how to be a real man

Fathers: What Does It Mean to Be a Real Man?

I am writing this blog the day before Father’s Day and I have naturally been thinking about fathers. I believe one of the major reasons we live in such a great country is because of some great fathers we have had. Fathers tend to set the tone for our families and our culture. This is not to diminish anything from our mothers. There is a reason there are far more cards sold on Mother’s Day than on Father’s Day!

But if we fathers are to take credit for the successes in our culture, we must also take responsibility for our problems. I believe many of our societal problems can be laid at the feet of absent fathers.

Fathering children is a full-time job that some days can simply just wear you out. One of the predominant memories I have of raising our kids (especially when they were young) is fatigue. I was constantly physically and emotionally fatigued! I understand why many men have trouble fathering. I am not excusing them, but I get it. It is hard. But I also know the rewards of sacrificially loving and providing for your family greatly outweigh any cost!

One of the most influential books I have read on fathering is by Robert Lewis, Raising a Modern-Day Knight. If you are a father of young children, I strongly encourage you to read this book. It is filled with practical wisdom for raising your children, especially your young boys. (He is also the author of a program, “The Quest for Authentic Manhood,” another strong recommendation!)

Raising your family is your primary calling in this stage of your life. If you fail at this, you will have many regrets and major disappointments. Live with no regrets.

Unfortunately, I see many men who are putting their career and even hobbies (hunting, fishing, golf, etc.) ahead of their families. They are rejecting one of the major callings in their lives or putting it down the list of their priorities. Trust me, you will have time for a career and all of your favorite hobbies when your kids are grown. Your time with them is ever so short.

Real men do not reject responsibility. Real men will take the responsibility of providing love and protection for their families. Real men will lead their families courageously. Real men will reject being passive. Real men look to God for direction and reward. Men, let’s get real!

I strongly want to encourage young fathers in our culture to stay strong. You are shaping our futures with the work and love you put into fathering and caring for your family. You will never regret sacrificing any career or financial goals for your family. Your family should be first on your list.

Stop and think about your father. What kind of relationship did you have with your dad? Most people of faith will view their heavenly Father in the same way they view their earthly Father. If you had a cold and distant dad, there will be a strong tendency for you to view our heavenly Father the same way. The opposite is also true.

I was very fortunate to have a dad who worked lots of hours but somehow managed to be there for the important times in my life. He was faithful. I could count on him. I knew he would be there for me.

Today, from a spiritual perspective, I find having faith in my heavenly Father to come easy. I have no doubts about God being there for me and even for my family. I am convinced that faith comes relatively easy for me because my dad was faithful to me and our family.

So, dads, how are you doing with this most important job in the world? Be strong and courageous! Live with no regrets, lead courageously, reject passivity, accept responsibility, and look to God for direction.

Wishing You an Amazing Life,

Dr. Curtis Brown