What Makes a Man

A thought by Alex Reimen | 5 minute read

When you hear that phrase, “what makes a man”? What do you think of? No doubt you may think of a strong male figure standing in a vast forest wearing a flannel shirt and chopping down trees. Or perhaps you’re thinking of someone who is successful. A man who seems to have everything he wants and needs because he climbed the corporate ladder faster than anyone else. The truth is, in our society pretty much anything passes for qualities that make a man. A man can be defined by what hobbies he picks to pursue in his life. If he enjoys shooting guns, chopping down trees, and has a taste for good whiskey, then he’s a man. Men in our society can also be defined by their sexual resume. The more one-night stands that you have under your belt puts you at a higher level than other men. Simply claiming to be man because that’s what you identify as in spite of your biology has been entered into our catalog of “what makes a man?” Then finally we must not forget the famous 18 years old rule. Once you hit age 18 then magically you become a free thinking independent man. There is one thing that never gets brought up in this discussion, the idea of legacy.

Listen to Not Your Pastor’s Podcast episode “Finding Masculinity with Dan Taylor”

A legacy is what you leave behind, what you are remembered for. For example Abraham Lincoln’s legacy is that he was one of our greatest presidents. He kept the United States from splitting into two and also abolishing slavery with his Emancipation Proclamation. On the reverse end of things we remember that Adolf Hitler was a brilliant public speaker but most people remember him for being a murderous dictator. Now lets sit and think a minute about the legacy you will leave. I hope that we would aspire to leave lasting legacies where we are remembered for the good we have done and not bad. It matters what we leave behind. If a major part of what really makes a man is legacy then why would we want leave this earth with a record of what our favorite hobbies were or our sexual resume? Those things do not stand the test of time. What do you want your grandchildren and great grandchildren to say about you? If all my future grand babies remember me as being a man who loved guns and the Detroit Red Wings, then I have failed.

So what makes a good legacy? How do we as males even attempt this great endeavor?

I have been reading through the book of Proverbs a lot lately in an attempt to become…wise I guess. In the very basic context of the book it is a father bestowing wisdom to his son. In these passages a man is trying to lead his son down a better path and help to leave legacy for generations to come. Upon reading the book I noticed four main categories that make up a man’s legacy. Now I am no pastor, theologian, or great philosopher, so do not hold my definition of what makes a great legacy as concrete but rather use these four things as a starting point.

How do you treat God (what do you worship?)
How do you treat your wife/women?
How do you treat children?
How do you treat others?

As future thoughts are posted my hope is to tackle these topics one at a time. Each one of these could be broken down into further subcategories and we could spend the next millennia talking about them all, but for now I would like to focus on these four. Stay tuned and I hope together we could learn what it means to be a man.



Alex is co-host of Not Your Pastor’s Podcast






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