A Proverbs 32 Man
It’s easy to cuss and grunt and build a fire. Cavemen did all that, if you're one who believes in cavemen. Despite popular belief, doing these things doesn’t make us men. It’s time to redefine manhood or, better yet, reset it.
Yes, I know John the Beloved said we shouldn't add anything to the Bible. And of course, that's not the intent here. Think of this little post as an exercise, using what's already in Holy Writ as a template for creating a major reminder of what a man should be.
We all know what a Proverbs 31 Woman should be. But what if the writer kept going? So, without further adieu, here's a new Proverb for you, using Proverbs 31 as a template.
Please enjoy and read responsibly.
A PROVERBS 32 MAN
A good man is hard to find. His wife trusts him without reserve and never has reason to regret it. Never spiteful, he showers blessings on his wife and family all life long.
He enjoys his work, but doesn't let it possess him, and pursues a meaningful vocational existence. But not just in the 9 to 5 world. He seeks God’s purpose in every vocation: husband, father, churchman, citizen, and so on.
He doesn’t waste time on temporal pleasures such as Call of Duty or Breaking Bad. And the only thing he likes to binge on is time with family and friends. He gets his backside up and studies the Word of God, in the early morning if he has to, or late at night when the quiet comes. He prays for his family before he organizes his day.
He doesn’t squander his money on frivolous things like gambling or stupid gadgets. Rather, he invests in things that last: his children’s education, great camping gear that will last a generation, something beautiful for his wife, thoughtful investments, and splurges every now and again for the romantic getaway, or daddy-date in Pisgah National Forest.
He senses the worth of his work but knows when it’s time to go home and see his family. If he works from home, he's thoughtful about his screen-time, his work hours, and routinely unplugs. He talks about the value of work with his friends, and kids, if he has them.
He doesn’t slough off home repairs and at least tries to fix the garbage disposal; he mows his own yard, modeling what it means to find the joy in working with his hands.
He’s quick to assist anyone in need and initiates engagement with those who really need help.
He doesn’t worry about his family when there's a blizzard or crazy storm or a job layoff. He’s prepared—he’s done his due diligence, thought ahead, and has his bases covered.
He’s greatly respected when he engages with community leaders, church officials, teachers, and neighbors. His reputation goes before him because he stands for what's right no matter what the neighbors might say at the chili cook-off, or the PTA meetings.
He's not afraid to live in the tension of disagreement. But he's cool-headed about it. He can concede a point, and make one, all with his eyes on the goal of truth.
And he knows that betrayal in this life will come. After all, Jesus was betrayed by his best friends. So, when it does come, he doesn't tuck tail and run, or leave his church. He stands his ground, and realizes that most things in this life are not about him.
He’s not afraid to get his hands dirty. He tries to change his brake pads and enjoys whittling wood, even if he's no good at it. The point is, he's trying new things, and not sucked into a screen when life offers so much more.
He looks sharp and dresses appropriately for the occasion without relinquishing who he is at his core. So, he probably keeps his sideburns, but tucks in his shirt and doesn't mind looking fashionable when the time is right. And let's be honest, flannel is always in.
When he speaks he does so with language that uplifts. He doesn’t use coarse talk because he thinks it’s cool. He employs discernment and always speaks with kindness.
He doesn't use social media for his rant-stage. He doesn't use social media as a veil to be someone else. When you see him in person, he's the same dude as his profile, only better. But you probably don't see him online much anymore, because he's got better things to do, like whittling wood.
He’s the head of his household in the way Christ is the head of Church, and gave himself up for the the Church. His home blossoms with love for his wife as he seeks each day to live with her as co-equals.
His children respect and bless him, usually with tickle fights and kisses; his wife joins in with words of praise: “Many men have done wonderful things, but you’ve outclassed them all!”
He handles influence, which can mislead, and understands that power soon fades. He doesn't try to be someone he's not. Nor does he attempt to "leverage his influence." Rather, he serves humbly, and uses his influence to point others to Christ.
The man to be admired and praised is the man who lives in the fear of God.
Photo by Jeremy Perkins on
**A version of this article can be found in my book Home Behind the Sun: Connect With God in the Brilliance of the Everyday.