I read this from a blog titled God Said it Best and I thought it was powerful enough to share. Word for word. Enjoy.
"I was listening to the radio as I was driving home from dance class on Tuesday. The DJ posed the question: "What should guys never do because it will detract from their manliness?" One woman called in and talked about how her husband decorated their home perfectly-much better than she ever could have. I wanted to cry right then. It was obvious that she had less respect for her husband, rather than more, because of his ability to decorate. I couldn't help but think that there is absolutely no reason someone should look at a male as any less of a man just because he can decorate, or can design clothes, or can cook, or enjoys watching Project Runway. Why do we have to stereotype "men's" and "women's" activities, and if you enjoy an activity in the other gender's "category" it detracts from who you are?
This whole thought process got me thinking about what it TRULY means to be a man or woman. Immediately, the passage of Titus 2 came to mind. In this post I'm going to talk about what it really means to be a man. In a following post I'm going to talk about what it really means to be a woman.
(Disclaimer: In this post, I'm going to use the term "man" to refer to a male who has achieved or is striving to achieve the spiritual characteristics discussed in this post. "Guy" refers to a male who is an adult but has not achieved these characteristics. "Boy", of course, is a male who is neither spiritually nor physically mature. )
Titus 2:2, 6-8Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance. Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us. So, according to these verses, what characteristics should a man possess?
1. Temperate A real man is able to control his emotions. He does not let anger, frustration, or any other emotion get the best of him. He controls his emotions, his emotions do not control him. Let it be noted that this does not by any stretch of the imagination mean a man should be emotion-LESS. It simply means that a man's emotions should not control how he acts.
2. Worthy of respect Simply put, a real man should show Christlike character. People should look at him as someone of good character and reputation.
3. Self-controlled This goes hand in hand with temperance. While temperance means that a man controls his emotions, self-control simply means that a man controls his actions.
4. Sound in faith A real man knows what he believes and does not compromise that. A real man has a firm foundation in God and His Word.
5. Sound in love A real man knows what love is, and how to show it to others. This is not the mushy-gushy feeling kind of love. This is Christlike love.
6. Sound in endurance A real man does not give up easily. His character is able to endure even when tested.
7. Seriousness This does not mean that a man cannot be funny. Rather, a man knows the proper time to be funny, but also knows when the time is not proper and is serious when he needs to be.
8. Soundness of speech A man guards his mouth. He uses his words to edify and exhort others, never to tear them down.
9. Set...an example I left this one until last because this is the one that I really want to expound upon. A man is a leader. This does not necessarily mean that he is in a position of leadership, but he always sets a good examples for those who watch him. Although not explicitly stated in Titus 2, a man also needs to be a leader with women. (Not necessarily all women in all circumstances, but as a general rule.)
I know some will disagree with me on this point, but in my study of Scripture I have come to the firm conclusion that God meant for men to be the leaders. Obviously there will be some areas when women are better suited to be leaders (a women's Bible study, for example). But as a general rule, God designed men to lead and women to follow.
This does not mean that men should "rule over" women. But men need to step up to the plate, to be the initiators and leaders, especially in relational and spiritual matters. This really is the best way, because it is the way God designed things to be.
As I have taken dance classes for the past few weeks, God has used them as an object lesson for me as to how He meant for men and women to relate to each other. See, in today's society and culture, guys do not know how to lead. In dance class, most of the guys don't know how to lead. Sometimes guys try to "rule over" women, and make things rough for them. If a guy is too rough with the girl in dance, he will hurt her. Other guys are timid and don't really want to lead. When this happens in dance, the results are disastrous. If the guy doesn't lead, the girl doesn't know what to do and the dance becomes a complete mess. Some guys try to lead but simply don't know how. Their lack of experience shows. Sometimes they give girls the wrong signals (and as the teacher says "Don't tell her something you don't mean!") Their shoulders are tense, and it is difficult to follow them even though they are really trying. The more they lead, the more they relax and the easier it is to follow.
Then you get the guys who have done it. They're no longer guys trying to be men. They've learned how to lead. They've become men. In dance, these guys make the best partners. In life, they make the best people.
And it's so refreshing when you finally come across a real man. Last Tuesday I danced with several guys in a row who either didn't lead, or were really tense. As much as I enjoy dancing, I wasn't able to enjoy it to the fullest extent possible with these guys as my partners. But after dancing with several inexperienced partners in a row, I got paired with Jordan, who has obviously danced a lot before. The difference was astounding. The first thing I noticed and mentioned when I placed my hand on his shoulder was "Your shoulders aren't tense!" And for the brief two minutes that I got to dance with him, I probably had more fun than in the rest of the class combined. He knew what he was doing, and he led me perfectly. He wasn't rough at all, in fact he was the most gentle of all the guys I danced with, but I always knew exactly what he wanted me to do. The fact that he led well made things so much easier for me. This is the way it is in life as well. When men lead, it makes things so much easier for women. Not easier because the women are getting out of leading-rather, it makes it easier because it frees up the women to do what they were meant to do (something I will be discussing in my next post).
The world, the church, and many wonderful Christian women are looking for men. Men who will step up and lead the church, men who will step up and lead their families, men who will step up and lead in their relationships. Have you ever ended up in a situation with a guy where you weren't sure where the relationship stood? A man steps up to the plate and guides the relationship. A guy will play around with girls' hearts. A real man realizes how precious a woman's heart really is, and will treat the heart, and consequently the woman, with care and respect.
Someone made a comment tonight about how God is sexist because He's male. While the comment was made in jest and not meant to be taken seriously, it made me wonder "What if God was female?" And I realized that the thought of God as a woman truly scared me. God made men to be the leaders and protectors of women because that's what God does for all of us! God leads us and protects us. Loves us and cares for us. That is what men need to do. Be leaders, especially in church and family. Always be ready to defend and protect the weaker (women, children, elderly, sick, etc.). Love and care for all. This is what a real man does.
God bless men."