Grit, tenacity, fortitude, adventure, passion, talent – these are traits bestowed upon all men. The “Man Of God” has become a criminally diluted image in modern American culture. John Eldridge said it best in ‘Wild At Heart‘ – The modern Christian male has become tame, placid, and just nice. That is not how God created us, it is not how King David acted, and it certainly was not the standard that Jesus set. While I am certainly not where I want to be as a Man Of God, I do have a great idea of where I aspire to be as I continue to grow, so let’s take a look at what it means to be an authentic Man Of God!
#1. A Man Of God lives an unashamed, authentic, God First Life.
This is the most obvious and the most understated of all traits that a Man Of God exhibits. Living a God first life means that we place God in every area of our lives, every tiny facet, nook, and cranny seven days a week. It means waking up early every morning and reading the bible. It means prayerfully considering what decisions to make. And it means inviting the holy spirit into our hearts every day and looking at everything through God’s filter – not our filter.
#2. A Man Of God has his priorities in order.
The first three priorities of a Man Of God are, in this order, God, Wife, and Family. When a man places God first on his list of his priorities, God will bless every other area of his life – wife and kids included. Secondly, he should prioritize his wife, even over his children. Marriage is simultaneously the most difficult and the most rewarding venture a man can embark upon.
Pastor Stovall once said, “In a home, the wife is the aesthetics that make the home welcoming, warm and inviting. The husband, however, is the foundation upon which all of that sits. When the foundation breaks, the home collapses on itself.” A man must prioritize fostering a healthy relationship with his wife, as only by working as a team can parents be successful. Family comes third, but above all other priorities – our children are our legacy, and our impact on them is profound.
#3. A Man Of God has thick skin.
As I’ve grown as a young man, I have realized that as I’m given more responsibility and leadership roles, people get louder in their criticisms of how I do things. Even Jesus – the man responsible for saving all of mankind, had this problem. As Jesus’s ministry grew throughout the bible, the Pharisees, Sadducees, and people’s voices become louder and louder against him. Criticism and disagreement can be a sign that we are on the right track, and we as men must learn to be rock solid in our convictions – and we must be selective in which voices we listen to.
#4. A Man Of God must choose to prioritize fitness.
In my teenage years, I was morbidly obese – as in, had I kept on my trajectory at that time, I would have been dead in my 30’s. Trust me when I say obesity is the #1 tool that the enemy uses to kill, steal, and destroy us as men. Obesity inhibits a man from being a good husband and father, it inhibits us from pursuing the ministry that God calls us to, and it eventually will kill you. Through diet and exercise, I was able to right the ship, and my life is on a completely different trajectory today. We must prioritize fitness in our lives. This means eating a nutritious diet and exercising routinely. This is not an overnight process. It is a day-to-day process, where we have to look back every week and say we improved.
#5. A Man Of God has a Band Of Brothers.
I cannot stress enough how important it is to have a community of good men around him. Men thrive on adventure and comradery. It is in our DNA. As important as the family unit is, there are issues that a man can only talk about with other men. Men have a habit of sharpening each other. King David had his mighty band of warriors – men that he trusted, that had his back at all times – men that multiple times saved his life! Many of my friends are married with families – but I’ve noticed a trend among the most successful ones. They make time in their schedules to spend time with their Band Of Brothers.
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John Eldridge, a very busy man with family and international speaking engagements, said he books a one-week camping excursion with a few of his trusted friends and their sons every year. They never miss an excursion, no matter how busy life is – John Eldridge knows one of the secrets to masculinity – escaping into nature for an adventure allows us to come back rejuvenated and ready to lead, the way God intended for us.
After we are gone and men forget our names, only our legacy will remain, passed on through our families and the people we impact. That is precisely what this blog is about, optimizing life and impacting people. Spreading good to the next generation.