What is a Real Man – Part 1?

Recently, I watched a promotional video for the movie, Courageous, a Christian movie which will be available in 2011 (the video can be viewed here). The movie is the story of four law enforcement officers who are called, in very challenging situations, to serve and protect others and their families. Watching this video reminded me that as Catholic men, we are constantly bombarded in the media with images of men, husbands, and fathers that are not only negative, but counter to the biblical image of who we are in Christ as men.

The video also reminded me of the series of Catholic Man Channel articles I created in early 2007 that addressed the following questions: What does it mean to be a real man? What does it mean to be a Holy man? What does it mean to be a man of God? These are all good questions, and like many good questions, they do not have simple answers. In the next several weeks, I will include these articles once again in the Catholic Man Channel. This week’s article will try to provide insights into what is a real man. One of the best definitions of a “real man” that I have seen comes from the Diocese of Memphis NFP Center (URL: www.cdom.org, phone 901-373-1285 Used with permission).

 

A Real Man…

Puts his faith in God – not in himself

Knows he is a child of God

Understands his purpose in life

Is obedient to God’s will.

A Real Man…

Respects himself and other people

Has strength of character as well as body

Behaves with dignity

Accepts responsibility for his actions

Thinks before he acts

Takes pride in his work.

A Real Man…

Is unselfish and generous

Is honest and trustworthy

Is honorable and dependable

Is giving and forgiving

Is thoughtful and sensitive

Is tender and romantic

Is unafraid to be himself.

A Real Man…

Practices self discipline

Controls his temper and passions

Controls his thoughts and desires

Knows right from wrong

Walks away from temptation

Has a strong value system

Stands up for his beliefs.

A Real Man…

Is willing to love sacrificially

Seeks the good of others first

Makes a commitment and keeps it

Protects his wife and family

Knows his body is a temple of the Holy Spirit

Never uses another person.

A Real Man…

Loves God above all things

Trusts God and obeys Him

Leads his family in prayer

Is happy and at peace.

A Real Man…

Is a living witness to God’s love.

(Maurice Blumberg was the founding Executive Director of the National Fellowship of Catholic Men (http://www.nfcmusa.org/), and is currently a Trustee. He is also the Director of Partner Relations for Partners in Evangelism, (http://www2.wau.org/partners/), a Ministry to the Military and Prisoners for The Word Among Us. Maurice can be contacted at mblumberg@wau.org or mblumberg@aol.org.)

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Questions for Reflection/Discussion by Catholic Men

1. How do the characteristics of a real man in this article compare with your own understanding of a real man?

2. How do these characteristics compare with the image of men and fathers in such television shows as “Everyone Loves Raymond”? What are some of the striking differences?

3. Which of the characteristics of a real man listed in this article do you agree with? How do you assess yourself against these characteristics? What steps can you take to improve this assessment?

4. Are their any characteristics of a real man listed in this article that you disagree with? If so, why?

By

Maurice Blumberg is the Director of Partner Relations for The Word Among Us Partners, (http://www.waupartners.org/), a ministry of The Word Among Us (www.wau.org) to the Military, Prisoners, and women with crisis pregnancies or who have had abortions. Maurice was also the founding Executive Director of the National Fellowship of Catholic Men (http://www.nfcmusa.org/), for which he is currently a Trustee. He can be contacted at mblumberg@wau.org or mblumberg@aol.com.

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