The Apostle Paul penned some strong words about manhood to the church in ancient Greece, in the town of Corinth. Corinth was like the Las Vegas of its day. It was not a city to which a man would intentionally gravitate if he wanted to be influenced to become a person of high moral character. So Paul counseled the men in Corinth to: “Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love” (1 Corinthians 16:13-14 – NASB).

St. Paul gives every man a counterculture way to spell “M-A-N.” He stipulates three characteristics of good manhood.

First, a good man is Moral. “Be on the alert. Stand firm in the faith…” (1 Corinthians 16:13 – NASB).

A godly man stands firm in his faith in God by being alert to avoid sin in his life. In particular, he’ll avoid sexual immorality. There’s nothing manly about being sexually immoral. Elsewhere Paul counsels every man to “…control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable” (1 Thessalonians 4:4 – NASB). In other words, make your sex life something you can be proud of before God. Sexual purity (no sex outside of marriage with anyone but your female wife) is not just for pastors and a few “super saints” – and even that’s not a sure bet these days.

Leadership Journal commissioned a poll of a thousand pastors. The respondents indicated that 12 percent of them (one out of eight pastors) had committed adultery while in the ministry.

Christianity Today surveyed a thousand of its subscribers who were not pastors and found the figure to be nearly double, with 23 percent saying they had had extramarital. [1]

Research by the Barna Group and Covenant Eyes reveals that 68% of church-going men and over 50% of pastors view pornography on a regular basis. And of young Christian adults 18-24 years old, 76% actively search for porn.[2]

Reflect on that for a moment. Nearly one in four self-identified Christian men has been unfaithful to their marriage vows, and over two-thirds of those same Christian men view pornography regularly – three out of four when it comes to Gen Z.  Pastors are not far behind, with half admitting to viewing porn regularly. To quote St. James, “These things ought not be!” (James 3:10). There are severe moral problems in the church. There’s a huge difference between what the church teaches about sex and how its members – particularly men – actually behave sexually.

Even though sexual sin has become the norm in our society, a godly man will not engage in sexual immorality. Sex before marriage or outside of marriage once you’re married cannot to be a part of a godly man’s life – regardless of what our culture tells you to the contrary.

As a disciple of Jesus Christ your sexual behavior is a “dead giveaway” to the depth of your commitment to His Lordship (management) in your life.

Being alert spiritually and standing strong in the faith also includes acting morally by not lying, or cheating, or hiding from the truth about yourself. If you’re a godly man, your life will also display relational honesty and integrity.

The second thing Paul says a good man should exhibit in his life is being Aggressive for God. “Stand firm in the faith…be strong” (1 Corinthians 16:13 – NASB).

Good men are not spiritual or emotional wimps. They’re strong in their faith in God. Good men are the guardians of their spiritual life and their homes. A good man is the spiritual protector of his wife and children. A good man is the spiritual visionary and “pro-visionary” of his family. A good man is the spiritual mentor of his home. That’s the kind of man God want you to be.

In his book, Tender Warrior, Stu Weber – a pastor for forty years and a former U.S. Army Green Beret in Vietnam who won three bronze stars – explains what being the spiritual pro-visionary for your family means.  He writes:

“A provisionary sits at his daughter’s bedside at night when the lights are out and wonders aloud, ‘What kind of woman, what kind of wife and mother could you be for God’? A provisionary sits by the coals of a campfire and listens to a boy’s hopes and dreams and nods his head and says, ‘Those are good dreams. I’m with you a hundred percent, son.’ A provisionary sits with his wife over coffee in the morning and says, ‘Where are we headed, anyway? What are our goals? Where are we going as a couple…a family?’ A provisionary looks down the years and asks himself questions.

“If our marriage were to go on just the way it’s been going, what will it be like for us in five, ten, twenty years?

      “How can I build the self-esteem of my wife who spends enormous amounts of time ‘cleaning house’ and changing diapers – in addition to working outside the out home?

      “How can I help my eight-year-old girl learn to understand and control her emotions before the hormones start pumping through her body?

      “When will my little boy and I need to have our first talk about sex?

      “What kinds of things might my kids encounter in middle school – and how can I prepare them?

      “How can I manage my career goals so that I’m available to my high school children?

      “What will my children need in a dad when they’re in trade-school or college?

“What kind of a husband will my wife need when she hits menopause? How can I help her through that passage?

      “What kind of traits will my kids and grandkids cherish in a grandfather?

“A provisionary helps keep the larger issues before his family so they won’t be overcome by temporary setbacks or the disorienting fog of daily circumstances. People with places to go need to see ahead. Clarity of vision is critical to the accomplishment of goals. A man was made for reaching goals, climbing mountains, and seeing ahead.” [3]

One of the most practical and effective ways you can be the spiritual guardian, protector, and pro-visionary for your family is to pray daily for your family members – specifically for your wife and kids. Pray “proactively.” Mention them daily by name and ask God’s blessing on their life. Ask Him to protect them physically and spiritually. Ask God to provide for their financial welfare in miraculous ways. Pray that they gain and maintain emotional and mental health, that they have good, godly relationships and that they find their faith in Jesus Christ alone. Pray that the Holy Spirit fills them and gives them His insights into life. Pray for their hearts to be kind and loving to others and that others would be the same to them. And pray for the glory of God to fill their lives with His grace and truth.

The last thing Paul tells us a good man’s life will characterize is being Nuturing toward others. “Let all that you do be done in love” (1 Corinthians 16:14 – NASB).

I realize that men are not usually expected to be the nurturing type. But what Paul’s saying here is that a good man is not only a King and Warrior, a Mentor and Defender – he’s also a Friend and Lover. And that means sharing your softer side with the ones closest to you. A good man is there for others emotionally. Good men are tenderhearted.

Becoming a tenderhearted man is accomplished through prayer. It’s the work of the Holy Spirit. A tender hearts are not man-made – it’s born in your soul by God’s Spirit. Tenderheartedness requires emotion that visibly overflows to others. Tender-hearted compassion is what you must strive to exhibit in every area of your life. Love the members of your immediate family. Cultivate a tender heart toward them.

Do you want to be a good man? Then learn to be…

M – oral –“Be on the alert. Stand firm in the faith…” (1 Corinthians 16:13 – NASB)

A – ggressive for God – “Stand firm in the faith…be strong” (1 Corinthians 16:13 – NASB)

N – urturing –“Let all that you do be done in love” (1 Corinthians 16:14 – NASB)

Let’s get back to being real men – and helping other men to become one of the good men in the world.



To read more about becoming a good man see Every Man Jack – Becoming the Man God Wants You to Be, by Daniel L. Clubb. You can find it at Westbow Press // and on Amazon at // or wherever books are sold.

And for more insights on genuine manhood, see the following article by Larry Taunton                                                                          Larry Taunton | America’s Man Problem: Where Have All the Good Men Gone?    //


1 Cited in the blog, Sexual Immorality & Church Leaders, by GOL //

2 Cited in the article, 15 Mind-Blowing Statistics About Pornography And the Church,

[3] Stu Weber, Tender Warrior, (Sisters, OR: Multnomah Books, 1993), pp. 28-29

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