Discovering true manliness

Every guy can list off a bunch of stuff that has defined true manliness. The outdoors, hunting, fishing, working on cars, shooting firearms, wrestling a grizzly bear… your catching my drift here right?

How many of us can really say we are a man? To be a real man means facing our fears. I know many guys that are still acting as teenagers. I know many that have never really grown since about 18 years old. Men get accused all the time of never growing up, and ladies I’ll tell you now, there will always a little boy in him , I don’t care if he is 80 years old, it will always be there and really… its a very sweet part of men. Almost a innocence and playfulness that is very endearing, but not all the time. There is a difference when a man is always the boy and never a man. One of the biggest things I think defines a man is. A willingness to take on responsibility for a wrong. Owning a mistake and make the apologies needed and put real change into action to fix it. But there is still more we miss as men.

How you love your wife on a daily basis is actually what defines you as a man in God’s eyes. We can make all the money, have the huge career, provide the biggest house for your family and make sure they never want for anything. But are you really loving your wife like God has instructed you too? The instructions God gave us husbands is no task to be taken lightly and comes with a lot of weight on our shoulders. The times I have struggled with this, and I would guess every single husband has at some point. In your mind your thinking, she just said something that really hurt me or made me feel like the biggest failure or a huge idiot from something we think is silly, your thinking she doesn’t deserve a good deed from me and you give yourself a long list of reasons to justify that feeling. Here is the catch. God gave those instructions totally independent of her or her actions. Yup thats right. How you honor your wife shouldn’t depend on her doing everything right in your eyes. Just as her treatment of you shouldn’t be based on you being a perfect husband. Because the facts are, you are not perfect and neither is she. The thing that makes the difference in relationships isn’t the fact that you do everything right or meet all of her expectations (because there is no way you ever will.) is what you do after the mistake. For both of you really, how you handle a missed expectation, how you take responsibility for a wrong. Do you choose to honor your wife therefore honoring God by your actions? Trust me guys, I get it. Its much easier to explode when you feel hurt, you can feel the anger swelling up inside when you feel she just took your feet out from under you. Thats the easy route, anger is usually only a cover for a deeper hurt. Don’t let anger take the steering wheel, it will always lead you to selfishness.

Let the way you love your wife define you as a man. Love her when your mad, and show it, love her when your frustrated, and show it, don’t just assume she knows. Many times I have done the same mistake and felt alone at times and refused to reach for her when I have felt frustrated or just not connected with her. I have to get over myself just like I want all of you guys to work on. Choosing to love through the times our wives confuse us and maybe even hurt us with a short word, or a criticism or direction. Remembering that love unconditionally and sacrificially is a choice we must make every day. To have a truly great marriage, its a choice we have to remember to keep at the front of us.

I truly do believe that there can be many things that define us as men and can increase our sense of manliness, but most are empty. Maybe its my age, but I see a true man in someone that makes the choice to love his wife and do it with a smile and a heart that continually pours into her cup to keep it full. It requires a willingness to understand that she is different that you, a level of empathy that is not natural for us as men, a compassion for her heart and a true love of her smile. I always ask myself, “is this something that God would be proud of?” Too often i look at a reaction I made and I know the answer is no. I get frustrated with myself because I know my wife deserves better than my simple reaction. She has had enough hurt in her life, she needs my best and my responsibility to God is to make sure I give her that just as often as I can. That means sucking it up a lot. Not being a door mat, but asking myself, “is this really going to matter 30 min from now? If she corrects how I am doing something is it really that big of a deal?” Understanding her heart and assuming the best in my interpretation of her words. Don’t let your pride raise its ugly head to cause you more problems than you need if there was no reason for it anyway.

Love your wife. Thats a pretty manly definition of men I think.

None of us are perfect guys, we will mess up we will slip from time to time. Just apologize and mean it and put real change into action to file it.