I feel confident that someone took offense to the title of this blog. I hope you will read on. This is not an anti-woman post. I have some limits to my ability to address issues of the opposite sex. I know my limitations and weaknesses, and many of them I share with most other men.
Men excel naturally at some things. Other things we have to work at while others we retreat from because of social pressure. I want to address a few areas that I believe will make men better, including myself.
Spirituality Is Not Feminine
The majority of church attendees are female. In some cases, churches have 70-80% women in the adult attendees. But this is not just about church attendance. Women tend to take the lead at home, teaching their children about the Bible, or praying with their children. Men abdicate their spiritual leadership to mothers.
But statistically, when men are involved in their children’s spiritual formation, the percentage of children that continue those practices in adulthood goes up dramatically. To pray, worship, and teach your children about the Bible doesn’t make you feminine. It would probably raise the bar in your marital relationship as well as impact your children infinitely.
You Can Be Bold and Kind
One of the flaws many men deal with is the belief that they cannot be gentle and kind while being bold and strong. This presumption is a myth. You can be bold, speak the truth, lead your family, offer correction and discipline, and be gentle and kind at the same time. Unbridled boldness leaves unnecessary destruction. It causes harm and wounds to people. Kindness, coupled with boldness, allows other people to join you on your journey instead of alienating others and forcing them to follow you because of position instead of connection.
Financial Provision Is Not The Only Provision Your Family Needs
Men are to provide resources for the welfare of their families. Multiple Bible verses emphasize this. One of the temptations is that it becomes the only thing we provide. We work hard, sometimes too hard, to provide the things our family wants and needs. We do it in the name of providing for our family. But our family needs other provisions; they need our time. They need us to teach them the things we know. They need our love and compassion. They need conversation. They need time to relax with us when nothing else needs doing. For most men, providing financial resources comes naturally. It also comes naturally to allow it to become our identity, and we fail to offer other things our family needs.
Transparency Is Strength
Somehow we believe that to be a man means nothing hurts. Somehow we are invincible, and there is never a problem. We even make our children pretend, as well. They fall and get hurt, and we tell them, “you’re not hurt, just shake it off” or “be a man.” We mask our pain and internalize our shortcomings, making us toxic or blindsiding those we love with random reactions, and no one can connect the dots. Men, some things hurt. You are not stronger because you deny it. Being transparent about the pain will make you stronger and strengthen the relationships you have. You are not strong because you say nothing hurts. You are strong because you are transparent, and others are aware and know how to respond accordingly.
Words Are Not Just A Woman’s World
Some studies say that women use 25-35,000 words per day, while most men average around 10,000 words per day. That being the case, many men have exhausted their standard word capacity by the time they see their wife and family after a day at work. For your family to be successful, some of those words must be committed to conversations at home. Wisdom for your children. Comfort for your wife. Expressions of emotions and concerns. Don’t leave all of the talking to your wife. Good communication requires two dedicated communicators.
Apologies Do Not Make You Weak
Men usually find it difficult to say I’m sorry. Some view apologies as a weakness. We have even had leaders in recent times who boasted that they had never asked forgiveness. Apologizing is one of the most healing things you can do. It will reduce tensions faster than just about anything you can do. I recently read this quote: “The first to apologize is the bravest. The first to forgive is the strongest. The first to forget is the happiest.” Be brave, not weak. Learn to apologize sincerely.
Integrity Is Not Perfection
Integrity comes from a root word that means whole. Having integrity does not mean you are perfect; it means wholeness. When things are not perfect, you can acknowledge and find solutions that make the situation better. Pretending we are perfect only sets us up for huge disappointments when everyone finds out the truth. We are not superheroes. We are not God. We are men. We are not perfect, but we should have integrity.
The world will be a better place if we have better men. You can be a better man. I can be a better man. Take some of these things to heart, and let’s be the men our family and our world needs us to be.
Start Learning and Growing Today
Subscribe now for weekly insights into family, business and life