Being a man in our society is much more than having big muscles or flannel shirts. The Bible teaches that men have strong responsibilities. The church, the family, and society need good examples of strong men. Dennis Rainey’s book, Stepping Up: A Call To Courageous Manhood (2011, Family Life Publishing) lists five qualities essential to biblical manhood.
- A man controls his passions and emotions. Single or married, a man maintains self-control. He keeps his eyes holy, Job 31:1 and controls his heart, head and conscience. He controls his temper and his words.
- A man provides for his family. 1 Timothy 5:8 says, “Anyone who does not provide for his own, especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” This applies to more than financial matters; it applies in matters of emotional and spiritual needs.
- A man protects his family. It is important for men to stand up for their wives and children against the dangers of the world. But being protector calls for more than ensuring physical safety. Proverbs 4:10-15 describes a father who protects his son by passing on wisdom, helping him build godly character, and teaching him to reject the temptations of the world. This father protects not just his son but also the generations to follow as the wisdom he shares gets passed on.
- A man serves his family. The Bible declares that the husband is the head of the wife. But Paul quickly puts to rest any notion of selfish male dominance. He reminds in Ephesians 5:25 that husbands must love their wives even as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. A man must put the needs of his wife and children before his own needs. He is called to demonstrate selfless, sacrificial love—the type of love we see in God toward his children.
- A man follows God’s design for true masculinity. Micah 6:8 says, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” The core of a man’s life should be his relationship with God. The man who walks humbly with God is motivated to step up and assume the difficult responsibilities that come his way.