Growing up with a father who was a member of the Philippine Army, I had a worldly perspective on manhood.
I thought being a real man meant being a playboy. My dad had 19 wives and mistresses.
I thought real men don’t cry. I grew up being suppressed or discouraged to cry when disciplined or punished through military squatting, pushing up, and spanking.
I thought being a real man meant being strong and looking strong. In high school, my dad enrolled me in taekwondo classes. To be perceived as tough, I did my best to excel in it until I got to represent the Bicol Region in the National Taekwondo Championship held at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.
I thought being a real man meant being handsome and being swooned over by a lot of girls. So when a co-taekwondo player invited me to join Pretty Boy 2000 of a local TV show, I did.
And I thought real men NEVER wear pink.
It was only when I began attending The Feast that my perspective on manhood was gradually transformed and corrected. I realized that the popular perspective on it is so focused on lifestyle and personality, but is insufficient to define it in its truest sense.
So what makes a man a REAL man?
I got to interview Bro. JPaul Hernandez in our radio program for the youth, and he shared three (3) things about manhood:
1. BEING A REAL MAN IS BEING LIKE JESUS IN WORDS AND ACTIONS.
For the longest period of time, I was such a hypocrite. I was the Lord’s servant on the outside, looked holy, but was a sinner on the inside. I was so immersed in my addiction to porn, masturbation, and sex. But our merciful God freed me from the bondage of these sins.
2. BEING A REAL MAN DOES NOT MEAN BEING “MACHO” AND LOUD.
A man may look “macho” but is coward to deal with real life challenges, to face family responsibilities, and is unfaithful to his wife.
I made a decision not to engage in multiple relationships at the same time. When I get married, I will make sure I will be a responsible father and husband.
3. A REAL MAN NEEDS A “CAVE.”
Most women recharge by chatting with other women, but men recharge by caving.
I schedule a “me time” at least once a week to spend time with God, reflect on my dreams, exercise physically, relax, and read self-help books. Every time I am facing problematic circumstances, I go to my cave in order to reflect, accept, and confront. This simple practice prevents me from sabotaging myself and others.
These three concepts on real manhood can be wrapped up in one word: FAITHFULNESS. Being a faithful man means being obedient to Christ, faithful to your wife, responsible to your family, and committed to lifelong learning and personal development.
Maximizing one’s manhood is a journey. It is strengthened by dying to oneself daily, being captivated by the mind of Christ, and being a part of a spiritual community. It is fighting a good fight, finishing the race, and keeping the faith. (2 Timothy 4:7)
So, now I can wear pink.