It is easy to be a male - it is genetically inherited. Being male requires no special acts of strength, intelligence, or courage. However, when someone says "be a man" or "man up", they are referring to something above and far beyond genetically inherited male-ness. It is obvious why; we all know men who have that something, and men who don't. What is it? I think an easier question to answer is what does it look like? In order to answer that question, allow me to introduce you to some of the manliest men of all manhood!
Rugby is undeniably one of the most manly of sports, and Jonah Lomu is one of the greatest legends of rugby. To see why, you need to watch him in action.
Here is a video of his scoring highlights.
And another of his defensive abilities.
He was a gentleman, a scholar, a leader, and a warrior.
"We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender..."
Messner is arguably the most accomplished and skillful mountaineer of our times.
In an age when climbing mountains has become, for some, a tourist experience, Messner insists on a purist approach.
“The start of the climb is done from the bottom of the mountain and one carries all the gear on the way. Route preparation should not be done and supplemental oxygen is not to be used.” Many found this a crazy idea, but Reinhold believed that “Nothing should come between me and my mountain.” He became the first person to climb all the fourteen 8000-feet mountains in the world. In fact he has more “firsts.” He was the first to climb Mount Everest without Oxygen, a feat which doctors said would “be impossible,” and also the first to conquer the treacherous Nanga Parbat, alone. He was also, in 1990, the first to cross the icy Antarctic continent by foot. (From this site)
He worked with his hands (Mark 6:3). He endured hunger (Luke 4:2).He knew how to take a hit (John 19:1). He was sometimes gentle (John 8:1-11), sometimes harsh (John 2:15). He was full of love (Luke 18:16) and anger (Mark 3:5). He had a purpose (John 17:4), and followed it to the end (John 19:30).
There are a few things you can do that cement your reputation as a manly man. Rising from the dead is one of them. (1 Corinthians 15:6)
There they are - in my opinion, some of the manliest men ever. What do they have that makes them so? Here is an informal breakdown:
- Jonah Lomu: strength and unstoppability. It is clear in the videos: he can run over just about anybody.
- Winston Churchill: vision, courage, and wisdom. He saw the truth when others were blind. He spoke out about the truth when others remained silent. He recognized the correct course of action to take.
- Reinhold Messner: vision, strength, principle. He lives all out, pursuing adventure and extremes. He has incredible endurance.
- Jesus: Heroism, humility, strength, passion, leadership. He stood out from the crowd. There is only one Jesus, no one else comes close.
All who aspire to be great men must learn lessons from these, and other great men. We must find the way out of the dust and filth and walk into the light. It is not easy - just ask Jonah, Winston, Reinhold, and Jesus. Greatness requires a great deal of sacrifice. That is why it is necessary to have your eyes fixed on a truly worthwhile goal. A purpose, greater than that which you have to leave behind. The higher the purpose, the greater the required sacrifice, and the more worthwhile. And so, in the end, the test of a great man is not what he has gained, but what he has willingly lost.