Whenever I’m a guest on someone’s television or radio show, the No. 1 question I get asked is, “Joe, what is a real man?” And the short answer I give is Jesus of Nazareth. Not only was Jesus a “real man,” he was the “perfect man.”
So, who better to look to on who, what, and how to be a “real” man? I’ve learned from observing the life of Jesus, and other mature men, that there are 4 things “real men” do.
1. A real man leads his family spiritually.
Although Jesus was never married, he led his family, the disciples. And in his masculine approach to leadership, Jesus wasn’t passive about it. Jesus led with intentionality, always focusing on leading his “family” to a deeper and more committed relationship with God and others.
2. A real man serves and loves others sacrificially.
A real man accepts the responsibility that the greatest among us must also be the greatest servant. He doesn’t focus on himself, but rather he focuses on the needs of others. Jesus wasn’t just the greatest man who ever lived, he was also the greatest servant. A real man says, “I’ll go first.” I’ll love you first, I’ll sacrifice for you first, I’ll give to you first, I’ll forgive you first, and I’ll even die for you first.A real man accepts the responsibility that the greatest among us must also be the greatest servant.
That’s why we admire first responders, law enforcement officers, and our military service people so much (or at least we should)—because they serve and love others sacrificially.
3. A real man leaves an eternal legacy.
Because Jesus came, led, loved, and served, we are still reaping the rewards, and those rewards will be even greater in eternity. Jesus wasn’t a situational man; he was a generational man, and we should be generational men too.
Just look at Adam and Abraham from the Bible. What is each man remembered for? We never talk about Adam in a positive light, but I’m sure he couldn’t have been all bad. And likewise, we know that Abraham, as great as he was, wasn’t all good. But what do you remember most about each man? So the question is “What will others remember most about you?”
4. A real man teaches others how to do the same.
Jesus’ last words to his disciples (family) wasn’t “Go build more churches.” “Go get more people to repent.” “Go impress more people.” He said, “Go make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to obey everything I’ve commanded you. And surely, I am with you to the very end of this age.”
This is what real men do: they mentor other men. They teach them how to lead their families, love and serve others sacrificially, and leave an eternal legacy.
Sound off: What do you think makes a real man?
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What do you think makes a real man?”