“As David’s time to die drew near, he charged Solomon his son, saying, ‘I am going the way of all the earth. Be strong, therefore, and show yourself a man. And keep the charge of the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His ordinances, and His testimonies, according to what is written in the law of Moses, that you may succeed in all that you do and wherever you turn, so that the LORD may carry out His promise which He spoke concerning me, saying, “If your sons are careful of their way, to walk before Me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul, you shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel”.'” ~ 1 Kings 2:1-4
What amazing advice from a father to his son! I was so impressed by this passage when I read it the other day. One sentence in particular stood out to me: Be strong, therefore, and show yourself a man.
My husband and I were walking to the checkout at a local home improvement store, each carrying an item. I held a medium-sized box, containing a small light fixture, and didn’t think much of it. It wasn’t too heavy, no big deal. When my husband said to me, “Let me carry that,” I told him no thanks, I was fine. Then he said words that struck me, like the scripture above which I had read that morning: “Let me be a man.” I was humbled, realizing that he desired to do this for me, not only as an act of love, but of being a man.
What does a man look like? In my opinion, I live with a wonderful example, my God-serving husband (I am SO blessed!), but the Bible gives us perfect insight, God’s own words.
There are hundreds of verses that talk of being men, and women, of God. David told Solomon in the verses above to “walk in His ways” and commandments. I decided to search “blessed is the man”.
“Blessed [is] the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.” ~ Psalm 1:1 (KJV)
“O taste and see that the LORD [is] good: blessed [is] the man [that] trusteth in him.” ~ Psalm 34:8 (KJV)
“Blessed [is] that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.” ~ Psalm 40:4 (KJV)
“Blessed [is] the man whose strength [is] in thee; in whose heart [are] the ways [of them].” ~ Psalm 84:5 (KJV)
“Blessed [is] the man whom thou chastenest, O LORD, and teachest him out of thy law;” ~ Psalm 94:12 (KJV)
“Praise ye the LORD. Blessed [is] the man [that] feareth the LORD, [that] delighteth greatly in his commandments.” ~ Psalm 112:1 (KJV)
“Blessed [is] the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.” ~ Proverbs 8:34 (KJV)
Avoid unwise counsel and companions. Trust God. Don’t be prideful or chase after lies. Look to God for your strength. Have God’s ways in your heart. Be disciplined and willing to be taught by God. Fear God, respect Him, and delight in His commandments. Listen daily, waiting on the LORD. These are the blessed, literally “oh how happy!”, men who seek after God.
But wait, those verses apply to men and women. We should all seek and do those things. What applies specifically to men?
I know they are called to physically provide for, and protect, their families. They are usually stronger and less “emotional”. I am glad God made men and women so very different, each of us unique and filling our specific roles, designed by our Maker.
The Hebrew word used in 1 Kings 2:2 is ‘iysh, and one of the meanings is “husband”. Hmm. Only a man can be a husband. So I looked up the scriptures directed at husbands.
“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;” ~ Ephesians 5:25 (KJV)
This verse alone gives the ultimate, and unique, definition of being a man, a husband. Loving your wife “as Christ also loved the church”. And gave himself for it. Sacrificial love. Dying to himself, giving up his life, for her. Wow. Being like Christ. We are all called to be like Christ, to love like Jesus. But husbands are commanded to love their wives like Jesus loves us, the Church.
“Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with [them] according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.” ~ 1 Peter 3:7 (KJV)
“Giving honour unto the wife, as unto a weaker vessel”. Women are to be treasured as fragile by their husbands. Not lesser. “And as being heirs together of the grace of life”. Equal, joint participants in the “grace of life”, the joyful, absolute fullness of life. Together.
There is so much more to this. Do a study for yourself. Search God’s Word.
And to the men in today’s world: thank you for striving to be strong and show yourselves to be men. May God bless you greatly for it.