What Does it Mean to be a Man?

Becoming A Man

In Preparation...

  • Contemplate your own answer to the question, “When does someone truly become a man?”
  • Write down your own answer in your journal.

I finally figured out how to write it down

So sad that I just figured out how to express this in words adequately. What does it mean to be a man? To other men, it means they have seen that you can be relied upon to do what they deem is right, good, and true when they need you most.

This revelation came about to me as I was cleaning up the kitchen this morning. I was unloading the dishwasher, putting dishes away, and tidying up before the day began. One thing after another intruded and “just had to get done” before I could continue with the mundane task of unloading and loading the dishwasher—one thing after another, and another, and another.

Each time something intruded, I interrupted the task I wanted to complete to take care of the thing; and each one of them really did need to be dealt with right them to avoid a stain on the counter, a stain on my desk, make sure that dish is really clean before it’s put away, etc. How does that relate to being a man? A quote from Excalibur the movie came to mind.

16  “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?

17  “So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit.

18  “A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.

19  “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

20  “So then, you will know them by their fruits.

Matthew 7:16-20 (NASB)

Lancelot arrives at Camelot with his newly acquired squire in tow, Percival. The lad asks when he will get his armor and sword, to which Gwain responds, “Kitchen knives and greasy spits shall be your weapons, boy. To the kitchens!” That got me thinking about what made those men view Percival as a boy then and a man later?

The answer is that Percival demonstrated that at a moment of necessity, when other men wilted, he stepped forward, willing to do what they did not have the courage to do. In a nutshell, Percival showed courage in the face of adversity and was recognized for it by an authority, King Arthur, whom they all viewed as good, wise, and true. Before that moment, Percival may have said and done all the right things while speculating about the moment of crisis, but when that moment came, his actions showed that his words were not empty. Essentially, he bore fruit in line with the expectations that his words and intentions had set.


Digging Deeper

  • Reflect on the moment in your life when you demonstrated to others you could be counted on.
  • Consider the things you say to those around you and reflect on whether or not those people have seen that you can be counted on or not?
  • Where opportunities to demonstrate faithfulness have not yet been presented resolve to moderate your words with humility.
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