As I grew up I learned that to be a man meant to take all of life’s hard knocks without looking for sympathy and certainly never cry.
Manhood seems to be associated with courage, strength and endurance, as womanhood is with things more tender and more sensitive. But what really is the main distinctive?
True manhood involves shouldering responsibility. Physical toughness is not the measure, nor whether he abstains from activities thought to be feminine. A man is truly a man when he squarely faces his responsibilities and makes a real effort to handle them.
The main areas of responsibility for men are home and work. Both are important, calling for a large commitment with some long-term effects, especially in marriage and the family.
Unfortunately, we all know that a tremendous number of men opt out. It is the story of the present day and in many ways the story of the ages. Too many men fail to be men. They run away from the job. A vast number of women and children are drifting, struggling, lonely and insecure, left by the very one who made them mothers and children.
A man and his wife
What are a man’s responsibilities toward his wife? The more obvious ones are to do with providing for her needs and protecting her from danger. But many overlook the need to keep love alive in the marriage and to assure her of it regularly. Some simply don’t spend enough time with their partner in work, play, and conversation. This use of time needs to be a priority, something planned for and held as being important.
A man and his child
Here are a few responsibilities of a father:
- To provide a balanced and secure environment in the home.
- To show love and understanding to his children.
- To provide consistent and just discipline.
- To support and endorse his wife in her responsibilities.
But men need help. They need wisdom, patience and strength on a daily basis. Best of all are the resources a man can find in God. This will mean acknowledging Jesus Christ as Lord in his life, then growing more like Christ who is the perfect example of true manhood. He then has the responsibility of leading his wife and children along a road that leads somewhere — to personal growth and spiritual wholeness.
Living in harmony with God and the task He has given us is wonderfully rewarding.