What does it mean to be a Man?
What does it mean to be a man? The answers are as varied as the people who give them. Some would point to genetics, anatomy, or character. Others measure men by their accomplishments, by the battles they fight or trials they overcome.
The first man (Adam) was created in God’s image (Gen. 1:26-27). He was assigned specific responsibilities as a steward of God’s creation (Gen. 2:15-18). He was created to be in a relationship with the Lord, to think and act in conformity to His character. He was also created to be in a relationship with a woman (Gen. 2:21-25), who was equally made in God’s image (Gen. 1:27). Since the historical fall (Gen. 3:1-7), manhood has been diminished and perverted, as men often seek to define themselves independently of God and contrary to His original design. The world has many worthless men (Deut. 13:13; Prov. 6:12-14; 16:27-28), and some have perverted their relationship with women (Lev. 18:22; 20:13; Rom. 1:24-32; 1 Cor. 6:9-10).
A man, in the biblical sense, is a man who models his life after Christ. He is a Christian in the fullest sense of the word. He is, first and foremost, in a relationship with the Man, the Lord Jesus Christ and has been born again into a new life (1 Pet. 1:3). As he grows spiritually, the Christian man learns to put on “a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Col. 3:12). He rejects “ungodliness and worldly desires” and lives “sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age” (Tit 2:12). He continually studies Scripture in order to live God’s will (2 Tim. 2:15; 1 Pet. 2:2; 2 Pet. 3:18), and strives toward spiritual maturity (2 Tim. 3:16-17; Eph. 4:11-16). He regards others as more important than himself and looks out for the interests of others (Phil. 2:3-4). He is filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18) and walks in the Spirit (Gal. 5:16). He lives in fellowship with God (1 John 1:5-7), trusting the Lord to guide and sustain him in all things (Prov. 3:5-6). He admits his faults to God (1 John 1:9) and accepts the consequences of his actions. His life is constantly being transformed to become like the One who saved him (Rom. 8:29; 12:1-2). He delights himself in the ways of the Lord (Ps. 1:1-3), walks humbly (Mic. 6:8), and pursues righteousness, justice and love (Ps. 132:9; Tit. 2:11-12). He does not love the world (1 John 2:15-17), but shows grace and love to those who walk in it (Matt. 5:43-45; Rom. 12:19-21). He shows love to other Christians (1 Thess. 4:9; 1 John 3:23), and helps the needy, the widow and orphan (Prov. 14:31; Jam. 1:27). As a son, he honors his father and mother (Eph. 6:1-3), as a husband, he loves his wife as Christ loves the church (Eph. 5:25; Col. 3:19; 1 Pet. 3:7), and as a father, he teaches his children the ways of the Lord (Eph. 6:4; cf. Deut. 6:5-7). These are just some of the characteristics of the mature Christian man.