I suppose our society is struggling with the idea of manhood now more than ever. What is your definition of manliness? What is your description of a real man? Is it the idea of the Marlboro man of the cigarette commercials many years ago? Or is it the husband/father of today’s sitcoms in which men are portrayed to be so inept? In truth, we are in trouble if we rely on our world to define manhood for us.
I am passionate about this discussion. In part because I believe if our country is to be saved, the men must step forward and lead us back to GOD. The foundation of the home, grounded with a faith in GOD, is the cornerstone of this country. And for several generations the men have abdicated their position in the home.
Recently I have examined passages like Job 38:2 and Job 40:7 wherein GOD said to the patriarch Job, “Prepare yourself like a man.” Paul said to the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 16:13 (ESV) “…act like men…” This caused me to wonder. What does GOD expect a man in today’s world to look like? What does it mean to the Father to act like men or to prepare oneself like a man? It is past time for us to examine what our Creator expects of us as men.
The corollary to our discussion, the worthy woman, has been studied many times. Indeed, Proverbs 31 is a wonderful study answering the question, “who can find a virtuos wife?”
There is an equally compelling discussion in the book of Proverbs directed at the man. I am surprised that more attention is not given to the question found in Proverbs 20. Here by Inspiration, the question is asked, “Who can find a faithful man?” In the surrounding verses of Proverbs 20 we find at least 10 traits of the faithful man.
It is noteworthy that the English word “man” is found more times in the book of Proverbs than any other book. In the NKJ version it is found 146 times. Looking at Proverbs 20 and all the verses containing the word “man” makes for a great study. Let us observe some characteristics of the faithful man.
- A faithful man can manage his emotions.
Verse 3 It is honorable for a man to stop striving, since any fool can start a quarrel.
- A faithful man will work!
Verse 4 The lazy man will not plow.
- A faithful man acquires wisdom.
Verse 5 Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water.
- A faithful man has humility.
Verse 6 Most men will proclaim each his own goodness.
- A faithful man has integrity.
Verse 7 The righteous man walks in his integrity.
- The faithful man leaves a good name.
Verse 7 His children are blessed after him.
- A faithful man is a student.
Verse 15 But the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.
- A faithful man is careful with his speech.
Verses 19 and 20 …talebearer…flatters with his lips…curses father or mother…
Verses 14 and 25 further describes the man who is not careful with his speech. And verse 25 ends with the idea of needing to reconsider afterward. How many times have I said something that I later regretted!
- A faithful man is loving and compassionate.
Verse 28 Steadfast love and faithfulness preserve the king (ESV)
- A faithful man follows the LORD.
Verse 24 A man’s steps are of the LORD.
As I consider what it means to be a man, I realize the Scriptures have much to say about the subject. I wish to be like the Apostle Paul when he said “when I became a man, I put away childish things.” Let us strive to be the men GOD wants us to be. Yea, men who will lead our families and communities to a closer relationship with Him.