Apologeet.nlWhat is a Man?
My daughter came up with a new documentary by Matt Walsh named: What is a woman? Living on Madagascar has its benefits when it comes to these issues. Here, a woman is a woman and a man is a man… Not many Malagasy understand the question anyway. Yes, there are man who are more feminine and there are woman who seem to be a bit more masculine. In the old times we called a girl like that a tomboy.
Here comes a little spoiler. Matt didn’t get any good answer on his question, what is a woman. Until, Jordan Peterson told Matt to go home and ask his own wife. The simple and clear answer of his wife.. A woman is an adult female… [handing him a jar of marmalade] who needs help with this jar.
Okay, that is clear! A woman is an adult female. This is why we, men, need a good wife who are able to clarify stuff for us. But hold on! I said ‘men,’ but what exactly is a man? I could finish this video with the short answer: A man is an adult male.
Not everybody would agree on this.
Video: TikTok, What is a Mani
But to say that not all man are born with XY chromosomes is, in my humble opinion, just a little weird. Anyway, this person wants to see a change in the dictionaries. So, how would this person describe it than?
Video: TikTok, What is a Man
Okay, that leaves use with nothing. People shout and scream about gender, but they just have no clue what it should be. This is what Matt Walsh also found out while asking people whether they could tell him what a woman is. So, for now let’s stick to the first definition of man: A man is an adult male. But there is so much more to say about being a man. I would like to explore this question just a little deeper. What does a man do? How should a man talk, walk, and how should he relate to others?
Before we talk about being a man we need to tackle that big fat elephant in the room. You have probably heard this expression, toxic masculinity. As soon as you start to talk about this topic, people will throw this term in front of your feet. There are many definitions of ‘toxic masculinity’ that appear in research as well as pop culture. Some researchers have come to agree that toxic masculinity has three core components:
Toughness: This is the notion that men should be physically strong, emotionally callous, and behaviourally aggressive. You know, the kind of man that thinks he needs to be standing when going to the toilet. Their girl will clean that toilet! Then, when they are done splattering the whole toilet sit sit down, take a beer and tell their woman to make the a meal… Hurry up woman!
Antifeminity: This involves the idea that men should reject anything that is considered to be feminine, such as showing emotion or accepting help.
Power: This is the assumption that men must work toward obtaining power and status (social and financial) so they can gain the respect of others.ii
These characteristics will directly bring me in trouble. I have broken all three of them. I have been a stay at home dad for seven years. I worked in a bakery and did enjoy that job. However, when my wife became pregnant of our first child I told her that I would pity it to have to go to bed in the afternoons and thus not being able to see much of our child. My wife on the other hand had a very good job, which she enjoyed very much. She was independent and made much more money than I did. We both agreed that we wanted to raise our children ourself and in the end we decided that it would be okay for me to quit my job all together. I took care of everything in and around the house. Later, I brought the children to school and I was the only father who braided his girl’s hair.
The whole period didn’t really give me much respect. Other men were asking about my job. “What job do you do?” “I take care of the children and the household.” “No, what job do you do outside the house?” In the end, I answered that question that I mowed the grass and trimmed the hedge. Nope, I guess I wasn’t your typical stereotype manly man.
Now, I know that many Christians disagree with man staying home. And true enough, the Bible doesn’t seem to promote it either. But it doesn’t condemn it either. It is one of those things you can debate about without losing you salvation.
I just do not feel that I have to promote my power all the time. If some other guy says he is stronger, better, tougher or better looking than I am, I’m fine with that. I really don’t mind!
Also, I have not much trouble being emotional. For example, having the brother of my Malagasy friend dying in my car—when we were on our way to bring him home to his mother in order for him to die in the arms of his mother—yes, that made me cry. It made me feel very sad, and when we arrived at the mother’s place we have held each other and we cried again.
Does this mean I am not a man? For some it does but I believe being a man is something much more than these superficial attributes.
I found a video from mister Todd Friel. He has a YouTube channel called Wretched. About being a man he said:
We Need More MEN Like This Sheriff | WRETCHED RADIO [06:30 – 07:23]iii
We are living in an era where men are encouraged to not be men because they don’t understand what it actually means to be male. How do we know what that looks like? Just turn to your New Testament, and study Jesus Christ. He was the warrior poet. He was the gentle warrior. He was the One who put little children on his knee tenderly but also confronted the religious leaders and turned over tables. We need to study Jesus more and become more manly like Him. We used to be called gentlemen. You need to be gentle but you also need to be manly. And if we want our women and children safe, we need more people to look like Jesus Christ.
I encourage you to watch the whole video. I’ll place a link in the description below.
