What Is A Real Man?

If you asked around at your local high school about what it took to be a man, what do you think you would find?

Would it involve who slept with more chicks, how good you are at sports, or who has the biggest muscles? Would how much alcohol you can hold down be brought up or how fearless you are? Would you get docked “manhood points” for being smart or wearing glasses?

Now, what would happen if you asked that same question to some of the men you look up to? Would you expect the same results?

Somewhere we have gotten our wires crossed on what it means to be a man. When grown men say one thing, and those trying to become men say another, well… someone has to be mistaken. So let’s look at it in a different way.

Missing the Mark…

Think of three of the greatest men you know. Do they fit into your original definition of manliness? Mine were pretty far from that first description.

Do you know any men – that are out of college – that fit the image you came up with in the first paragraph? If yes, would you look up to them as real men? I know a few… and they aren’t exactly what I would call real men at all. In fact, most people call them immature.

So why is it that there is such a gap between high school manhood and adult manhood? The answer is as simple as the mind versus the media.

Allow me to explain…

Throughout our childhood we rely on others to tell us how things work – and let’s face it, the media wants us to believe that being a man is all about girls, cars, sports, and muscles. All you have to do is watch a few commercials and you’ll see the truth in that.

During our teen years, we get to start living that. Our hormones have kicked in and girls, cars, sports, and muscles all sound pretty good. If that’s all it takes to be a man, we can do this!

Adults, on the other hand, they’ve been around the block a time or two. They know that what it comes down to is that no matter what cologne you wear, what you look like, or just how overall awesome you are – it’s who you are that really makes you a man.

They’ve seen the girls fail them. They have seen the side effects of drugs and alcohol. They know there is more to life and more to being a man. They’ve learned. They have the experience to counteract the message that the media is sending them.

Before we can really man up we first have to define manhood – and we have to define it without all the lies and fears. We have to build it from the inside out and look at it from God’s point of view. In the beginning of Titus chapter two, that definition is given as being self-controlled, worthy of respect, and just using your head.

So now it comes down to the question: do you really want to be a man? Are you really ready to man up?

What Do You Think?

We’d love to hear from you. What are your thoughts on what it takes to be a man? Did it change as you were reading this article? Any thoughts or comments you want to share?

Hungry for more?

Check out these quotes about being a real man:

Yeah… But Why?

Why do we do the things we do?

“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.”

Galatians 6:10

Have you ever read a verse in the Bible and wondered, “Okay, but why?” The Bible has specific commandments that God wants us to follow, but God never asks us to do anything without first telling us the reason why.

In Galatians 6:10 Paul writes that we are to do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. But why you ask? Because in verse 9 he said that if we do not grow weary of doing good we will reap the harvest at the proper time. The Bible is full of reasons why, not blind commandments.

The number one reason why in the Bible is Romans 5:8. It says: … God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. He loves us so much that He sent His one and only Son, to die on the cross for our sins. Why?

So that we could be forgiven.

We can never repay Him for that sacrifice, but we can dedicate our lives to Him. Jesus said that if we love Him, we will obey what He commands (John 14:15). And John repeats this thought in his epistle: For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. (1 John 5:3)

The reason why we do the things written in the Bible shouldn’t be because that’s what is required of us to get into heaven. It shouldn’t be because mom or dad said so. It should be out of love for God. If we do it out of love for Him, then they won’t seem like endless to-do lists, silly requirements, or cruel punishments. They will become things that we do because we want to do them, not burdensome, but opportunities to serve our God and Savior.


Why do you do what the Bible says?

Application Step

As you go about your day, think about why you do the things you do. Are you doing them just to check them off of some “Good Christian” to-do list, or are you doing them because you are happy to have the opportunity to serve God?


Father God, I know that I do things for the wrong reasons all the time. Help me to remember that You are the reason why. Help me to focus on your grace, forgiveness, and everlasting love; because when I remember those things, serving you isn’t a meaningless list anymore, it’s a great opportunity.

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Fix Your Eyes on Jesus and Press On

“Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back. …”

Philippians 3:13-16 The Message

Fix Your Eyes On Jesus

The video below was filmed by CJ a few years back, but it’s still relevant today and I wanted to share it with you:

“Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed…”

Hebrews 12:1-2 The Message

20+ Quotes About Real Men

In this post, you’ll find twenty-two quotes about real men. Do they fit your definition of manhood?

Quotes About Real Men

“You can’t measure manhood with a tape line around his biceps.” ― Billy Sunday

“When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” – The Apostle Paul (1 Cor. 13:11)

“Boys become men in the presence of a clear vision for manhood.” – Robert Lewis

“The real man is one who always finds excuses for others, but never excuses himself.” – Henry Ward Beecher

“Ultimate vulnerability. That’s manly.” – Cameron Conaway

“Physical strength can never permanently withstand the impact of spiritual force.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

“Stand true to your calling to be a man. Real women will always be relieved and grateful when men are willing to be men” – Elisabeth Elliot

“The boy and the man must be raised to see the possibility of self-worth, then meet a few others who provide the vision of a road toward it, then spend a lifetime pursuing that worth through action and relationship. One of the great tragedies in human life is to be born a male and not be guided toward the value of a man.” – Michael Gurian

“The narrator analyzes that the maturing, passing away boy within him, “had issued me a challenge as he passed the baton to the man in me: He had challenged me to have the courage to become a gentle, harmless man.” – Pat Conroy

“Of all men, Christians should work especially hard, giving more than an honest day’s work for a day’s wage.” Richard D. Phillips

“The central problem of every society is to define appropriate roles for the men.” – Margaret Mead

“Wise societies provide ample means for young men to affirm themselves without afflicting others.” – George Gilder

John Greenleaf Whittier quote about real men.

“A man must at times be hard as nails: willing to face up to the truth about himself, and about the woman he loves, refusing compromise when compromise is wrong. But he must also be tender. No weapon will breach the armor of a woman’s resentment like tenderness.” – Elisabeth Elliot

“Stop looking for the path of least resistance and start running down the path of greatest glory to God and good to others, because that’s what Jesus, the Real Man, did.” – Mark Driscoll

“Moral courage is higher and a rarer virtue than physical courage.” – William Slim

“Men, you’ll never be a good groom to your wife unless you’re first a good bride to Jesus.” – Timothy Keller

“There are two questions a man must ask himself: The first is ‘Where am I going?’ and the second is ‘Who will go with me?’ If you ever get these questions in the wrong order you are in trouble.” – Sam Keen

“Great men have great discipline.” – Habeeb Akande

“If boys don’t learn, men won’t know.” – Douglas Wilson

“A man is at his youngest when he thinks he is a man, not yet realizing that his actions must show it.” – Mary Renault

“I teach my sons that there are really only three rules to being a good man. The first rule is to fish often. And by fish, I mean find the quiet times to fish around in your minds for what is most important. The second rule is to protect everyone smaller than them. This means physically smaller, and in all other ways… protect the more vulnerable. The third rule states that if something is truly important to you, then you should prove it. You say you would lay your life down for someone, but will you give them the busiest five minutes of your day, if they need it?” – Spuds Crawford

“Live pure, speak true, right wrong, follow the King.” – Tennyson

Lord Tennyson quote about real men

What Are Your Favorite Quotes About Real Men?

Do you have a favorite quote about real men or manhood?

Share it in the comments below!