Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.
~1 Corinthians 16:13
A while back a good and godly friend—man’s man—posted a video on Facebook called, “The three most damaging words you can tell your son”. Once I learned those three horribly damaging words were, be a man I responded that I was shocked he would post such a toxic video. After a quite heated online discussion between he, his sons, and myself, his wife and a wonderful Christian woman who raised three sons entered the conversation.
I laughed out loud at her response, “Okay guys, calm down, I’m the one who posted that video on my husband’s account!”
Soon after, I spoke to another man who was confused by this culture’s message for males too, “Man Up!” After considerable thought on these two stories, I had an epiphany.
It’s confusing when the males telling younger guys to “Man up!” aren’t men at all, but adult children in fully developed bodies. Those three words were “Be a man!” damage younger males when the message they receive comes through a father figure who’s lives less than a man.
A man is as a man does. He doesn’t have to order others to “Man up!” or “Be a man!” He simply lives a manly life. Manhood is about—being a real man— "protecting integrity, fighting apathy, pursuing God passionately, leading courageously, and finishing strong.”
A real man calls others into manhood because he is one. He’s a man.
To be called a man is a great compliment, possibly the greatest compliment a man can give to another.
“Son, that guy—right there—is a man. Listen to him!”
Be cautious about referring to males as men. They aren’t the same. I can act like a man today and backslide into maleness tomorrow when my choices reflect a child more than the man God ordained me to be. Younger men are confused enough without impish—impotent males—pulling them into culture’s sorry excuse for a man by a lifestyle that doesn’t match their macho man words.
Younger males navigating the murky waters of manhood need real men who know the way, go the way, and show the way to guide them. Only men can impart manhood. Only a man can call a male into the awesome responsibility and elite group to be proudly called “a man”.
Stop talking like a man, and start acting like one.