How about that, we use to be called gentlemen. Like Jesus. He was gentle and kind, but He also stood His ground. Mister Friel was absolutely right. We need to look at the life of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the epitome, the standard of manhood. Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit and lived in obedience to the will of God. Jesus showed us how a man looks like when he is full of the fruit of the Spirit.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Some men are more gentle than others. Some are more bold than others. Not one man is the same. And that is a good thing too!
Still, all men should try to find their way in their manhood. That is not always easy but the word of God gives us enough information. How about 1 Corinthians 16:13-14
Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men [be men of courage], be strong. Let all your things be done with charity [do what you do with love].
First and foremost, a man needs to be godly! But what is godly? The Bible’s qualifications for elders and deacons gives a good description.
1 Timothy 3:2-4, 7
A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober [self-controlled], of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach [able to teach]; not given to wine, no striker [not violent but gentle], not greedy of filthy lucre [not money-hungry]; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; one that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
Strong, Loving Father and Husband
Paul said this in 1 Corinthians 13:11
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.
Does that mean you can’t do crazy stuff? You can’t play childish games with your kids? No, that is not what Paul says. He says that a man needs to know that he needs to be a responsible human being. It is not okay when his wife has an extra child to raise. A man’s wife needs a husband and father. A husband, who is there for her when she needs him. A father, who will teach his children how to become strong, wise, stable and responsible people.
1 Peter 3:7
Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
In other words, if you behave like an irresponsible childish man, if you’re not honouring his wife, your prayers will suffer the consequences. God is serious here! You can not expect your wife to be like you. She is not and you are not like her! But your are equal in the eyes of God.
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
What did Jesus do for us? Right, He gave His live! A man needs to be ready to give himself for others. I have seen men who were willing to do that. They were not always the typical manly men, but nevertheless they were willing to lay down their lives for others. Some would say that they are not brave enough. But, honestly? I looked at men who weren’t even Christian when the acted totally altruistic. They didn’t have the Holy Spirit to give them courage. They weren’t even sure what would happen if they died… Shouldn’t we, as Christians who are filled with God’s Spirit be just as brave, if not even braver than they were and are?
2 Timothy 1:7
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
A Man or a Boy, Married or Unmarried
There is no ritual of initiation or certain incidents that a boy must pass through before he can become a man. There are many young boys and teens who more manly than adult men. How come, you ask? This is because they stand for righteousness, they act in strength, and they obey God’s Word. They treat girls and women with respect and honour, they listen to and have respect for their parents, and they are not afraid to share the gospel. These things, among many other, require strength.
Obviously a teenager will not have the physical strength yet but that is not the criteria for true manhood. A boy can be a man on the inside because he has the utmost respect for the Lord and he obeys His word. In that sense you can conclude that there are men who live as boys, and there are boys who live as men. The issue isn’t so much age as it is heart.
Also, a man is a man because God has made him male and not female. And a man is all that a man should be if He fears God. A God fearing unmarried man is certainly no less of a man than a God fearing married man. It is not marriage what makes a real and we can certainly not say that a immoral married man is more man than a single God fearing man.
The World Cannot Define What a Man is
It doesn’t matter what others around you say what a man should be, or whether they think you are a man or not. In the end, manhood is defined by God. It is God who makes a man to be man, and a real man will honour God and His Word.
A real man is a man who finds his strength in Christ, who has a honest character. A man is brave and wants to do that what is right and wants to stand for truth, even if the going gets tough.
Besides my motto ‘The world can use some apologists,’ I would like to add ‘The world needs men to be men.’ Men need to show themselves to be men, not according to the standards of the world, but according to God’s standards.
What’s There More to Say?
I thinks there is much more to say about that what defines a man. I would like to read your thoughts about this topic. Let me know in the comments of the video below. Remember! I am mostly active on my Odysee channel. You’ll find a link to that channel in the description of this video.
I very much appreciate your prayers and support! Please take a look in the description of this video to find out how you can help me. Also, I’ll place a link there to both the Dutch and English transcripts of this video.
God bless you, thank you for watching and we see each other in the next video!
i Tblizzy, Tyra Blizzard, What is a man? What is a woman?, [internet] https://www.tiktok.com/@tblizzy/video/7054016188250066182, accessed 10-06-2022.
ii E.H. Thompson and J.H. Pleck, The structure of male role norms. American Behavioral Scientist. May 1, 1986, vol. 29: 531-543. [internet] https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/000276486029005003, accessed 08-06-2022.
iii Wretched, Tod Friel, We Need More MEN Like This Sheriff | WRETCHED RADIO, 3 June 2022. [internet] https://youtu.be/IxY_1SkfUzg, accessed 09-08-2022.