How to be a Man

Learning how to be a man and learning how to be masculine are two different things. Being masculine may attract a girlfriend but being a man will make you a successful husband, father and person. Sadly, many boys never learned how to be a man.

In the movie Courageous, the men were asked a probing question. “When was the first time you thought of yourself as a man?"

In our Western culture there aren’t clear markers on the journey to manhood. It takes more than pubic hair, a deeper voice, or losing one’s virginity to cross the bridge from being a boy to being a man.

A boy trapped in a man’s body is not a man at all. Some drift along, extending their adolescence into their 40’s. In many primitive tribes, however, rites of passage were celebrated as one of their community’s most important rituals, albeit they involved extreme pain, torture and humiliation to prove one’s courage and endurance.

Learning how to be a man, in God’s eyes, does not involve drinking strange concoctions, shaving your head or getting circumcised. 1 Corinthians 13:11 says, “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child. But when I became a man. I put away childish things.”

Although this is true for both genders, clearly, God’s description of manhood includes the way one talks, understands and thinks. It is marked by maturity and responsible living. Does that mean you can’t play video games and pull pranks on people? Not necessarily.

The concept of maturity is very subjective. You may think you are very mature and ready for a relationship but if you asked your parents, would they agree? What if you asked your best friend or one of your teachers? Being a man and not a boy is an essential prerequisite to beginning a courtship.

So let’s break it down and identify some of the main differences between a child and an adult so that you can know if you are a man and how to become one if you aren’t already.

  1. Men are stable in their faith

    Ephesians 4:14 says, “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive”

    According to this verse, a child is someone who believes anything. They are gullible and   undiscriminating. They are easily influenced and deceived.  A man, therefore, is one who has developed spiritual discernment. His faith acts as an anchor in his life.

    This quality is essential in leading your future family in spiritual matters. Spiritual leadership will be your primary responsibility in marriage. You have a lifesaving influence because of your role as a man.

    Consider the following statistics.

    Did you know that if a child is the first person to become a Christian in the family, there is only a 3% chance of the rest of the family becoming converted through their influence?

    If the mother is the first, there is a 17% chance.

    If the father is the first to become a Christian, there is a 93% chance of the rest of the family following his example.*

  2. Men have wisdom through experience

    Another difference between a man and a boy is their level of experience. If you want to learn how to be a man, you must master the basics. Promotion in anything requires competency at each level.

    Hebrews 5:11-14 says, “We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!  Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.” (NIV)

    The author of this text is making a parallel between spiritual food and physical food. His audience should be at the point where they can understand deeper spiritual truths, but instead they still need very basic instruction just like a baby needs milk and cannot digest solid food. The only way they can graduate from milk to meet is by constant use.

    If you want the privileges of manhood, you must first be competent and successful implementing what you already know. Many young people have gone to church all of their lives and know all the right answers to give, but they have a huge gulf between their brain and their heart. But this principle goes for more than just advancing in spiritual truth.

    Your education should be more than just book work. You may have gotten good grades in math class, but can you use your math skills to build kitchen cabinets? You may have gotten good grades in economics or accounting but how are your own finances? You may have taken a psychology class, but are you skilled in getting along with others and do you really understand yourself?

    If you want to know how to be a man, take advantage of the opportunities around you and put into action your faith, your knowledge and your skills. Don't lean on someone else to feed you whether that be spiritually, financially, or emotionally.

  3. Men are strong

    Of all the things a father can say to his son on his death bed, look at what King David told his son Solomon.

    Now the days of David drew nigh that he should die; and he charged Solomon his son, saying, I go the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and shew thyself a man” (1 Kings 2:2)

    Here we see a connection between strength and manhood. "Many people mistake strong, uncontrolled passion for strength of character, but the truth is that he who is mastered by his passions is a weak man" (Child Guidance, 161)

    "Strength of character consists of two things--power of will and power of self-control" (ibid). If you want to learn how to be a man, develop these two things.

    Indeed, “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.” Proverbs 16:32

    The very first piece of instruction King Lemuel’s mother gave to him was, “Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings.” Proverbs 31:3

    It is evident that self control determines the strength of a man.

    “The real greatness and nobility of the man is measured by his powers to subdue his feelings, not by the power of his feelings to subdue him. The strongest man is he who, while sensitive to abuse, will yet restrain passion and forgive his enemies.”  (Child Guidance, 161) 

    Anger and lust tend to be common problem areas for men. In your quest for knowing how to be a man, take an inventory of those two aspects of your life and seek to develop self control in those areas.  I strongly recommend doing this before entering into a courtship.

Return to How to be a Man See also Addicted to Masturbation

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