Custom CSS of Section contains Conditional Preview for See Life Campaign Elements

What Scripture Taught Me About Manhood

Share:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email
toltek/istock/thinkstock

There are many culturally perpetuated stereotypes about men: They're tough, highly competitive and obsessed with sex and sports. But what does Scripture teach about true masculinity?

Jim Daly, the president and CEO of Focus on the Family, has written an excellent book titled Marriage Done Right. It contains many good messages, but one statement hit me particularly hard as I was reading: “Marriages often fail because of confusion about true manhood.”

According to popular wisdom, men fit into a specific and limited mold: Real men are tough, highly competitive and obsessed with sex and sports. They won’t admit when they’re wrong (or lost) and are relationally dim-witted buffoons.

While there might be some truth in those statements, they are ultimately just culturally perpetuated stereotypes about men. They don’t tell even half the story. So what does Scripture teach about true masculinity?

Scripture taught me to be a man

For me, Scripture paints a much brighter picture of manhood. This is best summed up in the apostle Paul’s exhortation found in 1 Corinthians 16:13-14, “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love” (NIV).

Let’s consider how this verse applies to a man’s role in marriage:

Be on your guard. The United States Oath of Allegiance is a promise that must be made by all immigrants who wish to become U.S. citizens. One of my favorite lines reads, “I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” Husbands could learn a lot from this.

My wife, Erin, needs to feel protected from outside attacks. That means “I’ve got her back” against anyone or anything threatening or hurting her. It would include bugs, rodents, intruders, angry family members or disrespectful teenagers —all threats, “both foreign and domestic.” It also means shielding her from spiritual attack whenever possible.

Stand firm in the faith. In a Christian marriage, a “real man” puts Christ first. A strong relationship with Christ is the foundation for a great marriage. Otherwise, marriage becomes an idol. This happens when we place unrealistic expectations on our wife — expecting her to be the source of fulfillment that will perfectly meet all of our needs. But Philippians 4:19 says, “My God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” (NIV).

The greatest commandment says that we are to wholeheartedly love God first (Mark 12:28-31). When God is our top relationship priority, He abundantly provides a supply of love. We are only able to love our wife because Christ first loved us.

Be courageous. Courage isn’t just searching the house for an intruder after your wife hears a noise at 2 a.m. More often, courage is displayed on a day-to-day basis when a man provides for his family. I have a good friend who recently confessed that he hates his job. But I’ve watched this man faithfully work to the best of his ability. He is living out Colossians 3:23, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters” (NIV). That’s courage. Another friend was laid off and instead of waiting for the “perfect” management job, he started working at a hardware store so that his family could eat and have a roof over their heads. That’s courage.

Courage also encompasses telling your wife about your failings and mistakes, and being willing to suspend harmony temporarily to initiate conversations about the hard subjects with your wife. Courage means not waiting for your wife to bring up an uncomfortable topic; instead, you lead by refusing to sweep problems under the rug.

Be strong. Your wife wants to experience your physical strength, conviction, stability, humble confidence and leadership. She wants a man she can depend on. This isn’t strength like that of a Navy SEAL or UFC fighter. Instead, the word gentleman comes to mind. Your wife wants strength without ever feeling endangered. She wants a man who is both strong and tender.

You show strength when you change a lightbulb hanging high up in the air, carry that heavy box, take the family to church after an exhausting week, stand up to a disrespectful family member.

Do everything in love. “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25, NIV). Sacrifice is the true evidence that we love our wife. Sacrifice is giving up something that we possess and that we value (time, money, comfort, sleep, expectations, desires, preferences, hobbies) for someone we consider more valuable. It’s one thing to serve our wife — to help out or assist — but serving her has deeper meaning when it costs us something.

Scripture has also taught me the importance of loving my wife through sacrifice. “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters” (1 John 3:16, NIV).

Jim Daly is right. Many marriages today are floundering because men are confused about their masculinity. Thankfully, we don’t have to take our cues in this arena from movies, TV shows or cultural trends. Scripture offers a wealth of guidance on how to live as a godly husband. Learning to do so will benefit our wives and our marriages.

Dr. Greg Smalley is vice president of Marriage and Family Formation at Focus on the Family and the author of several books, including Fight Your Way to a Better Marriage.

Dynamic CTA Template Below

Your Teen Needs You Most of All

No parent of teens is perfect and even the best can learn how to better connect with their son or daughter. Get practical action steps to better connect with your teenager in 8 Essential Tips for Parenting Your Teen in this FREE video series!

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.
Emerson-Eggerich4-840w

Understand How to Respect and Love your Son Well

Why doesn’t my son listen to me? Have you ever asked that question? The truth is, how you see your son and talk to him has a significant effect on how he thinks and acts. That’s why we want to help you. In fact, we’ve created a free five-part video series called “Recognizing Your Son’s Need for Respect” that will help you understand how showing respect, rather than shaming and badgering, will serve to motivate and guide your son.

Reconnected: The Digital Experience

Is the love there, but not the spark? Reawaken fun in your marriage and move from roommates to soulmates again with the help of this 7-part online video experience. Learn how to connect emotionally and spiritually as husband and wife using techniques such as dreaming together and establishing deep, heartfelt communication. The Digital Experience includes 7 teaching videos, an online study guide and access to additional tools and resources to help spouses reconnect.

Next Steps: Marriage Assessment

We want your marriage to be thriving and healthy. Take the free Marriage Assessment from Focus on the Family to learn how to strengthen your bond with your spouse and get the tools to help you need to grow closer together. 

Next Steps: Fruit of the Spirit Devotionals for Couples

The Fruit of the Spirit Devotional is a free series of nine short videos to get you into God’s Word and inspire you to seek the Holy Spirit’s help in loving your spouse.

Share:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

About the Author

You May Also Like

distraught-woman-praying
Abuse

What Is Spiritual Abuse in Marriage?

Darby Strickland, a counselor and teacher at the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation, defines spiritual abuse in marriage and offers advice for helping wives who are oppressed in this way.

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 5: It’s Going to be Amazing!

After a couple has chosen life, hear the heartwarming stories of children that culture would have cast aside, yet are making tremendous impacts in their communities. Whether the diagnosis was adverse or the circumstances were difficult, these stories will inspire you to come along side of families who have chosen life!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 4: Sometimes the Choice is Hard

Hear real life stories of parents who have made the decision to choose life even though the circumstances were overwhelming. You’ll see why “ALL” life is precious to God and why choosing life is always the right decision!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 6: Families Helping Families!

So, after all you’ve seen through the SeeLife ‘21 Episodic journey; what can you do now? We’ll share how you can partner with some amazing organizations that are making significant impacts in the pro-life movement! You want to Celebrate Life!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 3: The Power of a Picture

Have you ever wondered what a baby looked like in the womb? With today’s technology, Moms and Dads can see the baby’s heartbeat, facial expressions, and movements! You’ll find out why more women choose life once they hear their baby’s heartbeat and realize it’s a real living human!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 2: Heroes Providing Hope

Discover the amazing work our PRC’s Directors, Nurses, and Volunteers are making in their communities! You’ll see firsthand testimonies of a PRC in action, and that there are other options outside of abortions! You’ll also discover how your family can support your local PRC!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

In this episode, we will tackle tough questions like, “When does life begin?” and “What does the Bible
say about Life?” You’ll discover and understand the stages of pre-born life and that babies are more than
just a clump of cells!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!