Act Like a Man: A Call to Biblical Manhood

Act Like a Man: A Call to Biblical Manhood April 22, 2013

While my mission continues in Guam, I am pleased to feature the thoughts of Kendall Lyons, a talented youth pastor, cartoonist, and writer. Kendall supplied the fun illustrations for my e-book Finding the Curve: The Secret to Explosive Personal Growth — still available for free here. Grab a copy of Kendall’s delightful collection of short stories today at his site here. You’ll be hearing much more from this talented leader in the years to come.

Right now, I feel more confident in the Lord and am a lot more comfortable in my identity in Christ as a strong man.

Not long ago, the status of being a strong man was questionable.

To be honest, a good chunk of my life I felt sort of, well, boyish.

Growing up, I wasn’t very athletic. I had a few friends and usually kept to myself and buried my head in books, video games and TV. As I got older, I matured in certain things like communicating and connecting with people but lacked in areas like commitment and confidence in myself.

Though I stood around other brothers and sisters in Christ, be it hanging out or serving, I felt that parts of my life were un-finished, under-developed and in need of growth.

Toward Biblical Manhood

For months I have been on a deep, Bible-study focusing on manhood and masculinity pecifically for my own development but also for future sharing.

The study has taken me into deep places, places that I didn’t want to admit were within me that needed healing. My study into the true, biblical definition of a man has led me to places in my life that made me realize how far behind I felt, as though I was still a kid. Throughout my study, I realized that a lot of my issues stemmed from my experience with family, other people, and my own way of coping with them.

This may be you — feeling inadequate, inefficient and ineffective or even like a child in certain areas of your life. Truth is, you may be a man serving, working and living, but inside you may still like a little boy. You’re supposed to be 28 or 48 but you really feel like you’re 8 or 18 when it comes to personal issues and spiritual matters, or stuff in which you have no experience.

I am about to go the way of all the earth. Be strong, and show yourself a man. (1 Kings 2:2)

When David was dying he gave a charge to Solomon, telling him to be strong, act like a man. When you read the rest of Chapter 2, David also tells Solomon to observe what the Lord requires, to walk in obedience, and keep God’s decrees and commands.

The very advice David gave to Solomon has helped me greatly in my growth to be stronger. Areas where I felt weak and left behind have improved because I have drawn near to God and kept His Word and His teaching.

I’m learning to walk with my head up, not pointed downward. I’ve learn to be assertive, but not offensive or overly aggressive. I am learning to speak up and stand up, not shrink back and stay passive.

Other materials I recommend in this study of Biblical manhood are books like Wild at Heart Revised & Updated: Discovering the Secret of a Man’s Soul by John Eldredge, and Raising a Modern-Day Knight: A Father’s Role in Guiding His Son to Authentic Manhood
by Robert Lewis.

 What Biblical passages have you discovered that speak to this vital issue of Biblical manhood? Share your own story with a comment below.


Kendall Lyons is a minister, writer and cartoonist. He writes and creates content for and His latest book, It Could Happen: A Collection of Short Stories, is now available online for purchase on both sites. He currently resides in Dallas where he serves as a youth minister. You can follow Kendall on Twitter @Cartoondaily1.

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  • Thanks, Kendall. Good article. I have found that being married and having five children, more than any other thing, has helped me mature in my manhood. Trying to be an effective husband and father keeps you on your knees.

    • So true! Thanks!

    • THANKS SO MUCH brother Paul! Right now, I am without wife nor kids in my life, but I believe that whether I am ever in that position or not, this entire study has and will help me in the long run. I thank God for this journey!

  • Great thoughts. I spoke on this topic on Father’s Day and took a chance on defining Manhood, Masculinity and Fatherhood. I think you will like it. I would love to hear your opinion. The link I add below will take you directly to the website where I spoke this message. Love to hear back from you.

    Trent Renner

    • That’s awesome! I’ll definitely take a listen. Thanks so much. This study, much like what one of the others who left a comment here said, has changed and is changing my life as well!

  • Good stuff. Thanks for pointing out that verse in 1 Kings. My studies of biblical manhood have changed my life as well. It’s been one of the most life changing topics for me.

    • Same with me, its an amazing topic and the Lord has me going through it bit by bit. I have a funny feeling that this is going to be one of those “for the rest of my days” kinda studies.

  • James Petticrew

    I have to say I am surprised that in a discussion about biblical manhood you make no reference to Jesus, the only man we are specifically told to be like?

    • On the contrary, I did make a mention about being confident in “my identity in Christ.” But, I do see your point and it is something to be considered for my next writing. After all, I too also believe that it is HE that is the ultimate example and reference point for our true biblical manhood and identity. Thank you for your observation.

    • Matthew

      James we are told to follow Christ. Jesus states we need to follow his commandments as well but never be like him. However, in this post Kendell focused men in the bible with quality of Godly men but also we father figures due to having sons. Jesus shows us the way to live where as other people in the bible show us how to be men.

      • James Petticrew

        Matthew sorry I just don’t agree, in fact I profoundly disagree that Scripture does not call on us to be like Christ.
        I have a robust Christology, Christ not only reveals the character of God most completely but also reveals the character of humanity most fully too. As the Incarnnation has an aspect of maleness the definitive relevation of what “biblical” manhood is, is not ultimately gained from OT warriors, though we have much to learn from those who pursue God like David, but through Chrust. If we want to know what real manhood is we look to Jesus. Christ his teaching and his example is the ultimate arbiter in deciding what is biblical and god honouring manhood, if in another man’s example we expression of Christ’s teaching and example we can hold it up as an example to follow, but if we hold up an aspect of another man’s life or teaching which contradicts the life and words of Jesus we are wrong. There can be no definition of biblical manhood that contradicts the example of Jesus.

        I am interested in the light of numerous passages like Phil 2:6-11, 1 Peter 4:1, 1 John 2:6, and especially Paul’s clear statement in 1 Cor 11:1 11 1 “And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.” how you can say we are never called to be like Jesus you say “but never be like him”?

        Firstly, Jesus very clearly draws a line between his example and our life and calls on us to be like him,
        John 13:13-17 ‘You call me “Teacher” and “Lord”, and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”

        I suspect that perhaps an aspect of the disciples reluctance to wash each other’s feet was that it was not seen as the work of independent males, so this is talking to our understanding of masculinity. Jesus very clear calls on us to follow His example, to be like Him.

        This not surprising for is not the whole purpose of salvation is Christlikeness! Romans 8:29 “29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren” That conformity although only finally completed in the age to come, very clearly starts in the here and now.

        So for instance John Stott says in his commentary on 1 John 2:6 ” its not enough to obey “his word” : we must “walk as Jesus did” …. Christian conformity is to the example of Jesus as well as His commands (cf 2:29, 3:3, 7 John 3:15, 1 Peter 2:21) We cannot claim to live in Him unless we behave like him”

        We see this in numerous other passages. here is a representative one: 1 Peter 2:21″  To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.”

        IH Marshall says of this verse “Peter says Christ left them an example. This word in Greek conjures up pictures of a teacher writing down the letters of the alphabet so that children learning to write can copy them, or of an architect drawing a building so that the builders can copy it. Jesus modelled patient suffering for Christians to follow. The way in which he endured suffering is the binding pattern that those who have been saved by the death of Jesus must follow”

        All of that together conveys to me that as a man that Christ shows me how to be human and as an aspect of that how to be a man, all other examples I follow must be secondary, as Paul states in 1 Cor 11:1