Men, as husbands and fathers, are no longer seen as serving a needed role in society. Far from the days of Father Knows Best, husbands and fathers are now shown in pop culture as inept dofusses at best (think Al Bundy or Homer Simpson), if they are shown as being around at all, while women are shown as quite capable to getting along without, or despite, men in their lives. In our schools, boys are now treated as broken girls, needing to have their masculinity fixed. Traditional masculinity is now seen as a vice, not a virtue. The new ideal of manhood is the hyper-feminized, weak and submissive pajama boy.
This sad situation is in desperate need of correcting. As a small step in that direction, I offer a list of skills every real man should have. These are skills, in that they can be learned and developed, if you are willing to put in the necessary work to do so.
Courage - Courage isn't about not being afraid. We are willing to face danger and the right thing even when we are afraid.
Strength - I'm not talking about physical strength, though real men should develop their health and fitness. I'm talking about strength of character, strength of will, and staying power. Real me don't run away when the going gets tough.
Integrity - Real men are honest, are true to their word, and can be trusted to do the right thing. We keep our promises, and do what we say.
A Relationship with God - Real men have a relationship with our Heavenly Father. Worship, prayer, and Bible study are a part of our lives. We accept the Lordship of God over our lives, and accept His Will for us.
[You may be interested in Patriot's Prayers to help jump start your prayer life.]
Love for Wife and Family - A real men is steadfast in his love for his wife and family. "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her" (Ephesians 5:25). We are to put our wife and family first - even to the point of being willing to die for them - above ourselves, our career, our friends, or our hobbies.
[Questions: Do you pray for your wife everyday? When is the last time you lead your wife in prayer?]
Leadership - Real men are leaders, not "bosses." It is their vision and their example that makes them leaders, not their orders. They guide, protect, and serve those they lead.
[You may be interested in my article On Leadership for some tips on what it takes to be a good leader.]
Self-Defense and Defending Others. Real men are willing and able to defend themselves, their wife, their families, and those that cannot defend themselves.
[You may be interested in my article Jesus, Self-Defense, and the Pajama Boy.]
Personal Finance - Real men are skilled at personal finance. That doesn't necessarily mean we have a lot of money. It does mean we know how to spend less than we earn (budgeting), save money (have an emergency fund), barter & haggle (get the best price), and have a good understanding of economics and finances.
[You may be interested in my article Prepping 101: Finance - Get Back to Basics, which covers personal finance in some detail.]
Self-Reliance - Real men don't rely on others (parents, government, etc.) to take care of our needs. Instead, we rely on our own knowledge, skills, abilities, and judgment to make our way in the world. We develop the skills to do as much as we can for ourselves without outside help or assistance.
Abilities to develop include:
- Assuming responsibility for our own life
- Accepting responsibility for our mistakes
- Being informed
- Knowing where we're going (having goals)
- Making our own decisions
- Basic Auto Mechanics
- Small Engine Repair
- First Aid/CPR
- Basic Home Repair/DIY Skills
- Grow/Produce Food
- Bushcraft/Wilderness Survival
- Knife-Sharpening/Maintaining Tools
- Water Collecting/Purification
This list, of course, is only a partial list of manly skills to develop. There are many other important skills that could be added, but this is a good start.
[You may be interested in my article Top 10 Skills You Really Need to Survive.]