Editor’s Note: This is the first in a two part series of what people are looking for godly marriage material. Click here to read “What Men Want in a Godly Woman.”
I saw an ad this weekend that read:
“Men, let’s be real men.”
The ad proceeded to promote a new testosterone pill. If consumed, this pill promised to boost manliness—increased sex drive, muscles and masculinity.
The most frightening thing about this ad is that it speaks some truth—in the sense that our society has managed to reduce manhood to sex drive and muscles.
I don’t know about you, but that is so ridiculously far from my definition of masculinity. The truth is, women are looking for so much more in a man than strong muscles and libido. Far more than cars, athletic ability and all the other meaningless things our society uses to define manhood, there are some things that actually define the measure of a man.
So men, go ahead and ditch the weights, the hot rods and the testosterone pills, because if you’re really trying to catch a fine woman here’s what she’s looking for:
More than any other trait, women are looking for a man who is open and honest. The thing about honesty is that it’s a sign of security. What you see is what you get, and there is absolutely nothing to hide.
Men, it’s time to stop pretending and start being real—real with your strengths, your weaknesses, your struggles. Real with your hopes, your dreams and your fears. Real with who you actually are; not who you want to be. A man who has nothing to hide becomes the safe place in which a woman can hide her heart. Now that’s straight-up manly.
We live in a society that has fooled us into thinking that women have no control over their emotions and men have no control over their eyes. I’m a firm believer that this is a lie straight from the pit of hell. It sickens me to interact with women who expect their men to fall prey to lust, cheating and adultery, as if that’s just part of being a man.
There is no doubt that we live in a world full of sexual temptation and struggles, but it is also true that we serve a God who gives us victory over our entire being—our minds, hearts and bodies. True masculinity comes when a man has enough honor and respect for the woman in his life to say no to temptations. True masculinity comes from a man who knows his weaknesses, but sets himself up to succeed. True masculinity is found in a man who says no to the expectations of this world and lives for a higher calling.
There is nothing better than a man who exudes strength. Not the muscle-rippling kind of strength, but strength of mind, heart and spirit. A strength that comes from a man who knows what he believes and stands firm for what’s right. A strength in recognizing right from wrong and confessing when he has given into the latter. A strength that is confident enough to do right, choose right and be right.
In this day of compromise, women are looking for a man who is strong enough to stand his ground and hold on to his values, his beliefs and, most importantly, his God.
You can always recognize a real man by taking a look at his heart. Does his heart move for the things that move God’s heart? Is he broken by the pain in his life? Is he moved by the sins he’s working to overcome? Is he affected when things are not as they should be in life, in situations, in relationships?
A real man is one who allows his heart to be moved and then allows his actions to follow his heart. A man who strives for healing, restoration and resolution. A man who strives to right the wrongs around him—and the wrongs within him. Women are looking for men of compassion, tenderness and love because therein we will always find the heart of Jesus.
What raises a man up more than any other earthly thing is his ability to humble himself. A real man doesn’t need to talk up who he is, because his life does that for him. He can put away the talk, because a man of humility is focused so much more on his walk. He is quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry because he has put away his “rights” for the right to be selfless, loving and full of grace.
The greatest example of humility is found in the manliest man: Jesus. A man who laid down his rights and made Himself nothing in order to be an example of undying love and affection to the bride who won His heart. Real men seek to do the same.
This is exactly the kind of man who I allowed to win my heart. While I can safely say that he’s nowhere near perfect, he is a man who strives to uphold honesty, purity, strength, compassion and humility in his life and in our marriage.
Women, it’s time to expect more from men, and then, to wait patiently until you see these qualities at work in his life. Don’t you dare settle for less.
Men, it’s time to say no to the lies that are being poured into your brains. You are worth far more than that. Your masculinity is defined by so much more than you think—and that is what is truly attractive in our eyes.
May God continue to work in the lives of our men, that by His grace they would strive to carry the traits that reflect nothing less than the heart of Jesus.
Now that, my friends, is what I call a manly man.
Debra is a Licensed Professional Counselor, relationship expert, speaker and author of several books, including True Love Dates. Debra is also the creator of the popular relationship advice blog TrueLoveDates.com, reaching millions of people with the message that healthy people make healthy relationships. Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter.