Jesus Christ: The True Model for Manhood

Learning manhood from the perfect Man

Consider five essential lessons about being a real man from the example of Jesus Christ:

1. Real men prepare themselves in their youth. Though the Bible provides few details about the childhood of Jesus Christ, we do have enough details to know that the young Jesus Christ was focused on His education and preparation for adulthood. Luke records, “Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men” (Luke 2:52). That didn’t just happen. The young Jesus Christ studied and applied Himself. We see an example of this when He stayed behind in Jerusalem after the Passover. His parents found Him “in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions” (verse 46).

Jesus Christ’s example for young men today is to take your education and preparation for adulthood seriously in your youth. Don’t waste your early years playing video games and watching movies. Be focused on your future and the preparation needed to achieve your goals.

2. Real men work. Jesus Christ’s life was an example of work and productivity. In His adult life, we know of Jesus’ having two primary occupations—carpenter and teacher. His young adult years were primarily spent working in the carpentry profession, learning the profession from Joseph (His stepfather) and probably working in a family business with His physical brothers (Matthew 13:55Mark 6:3).

After about the age of 30, Jesus transitioned into a teacher and spent the rest of His physical life traveling across Judea, Samaria and Galilee preaching, teaching, healing, training His disciples and working with individuals one-on-one. In fact, Jesus’ life was so active and productive that there wasn’t room in the Gospels to record all He did (John 21:25)!

Christ’s example for men today is to develop a strong work ethic. Real men don’t linger in a childhood mentality focused on entertainment, inactivity and laziness—they grow up and work (1 Corinthians 13:11). They work to support themselves—and have a drive to be productive.

3. Real men respect women. Jesus Christ lived in a society that had little regard for women. But Jesus stood out as a Man who treated women with honor and respect. He spoke to women publicly, even when it was taboo to do so in the culture of His time (John 4:7-98:10-11). Jesus highlighted women’s actions as lessons for others to follow (Mark 12:41-4414:8-9). Jesus showed concern for women who were suffering (Mark 5:25-34Luke 13:10-12). Jesus honored and respected His mother (Luke 2:51John 19:26-27).

Christ’s example for men today is to respect all women and treat them with honor. Many young men—influenced by music, advertising, pornography and movies—view women as sexual objects. Using derogatory words for women is common in certain genres of music. Real men have nothing to do with this and treat all women—especially their mothers and wives—with dignity, honor and respect.

4. Real men love kids. Though Jesus had a busy and active schedule, He didn’t consider anyone a waste of His time—especially children! We read about parents bringing children to Jesus for Him to bless (Mark 10:13-16Luke 18:15-17). These parents must have known that He loved children and would set aside time for them. In fact, Jesus rebuked those who interfered with that time! Jesus frequently healed children of ailments and interacted with children with love and gentleness (Mark 5:35-43).

Christ’s example for men today is to not ignore children, but to pay attention to them and protect them. A real man doesn’t lustfully impregnate women only to abandon them to care for children alone. A real man chooses one woman to love and marry and then brings children into that solid, loving family relationship.

5. Real men control themselves. Jesus Christ did experience temptations to sin, but resisted every temptation and never sinned (Hebrews 4:15). That is because Jesus governed Himself by a moral code (based on God’s law) and never deviated from it.

Christ’s example for men today is to not be driven by urges, what feels good or what’s convenient. This world needs men who govern themselves by the same moral code that Jesus had.

In order for proper manhood to be restored, this world needs men who model their lives after the perfect example of manhood—Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ demonstrated the perfect balance of masculine strength with gentleness and care. He could rebuke religious leaders and turn over tables, and He could also comfort grieving people and hold children in His arms. He was a leader and also a servant. He was incredibly bold and also caringly gentle. He worked hard, loved all people and never deviated from His mission.

Men, this is the example we should strive to follow. This is the model of manhood that our lives need to be patterned after.

This is the only path to becoming a real man.

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