What Is a Real Man? Help Me Out, Please

Last week I shared my book review of Robert Lewis’s Raising a Modern-Day Knight: A Father’s Role in Guiding His Son to Authentic Manhood. I am all kinds of excited about the ideas I’m getting because of reading this book.

However, as I start making plans for me and my boys, I don’t want to simply rely on one man’s assessment of manhood. I’d like to get your ideas also. I’ve got several questions I want to get your input on. Today I’ll start with just one.

In the book, Lewis suggests that we develop a vision of real manhood that we can pass on to our boys. What are the over-arching principles that govern how a real man lives?

Help me out here. In your mind, what is a real man?

Ladies, I’d like your help on this too. What kind of man do you look to as a true knight in shining armor?

I look forward to your help. You can give your input by clicking here.


This post does contain affiliate links. If you’d like to learn more about Lewis’s vision of manhood for his boys, make sure you check out his book. Click the link below.

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  • Dave

    One of the best things a man can do for his children is love their mother … Honor her, value her, sacrifice for her … Unconditionally.

    • http://edwincrozier.com Edwin Crozier

      Awesome point, Dave. Can you drill down on this a bit. How exactly does a real man honor, value, and sacrifice for his wife?

      • Sue

        I believe men honor their wives by using the gift she is for the service of the Lord. She is made to help him in his walk on this earth. Discuss things, study things, communicate well and often, let her run the household, don’t expect her to do his job; with respect and care women submit easily to a man who leads his household. A real man works to provide for his family. Not so they can have the latest and greatest, but so they can live comfortably and healthy. Many times being a real man is not showy. You might never be acknowledged for your role here on earth. But, your quiver will be full of faithful servants of God and you have the knowledge that you will spend eternity with your children and their children and theirs… because YOU did what was right in the sight of the Lord and taught your family God’s Ways together with your wife. And lastly, life is so much simplier when your family serves God. Let your boys grow into men. Don’t stifle the natural urge to stride forward and lead. Give them responsiblity young and often. It doesn’t just ‘happen’ at 18. It comes from birth. Train your girls to understand God meant for us to be in subjection to men and to help them. We were made to help man not for man to serve us. From birth, train and life will be much easier. Real women help men be real men.

        • Anonymous

          Great explanation, Sue. I especially appreciate the point about not stifling their urge to step out and lead. I often want to stop them and teach them how to do things my way. Obviously, i need to reign in any sinful behavior and I need to stop anything that is dangerous. But I need to let my boys step up and lead. That may mean letting them make some mistakes. That’s what I do when I lead, why would it be different for them?

          Thanks for the insight.

  • http://www.howdoesthatmakeyoubuy.blogspot.com Doug

    A real man, according to the Scriptures, is many things. It's difficult to siphon out the attributes of a true man of God because, as with most themes in the Bible, there is no cut-and-dry exhaustive list. I think that, if there is one characteristic to be found in a real man, it is that of commitment. A real man is a man of dedication, resolve, and unwavering perseverance.

    When we look at the great men of the Bible, we see this attribute played out. Abraham committed to leaving his homeland in search of a land God promised him. Moses committed to confrontation with Pharaoh for the freedom of God's people. Paul committed to the preaching of Jesus regardless of the imprisonments, sufferings, and rejections he had to go through. Jesus himself, with the words, "yet not my will but Yours be done," committed to death on a cross.

    Regardless of how circumstances change, a real man will be steadfast. He will stick with and continue to love the woman he marries regardless of how she may change over the years. He will be a good father even when children are rebellious. He will be an honest, dedicated worker even when he is passed over for the deserved promotion. And, most importantly, he will maintain his faith in God regardless of how bleak his life in this world becomes. A real man stick with his convictions. A real man has commitment.

    • http://edwincrozier.com Edwin Crozier

      Thanks, Doug. That was powerful. I'm examining my commitment right now as I type.

