What does it mean to be a Man of God? It’s a question young men have been asking for a long time, and its answer may not be as simple as you think. A lot has changed in the past few decades. Modern gender roles are no longer considered black and white, but varying shades of gray, and this has created a new generation of Christians who are seeking to live Christ-centered lives while still remaining relevant to their culture. Many denominations have had heated (and often unsuccessful) debates over the roles of men in a Christian culture, yet few agreements have been reached.         

Pastor and writer Dave Bruskas believes this discussion can be settled by examining the writings of Paul. Bruskas, who previously wrote an article for young women, has published an article listing five important attributes for younger men. The first, be self-controlled.               

1. Be Self-Controlled 

“Like we talked about with older men, being self-controlled is equally important to younger men. It means we have control over our emotions and behavior, particularly when life is tough. Young men have a propensity to be idealistic and spontaneous. They say things they shouldn’t say, they feel things they shouldn’t feel, they do things they shouldn’t do. The Holy Spirit produces self-control in our life.”

2. Model Good Works

“The church needs young men who aspire to be in spiritual leadership, men who are true to the gospel and will model their Christ-like lifestyle to others. Paul has this in mind when he tells Timothy to watch his life and doctrine closely, so that he won’t only save himself but his hearers as well.”

As a young man myself, I can’t help but approach this subject on a very personal level. You see, I grew up during a time of transition, when our country was experiencing an immense political and cultural shift. As a result, much of my young life was spent hearing conflicting messages about what it meant to be a man. Suddenly my entire personality was being scrutinized. How was I supposed to act?

What hobbies were appropriate? What relationships were appropriate? Is God mad at me because that movie was rated “R”? Sadly, I’ve seen that too often the good advice older Christians try to give young men gets mixed up in things that don’t really matter. God is not looking for men with a good “fantasy-football” draft, He’s looking for men with integrity.                     

In a recent excerpt from his new book, Craig Groeschel writes,

“God is looking for men who are willing to join His redemptive work in this fallen world, and God hopes that you’ll be one of them. Look beyond the immediate concerns of your own life and take advantage of the opportunities God has given you to fight for causes that have more far-reaching significance, such as: integrity, courage, justice, compassion, and spiritual truth.”

What does it mean to be a Man of God? I believe the answer lies in the passage of Micah 6:8,

“He shown you, O manwhat is good; And what does the LORD require of you but to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with the LORD your God.”

*Ryan Duncan is the Culture Editor for Crosswalk.com