In today’s culture, men are becoming the focal point of many debates, divisiveness and controversy. I think we would all agree that men are being called out more and more for the lack of true manhood. Men are failing at many levels of leadership in their families, their offices, and their communities.
I’m not here to make excuses for us as men, or to claim that I have the anecdote to this type of behavior. What I do believe to be true is that as men, we have lost the concept of substance, and WE have to regain true manhood. Someone once said, “The true measure of a man is not how he behaves in moments of comfort and convenience, but how he stands at moments of controversy and challenge.”
That’s what being a man of substance is about, standing up to and through the difficult times in life for yourself and others. I believe all men of substance continually focus on the same road map.
Set Priorities. Great men of substance understand priorities. As a general rule, our priorities are set by what we deem to be the most impactful or meaningful for us. However, men of substance set priorities around what is the most impactful and meaningful for others. Focusing on quality time, being a peace maker, encouraging others, and helping others fulfill their dreams are top priorities for great men. The value of a great man is his capacity and desire to serve everyone else.
Learn to Fight. John Wayne defined manhood as, “Men should be tough, fair, and courageous, never petty, never looking for a fight, but never backing down from one either.” Fighting is not always done with our fists; in fact, men of substance rarely resort to this type of fighting. Great men fight for the hearts of others, partnering with Christ to protect the hearts of the ones they love. They don’t allow harmful behavior, discouraging rhetoric, or destructive relationships into their home and circle. Men of substance are on the front lines, holding the line, protecting their tribe.
Let Go of the Past. Great men do not let the pain and mistakes of the past write their future. “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not the one who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear,” said Nelson Mandela. Men of substance see their past as just that – the past. They learn from it, not lean into it. They don’t allow fear to have power over them, and they use the strength of Christ to plow a trail forward not looking back to see how straight it is.
Do you consider yourself a man of substance? What must be removed from your life that will allow you to flourish?
Tell one man in your life how great he is.