] nature.” EC

A real man makes better choices

“Being a male is a matter of birth. Being a man is a matter of choice.” EC

Each of us must choose how to live our life. The angels in heaven rejoice when a male accepts Christ, choosing to become a man of God. If you have not yet decided to follow Christ, choose now and become a real man.

“God can do nothing for men who say they have no needs.” EC

A real man doesn’t judge others

“Men often judge others by their actions, and themselves by their intentions.” EC

One of the great sins of our age is the constant judging of others. How do we judge them? By using the ways of the world. Every time you compare someone to someone else or yourself, you judge. When you do not love your wife, you judge. When you do not treat others as Christ would, you judge. You judge when you don’t support the church with your attendance and finances. Judging others by their actions while ignoring your actions is sin.

Judging is so pervasive in life it often goes unnoticed. Is it any wonder Christ said:

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Matthew 7:1–2 NIV).

A real man is both tender and tough

“Balance is the key to life; therefore, men must learn to be both tender and tough.” EC

Being a man was never meant to be easy. Jesus shows us how to live our lives in the Bible. We must have a tender heart to love our neighbor while being tough in holding firm to God’s truth without compromise. By seeking God’s truth through His Word, you can become tender, tough, and a true man of God.

“When a man obeys God, it maximizes his manhood.” EC

Final thoughts

I leave you with a challenge to take some time to reflect on the following wisdom and answer the three questions below.

“Men are limited by the knowledge of their minds, the worth of their characters and the principles upon which they are building their lives.” EC
  • “How do Cole’s words speak to my life?”

  • “What kind of man do I want to be?”

  • “What will I do about it?”

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