Act Like Men

20 Jun

manly-manBe watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.

1 Corinthians 16:13




What does it mean to act like men? How does a man act? Especially in today’s culture that wants to equalize the genders – making women tough and men soft. Today’s men are more sensitive, kind, and nurturing.

The days of men smoking cigars in the waiting room while their wives gave birth with a doctor and nurses is a “manly” tradition that gladly went by the wayside. For too many generations manliness was equal to machismo, and men were expected to be harsh, aloof, and uncomfortable with feelings.

I don’t think Paul was thinking along these lines when he instructed the mean of Corinth to act like men. After all, he had just finished telling them to show extreme charitable love. No, I think Paul was talking about

Courage…resolve…sincerity…integrity…drive…protectiveness…paternal nurture.

Masculine traits often miss the gentler side of manhood. Being a man is not about chauvinism and emotional distance. Paul wrote the “love chapter” to men as well as women. Love is not a feminine quality, but a human quality. Specifically, it’s the hallmark of Christians who want to reflect the nature of Jesus.

Patience, kindness, humility, forgiveness, and charity are manly attitudes. And men are to be leaders in these behaviors. We are to show the way and not shrink back. We are not to respond in anger when wronged, but refuse to be provoked to exasperation.

Men figure things out. They build and fix; they work hard and see things through. A man seeks the truth and makes a way for others to enter in. Men are standard bearers of hope, guiding the way without fear or discouragement. As our culture becomes more chaotic and complex, where sides are taken and hatred is seen as a fitting response to differences of opinion, men must act like men and display their strength in love and charity.


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