the words of tim walker husband • dad • writer • superhero geek

what it means to be a man

what does it mean to be a man? to be honest with you, i don’t fully know that answer. i’m still figuring it out.

just when i think i know what a man is, i understand that there is more to it than that. now obviously there are the anatomical differences between a man and a woman. got that. but being a man is so much more complex than what our world makes it out to be, or even what we perceive it to be.

over the years, i’ve thought being a man meant a lot of different things. i thought it meant:

• someone who could grow a moustache or a man was someone who shaved every day
• someone who had big muscles and killer abs
• someone who could get the girl
• someone who could get the great job and make lots of money
• someone who had the nice car and the nice house
• someone who had great power or was in leadership

but consistently, over time, i kept seeing how narrow, even wrong, these definitions were.

moustaches are okay, but they’re kind of annoying to me. and shaving is kind of a pain some days.
muscles don’t come easy, and i’m not even sure i have abs.
i have a great job, but I don’t make lots of money.
i have a sensible car, and live in a nice house, but it’s smaller than most people i know.
power is an illusion, and good leaders not only lead, they serve.

so with all these illusions shattered, i’ve had to shift my definition of what it means to be a man. and that’s happened not only through my own experience, but by watching the men around me.

i’ve seen men who most women would even notice because they aren’t the most athletic, or well built, but they love people and they love God.

i’ve seen men who have lead others by raising up the people around them instead of just exercising their authority.

i’ve seen men who serve their families first before they even begin to think of their own needs.

i’ve seen men who are wounded work through some difficult pain to get to a place of healing.

i’ve seen men who have made some really bad choices live with the consequences of those choices, and move toward restoring the things they had broken.

i see men in the Bible who stumble as they follow God, but never walk away from Him.

and those are just a few examples.

so look around you. there are no perfect examples of what it means to be a man. but if you open your eyes, God will show you things in each man that reflect who He is and what He intended a man to be. and He will also guide and direct you as you make decisions in life.

becoming a man is a process that doesn’t start with your age, it begins with an obedient, yielded heart. and it’s a journey that i’m still on in my 40s. it’s a journey that begins when you say, “God, make me the man You want me to be.”

the contents on this site are © 2011 tim walker. all rights reserved. for permission to reprint or publish this content elsewhere, please contact me through this blog.

image courtesy of flickr.com/creative commons

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