  • Brad

    This is such a very broad question. I mean you can go with the bumper sticker answer of real men love Jesus and that magically covers everything, but to get down to the core of what a real man is this encompasses a lot. To be a real man to your children, first off they have to know who you are. They must know your values, your strengths and your weaknesses. Your children must see you put to the test and truthfully see the outcome of that test. DO they see your integrity every day, do they see kindness to strangers, when you fail do they see you take ownership of that failure and work hard to fix the problem. And as stupid as this sounds are you a dad that can win the my dad can beat up your dad arguement? What I mean is are you being someone who your children can put up on pedastol and be proud of. And finally real men have lots of guns. If you dont go to the range at least once a month and teach your kids the value of proper sight picture and the 2nd ammendment you are not very manly. Of course the last one was just a joke….I really don't know if any of this is valuable or even makes sense. I have been at work for a very long time so I may not have a clue as to what I am typing

    • http://edwincrozier.com Edwin Crozier

      Hey Brad, thanks for chiming in. Made sense to me.

  • Alayne

    I think the best way to know a real man is if he keeps his word. Integrity and honesty are VITAL in being a real man. If I catch a man in a lie, then I am very skeptical in any dealings with him in the future.

    • http://edwincrozier.com Edwin Crozier

      Thanks, Alayne. Finally a woman steps up to the plate to let us know what women actually look for in a real man.

      I notice it had nothing to do with biceps or six-pack abs. Interesting. So now I have to start telling the truth. Great!

  • Matt

    I believe to be a real man is to be a servant. you serve your family, your church, and your community. And you don't serve in a wimpy way, but with tremendous strength and tremendous kindness. the iron fist in the velvet glove.

    • http://edwincrozier.com Edwin Crozier

      Thanks, Matt. That is tough. Our culture seems to think being a real man means being a master. Real men will go against that grain.

  • http://www.west2ndchurchofchrist.org Michael Davis

    According to the Scriptures, a "real man" has the thirst for wisdom (Prov. chapters 1 – 16 particularly), a passion for ALL of God's Word (Matt. 4:4; Col. 3:16) and an urgent desire and understanding to raise his children in that same patters (Eph. 6:4 is NOT "mom's job" but plainly "YE FATHERS"). It is as much akin to Gal. 2:20 as any other matter of righteous obedience: i.e. you simply cannot be what GOD wants you to be without serving God first and foremost in all you say and do (Col. 3:17). To be a "real man" (or woman, or son or daughter) is FIRST to be what GOD desires us to be — HIS CHILDREN. Learning all from HIM settles every argument mere "man" will ever encounter. Thanks for permitting our imput. I'm eager to read/hear the "finished product" of your study!

    • http://edwincrozier.com Edwin Crozier

      Thanks for adding this to the discussion, Michael. We can't possibly be real men unless we are submitting to and relying on the Real God. Great stuff.

  • Tracy

    I looked for strength under control, in both the physical sense, and in terms of character. A real man may be physically strong, but applies that strength to good works and service (like helping someone who is moving carry all their boxes), or even in protecting someone from an assailant. But he exercises restraint, like David when he had the opportunity to kill Saul but did not because Saul was the Lord's anointed. In the character sense he is also strong but controlled. In conversation he will not be afraid to stand up for what is right, but also has the control to use words seasoned with salt. For example when talking to or about someone committing a sin, he will compassionately tell how to be right with God, and will not use ugly words, or an ugly attitude to make his point.

    • EdCrozier

      Awesome stuff, Tracy. I believe this is the definition of meekness–Disciplined Power.

  • Suze Tolbert

    This is a topic near and dear to my heart having raised 2 boys, who are now 21 and 18. A few ideas are these: Always put God first. Always. Be a good example. Actions always speak louder than words. Talk and discuss God's Words and His ideas in our real life. Remember Him when you wake, when you walk by the road, when you work, when you go to bed..always. From birth raise your men to be…men. Men need to be leaders for the Lord. Let them be that. Help them be that. As they grow, let them step up and be leaders. Don't supress that natural urge. Encourage it! We need strong men for the Lord. Be strong and courageous.

    • EdCrozier

      Suze, great points. Thanks for chiming in. Real men serve the Real God.

  • Steve Chetelat

    Eph 5 talks about a man loving his wife as Christ loved the Church. He purified her. A husband's love should be focused on propelling his wife and children to godliness. One of the attributes in the book was "rejecting passivity," having the guts to do what needs to be done, even if it's as extreme as giving himself up, as Christ did. In the final analysis, a man does not tell his sons how to be men, he shows them, by imitating Christ.

    • EdCrozier

      Steve, all the way from Korea, still willing to chime in about manhood. Isn't the World Wide Web great?

      Having the guts to sacrifice. What a great key. Thanks.

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