Choose the answer that demonstrates the most manliness:

You discover a brown recluse spider in the kitchen.  You-

  1. Swat that bugger and listen for the crunch
  2. safely capture the spider and release it outside
  3. pull off each leg and torture the spider until it dies a slow, painful death
  4. put the spider in your underwear and do jumping jacks while taunting it to d its worst.  Lest it bite you and inject poison into your body.  Then eat it and laught out loud at your triumph

Your dad is working on the car.  To show him how manly you are you, you –

  1. bring him a glass of water
  2. go out and give him a hand
  3. tell him all the things he’s doing wrong and show him how it’s really done
  4. tell your dad to go get you a glass fo water, and you’ll finish up the mess he’s created.

There’s a school dance coming up and you need a date.  Who do you ask?

  1. What dance?  You don’t dance.  You ain’t getting on the dance floor.
  2. You ask your cousin Melva to go with you.
  3. You ask a girl from church to go with you-you know, just as (ugh) “friends”
  4. You go up to the best-looking girl at school and tell her when you’re picking her up for the dance

The school bully has finally knocked on the wrong door – yours.  He wants you, and he’s not waiting ’til after school.  It’s happening now, right in front of everyone at lunch.  The teachers aren’t paying attention.  As he winds up to punch you, you-

  1. start crying and run away
  2. tell him you don’t believe in violence and won’t fight
  3. dodge his punches and protect yourself from getting hurt as much as possible
  4. scissor-kick him in the face like they do in those Matrix movies.  Now that he’s stunned, you jump off a table, landing on top of him where you decide to crush him like mashed potatoes.  Students give you a standing ovation, and teachers come up to shake your hand for taking care of their problem – but you’re busy giving your victim the double fishhook to notice.

If you walked into this bathroom, where would you stand?


There are some things that dudes just “know” (like where to stand in a bathroom).  But there are other things about being a man that you don’t know.  You have to learn them.  But it’s like a lot of different people give you puzzle pieces, each one having information about the meaning of being a man.

What we’ve lost is our ability to know when we become men. Before the Industrial Revolution, it was clear.  You are a boy.  Then you become a man.  Not anymore.  Mark Driscoll has this to say about it:

Rather than moving from boy to man by this succession of sociological transitions, we’ve created something called adolescence. It’s a third life stage in the middle between boy and man. We don’t know what to call them so we just call them “guys.” These are boys who can shave.  Today, adolescence starts somewhere in the teen years and continues indefinitely. There is no foreseeable end. The problem with adolescence is guys don’t know when they’re ever going to grow up and be men, and no pressure is exerted on them to do so.”

Some of these puzzle pieces of information on manliness are from your dads.  Other pieces are from other adults, friends, and especially the media.  In the end, you’re left sitting at a table trying to put these pieces together without the real picture on the box top to guide you.  Often, your picture of a real man looks this way:

  • Real men are tough athletes and fast runners, have six-pack abs, can bench press at the very least their own weight, hit home runs, score touchdowns, have a bunch of girlfriends, climb rocks without harnesses, ride choppers, have cool cars, marry a trophy wife, end up with successful jobs making lots of money, and retire independently wealthy.
  • Then you’re given a tattered baggie of worn-out puzzle pieces related to what Christian men are – that they’re wishy-washy, go to church every day and night, carry their bibles everywhere, never even look at girls, wear ties and pocket protectors, drive minivans, and stay at home the rest of the time.

This can’t be what God had in mind.  Right?

Right.  So in the next few posts, I am going to put pressure on you to become men; to learn what a real man does.  And here it is:

A real man decides

A real man provides

A real man sacrifices

And I’ll unpack these in the next few posts.  Stay tuned.