4. A real man works hard, but never chases a paycheck.
Laziness is plaguing our country…no doubt. But the pursuit of a paycheck is also plaguing our country. A real man is not lazy. He works hard. But a real man also never allows the almighty dollar to be the purpose for his hard work. A real man works hard because he works for the Lord. The pursuit of a paycheck is turning men from husbands and fathers into distant figures whose lives have no greater purpose than to lust after a large number in a bank account. How ridiculous. A real man doesn’t get caught up in the lies of our culture.
This allows him to work hard while working. But this also allows him to rest hard, play hard, be present as a father and husband, and nurture his relationship with God. Make no mistake. Pursuing a paycheck at the expense of a family and God doesn’t create a real man…it creates a wasted life.
5. A real man never allows hobbies to be more important than marriage and family.
I love golf. I would play every day if I could. But I also have two kids and a wife. I have a full-time job. I go to school. I have a blog. There are 24 hours in a day. Something must go to the back burner. A real man understands that “something” is not his wife and kids, his job or his relationship with God. There are seasons of life where your golf game, fishing, hunting or fill in the blank are going to take a hit. Hobbies are just that…hobbies. They are extra. On the side. A real man never sacrifices quality time with family or God to nurture a hobby.
6. A real man values purity.
I just returned from a trip to Las Vegas. My first trip to Las Vegas. Wow. The insatiable drive for sex and money was indescribable. It was everywhere. Women wearing next to nothing begging for the attention of those around. Billboards. Shows. Sensuality and the objectification of women (and men) were impossible to ignore. We live in a sex-crazed world.
A real man doesn’t use this as a crutch to feed his sexual appetites. He values purity in his thoughts, conversations and relationships.
For much of my life, I struggled to keep my mind pure. I thought it was just natural. Lusting. Pornography. Those are just normal for guys. Boys will be boys, right? Wrong. Now that I am on the other side, I see that God’s intention for my life is not for my mind to be filled with lust. It’s not God’s intention for your life either. Lust is sin. A real man takes the steps necessary to keep his mind and actions pure. Purity is a virtue. It is something God values. A real man pursues it.
7. A real man is in control of himself.
If someone else can force you to react, you are not in control of yourself. Write that down. So, if another person’s actions force your hand…someone else is in control of you. That’s dangerous. A real man is not controlled by emotions. He is not controlled by others. Despite the lies of the world, this is true strength. Strength that comes from within. Strength that comes from God. Self-control breeds a life with less regret and more stability.
8. A real man finds his strength in the Lord.
A real man doesn’t look to the world for his identity, sense of worth and strength. He draws strength from the Lord. God is the only source of lasting strength, and a real man acknowledges this reality. He then uses this strength to lead his family, run his business and interact with his peers at school in a way that glorifies God. Go ahead and look to other sources for strength, identity and sense of worth. But don’t be surprised when you find the ride exhausting and the goal unattainable. Riding cultural waves is dangerous…especially when you don’t know when the next wave is coming. Real men don’t ride waves.
9. A real man celebrates the successes of others.
If you can’t celebrate the successes of the people around you something is wrong. It’s toxic. This dog-eats-dog cloud that hangs over our culture is a lie. A real man celebrates with his friends, wife and co-workers when something positive happens in their life. He is only able to do this because the successes of other people have no effect on who he is. A real man is confident in his own abilities and talents, so he is in a position to celebrate with others. A real man works hard, competes hard, but is able to shake the hand of the other team if he loses. He can tell his co-workers congratulations when they get a promotion…and mean it. He can celebrate with his spouse when she excels at her job. Who cares if she makes more money or has a more important title? A real man isn’t in competition with his friends and spouse.
There is more than one seat at the table of life. Pull up a chair and let others sit down.
10. A real man is just as honest when no one is around as he is when the world is watching.
Consistent. This word, maybe above any other, describes a real man. His relationship with God. His treatment of others. His actions and thoughts. Consistent.
A real man is honest and ethical. Doesn’t matter how big or small the decision might be. Doesn’t matter if no one is watching. Doesn’t matter if no one will ever know the outcome of his decision. A real man doesn’t cheat. He doesn’t cut corners. He doesn’t make unethical business decisions.
Here is why. A real man doesn’t live for others or for the cares of this world…he lives for God. You see, a man who operates one way when no one is around and another when the world is watching does so for one reason…he is more concerned with the world than God. He is too concerned with the approval of others. Too concerned with the cares of this world. Saving money. Preserving a reputation. Being accepted. These are reasons to be unethical and dishonest.
A real man doesn’t sacrifice honesty on the altar of acceptability and approval. Even if honesty and integrity cost him a job, money or a grade on a test. He won’t compromise. He is consistent. He is dedicated…to the Lord.
Let me know what you think. Join the discussion by commenting below on some qualities I have left out.
I love you all. To God be the glory forever. Amen!