Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value — Albert Einstein

Society tells us to “Be the man” and “You’re the man,” but it fails to give men an accurate picture of what that is.  Even in the Bible, Nathan said to David, “You are the man!” . . . ”Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in his eyes?” (2 Samuel 12:7, 9).

Just because David was “the man” in his time, he had his share of struggles in knowing and in doing what was right in God’s eyes, too.

When I think about how to be a man, a lot of ideas, images, and thoughts come to mind.  In some ways I wish that I didn’t have so many and there would be one clear cut “ideal” way.  But in today’s world of questionable role models, political correctness, diversity acceptance, and gender confusion, it makes “being a man” a little confusing, and to do so as a Christian, even more so.

Today’s churches seem to have varying opinions of what a man should be as well.  Some churches have adopted a passive, quiet, “turn the other cheek” sort of man, while other ministries, like the newly developed men’s conference, GodMen, have another take.  From their website, they say the following:

“The truth is that on any given Sunday, 60 percent of church attendees are women, and something about church today is keeping men away. We are attempting to create a worship place for men that looks nothing like church. It is a place where men of no religion and men who have left the church break bread with followers of Jesus. Where simply being a man, created in Gods image, is celebrated. An environment familiar with and conducive to the way men are made comfortable and the unique way men interact.”

Newsweek says about GodMen, “Their purpose: to reassert masculinity within a church structure that they say has been weakened by feminization.”

In the controversial book, Wild at Heart, which has sold over 500,000 copies, author John Eldredge says, “When all is said and done, I think most men in the church believe that God put them on the earth to be a good boy.  The problem with men, we are told, is that they don’t know how to keep their promises, be spiritual leaders, talk to their wives, or raise their children . . . Walk into most churches in America, have a look around, and ask yourself this question: What is a Christian man?”

The bottom line is, “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him” (Genesis 1:27).

To the typical Christian guy, what does that mean?  Even more puzzling is, how is that lived out?  We are told that we are made in the image of God and we are to live our lives as Christ lived, but many of those “formative years” in Jesus’s life are not revealed in the Bible.  We read about his life as a child teaching in the temple and we know of his years of ministry after he turns 30 years old, but nothing is said of his teenage and young adult years.  In some ways, that can leave many questions for the spiritual growth of a man.

When I accepted Christ, I was working in a large company in the Bay Area and didn’t have a lot of other Christian businessmen around me who mentored me in how to live a godly Christian life within the confines of today’s fast-paced society and the world of business.  I had to seek out older men who were living godly lives.

Guys, for whatever reason, oftentimes look for role models or “heroes.”  Many of us won’t readily admit to doing so, but we want to be around others who exude “manliness,” guys we can “hang” with . . . “real men.”  Of course if you asked us how to define “manliness,” you’d get a hundred different answers. But each one of us could probably point out someone who represents it to us.
One person I’ve found in the Bible that I would point to is Boaz.  A lesser known character, he represents someone who followed God and lived a life that is relatable and whom I would like to emulate in some ways.  Boaz wasn’t a disciple of Jesus—in fact he lived approximately 1000 years prior to Jesus.  Boaz doesn’t have a book named after him, and his entire life is only mentioned in three chapters of Ruth. But in those three short chapters, Boaz shows us how to be a man of God, how to be a man in business and how to be a man in a relationship.