What does it mean to be a man? For centuries, young boys did not need to contemplate this question because there were commonly accepted rites of passage that let the community know when a boy became a man. But due to rampant gender confusion and a blurring of distinctions, today there are many men in their 20s and 30s who are still not sure that they are “men.”
Steve Pavlina has written an article on How to Be a Man. Although he is not writing from a Christian perspective, he makes many good points with which I agree. For example:
- make real decisions
- be willing to fail
- be confident
- face your fears
These are mostly obvious points, but nevertheless very important. On the third point above, he says “A man is willing to be defeated by the world. He’s willing to be taken down by circumstances beyond his control. But he refuses to be overwhelmed by his own self-doubt.”
Another point in the list is:
- put your relationships second
At first I thought “what?” But then I realized that what he is saying is that it is important to live for something other than yourself and those immediately around you. He states, “A man who claims his #1 commitment in life is his relationship partner (or his family) is either too dishonest or too weak to be trusted.” As a Christian, I certainly agree that we should live for a larger, overarching purpose. Living to please those who are around us is never enough.
An interesting point is:
- honor the masculinity of other men
It is important to respect other men, and allow them to make daring choices that will possibly end in failure. If we jump in too quickly to “protect” them from their mistakes we rob them of an opportunity to grow. There is a time to help out, but it is a mistake to over protect our male friends.
Read the entire article here. I love how it ends: “P.S. If you happen to be offended by all or part of this article, you should be able to find plenty more articles that offend you in the Archives.” Here is a man who is not afraid of his opinions.
What do you think of his article? What do you think it means to be a man?