What is a Man?  Part One (reprint from 2018)

As authors, we sometimes do a character sketch to solidify the character we want to portray. After writing the article “Superwoman: Is She Believable?" I realized that I did not have a clear picture in my own mind of what is a man.  

When I google searched it, the first article gave this description: “A man carries cash. A man looks out for those around him---woman, friend, stranger. A man can cook eggs. A man can always find something good to watch on television. A man makes things---a rock wall, a table, the tuition money. Or he rebuilds---engines, watches, fortunes. He passes along expertise, one man to the next. Know-how survives him.”1

Of course, the article continues and elaborates on this description. But it was nothing more than illustrating what he does—rather than a definition of who he is.   Is that all? He can make eggs and has cash? 

I searched the Scriptures---wondering how the Creator Who made man would define him. Surely, more than one who carries cash. I found him, and I was excited where I did, in Psalm 8 proclaiming the majesty of God:

O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your Name in all the earth,  
Who has displayed Your splendor above the heavens!  
From the mouth of infants and nursing babes You have established strength  
Because of your adversaries, to make the enemy and the revengeful cease.  
When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,  
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained;

Notice now, this is who man is…

What is man that You take thought of him,  
And the son of man that You care for him?  
Yet You have made him a little lower than God,  
And You crown him with glory and majesty!
You make him to rule over the works of Your hands;
You have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen,
And also the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens
 And the fish of the sea,
Whatever passes through the paths of the seas.
O Lord, our Lord
How majestic is Your name in all the earth.

Man is created to reign over all things. A little more challenging than making eggs!  

What does a king do? A king commands authority, protects constituents, possesses wisdom, executes judgment with mercy, manages the kingdom. The Creator God has relegated that position to man over His own creation.  

What is man? He is a king under the High King Jesus. 

As king, man’s authority and kingdom will be challenged and his territory threatened. He must then act as warrior to protect what is his own.  

Again, notice in this psalm of worship to God, how He defines and trains man, from Psalm 144:

 Blessed be the Lord, my rock. Who trains my hands for war,  
And my fingers for battle;  
My loving kindness and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer,
My shield and He in whom I take refuge,  
Who subdues my people under me.  
O Lord, what is man, that You take knowledge of him?  
Or the son of man, that You think of him?  
Man is like a mere breath;  
His days are like a passing shadow.  

In the midst of worship to God, He prepares His man for battle. Man is a warrior. Why? Because his kingdom will be challenged, his territory threatened, evil must be confronted, he must stand his ground and hold his own. Man is a warrior.  

He is not a brute to slaughter all for bloodshed, but a protector guarding the truth and those who depend upon him from the evil that threaten to surround them.  

PictureHave you ever guarded your boys from guns? I have---telling my husband they would not play with guns in our house. We would not have violence. We would have peace. Do you know that it doesn’t take guns to kill? A stick will do, or even a piece of cheese bitten in the shape of a gun. And the war is on. Why? They are made in the image of their God. “The Lord is a warrior, the Lord is His Name.” (Exodus 15:3) Who then am I to tell them, stop preparing for what God has in store for them? Don’t I want them to learn to stand their ground when their word is at stake? Don’t I want them to hold their own when wrong pounds on their doors and they must keep it away? How else will they be ready? 

What is man? He is a king. He is a warrior. But what of that tender part that teaches his son how to perform a skill? Is there room for teacher in what man is? The Old Testament is full of commands for fathers to teach their sons. The imperative was to pass the Law to the next generation.  

“Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, so that you do not forget the things which your eyes have seen and they do not depart from your heart, all the days of your life but make them known to your sons and your grandsons.” (Deuteronomy 4:9) 

Isn’t that what God promised to do with us? “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go. I will counsel you and watch over you.” (Psalm 32:8) Aren’t men modeling the Savior again, when they teach their family the Law and life? Christ took his disciples away from the crowds to instruct them of deeper things. Isn’t that what protects his kingdom from deception coming to steal his people?   

What is man? He is a king. He is a warrior. He is a teacher. But God did not make man to be just those. God made him to be His friend. Adam walked with God in the Garden. Abraham was a friend of God. Moses talked with God face to face. God desires commitment, communication and communion.  That is why He made man. That is who man is. This is where his heart beats. This is where his passion lies. This is where he finds his deepest purpose, his hardest challenge, his greatest fulfillment. When he becomes God’s friend, he finds that he must share that compassion and love with his kingdom; he must guard them from the wiles of those who seek to take it away and teach them to see for themselves what is there for them.  

Yes, a man may carry cash. He might even make eggs. But more than that: man is king, warrior, teacher, and friend.  

1Chiarella, Tom. “What Is a Man?”  

2Weber, Stu. Tender Warrior. Sisters, OR:  Multnomah Books, 1993.pp. 40-43.  He presented the four pillars of what man is: king, warrior, mentor, and friend.

Displaying all 2 comments

Think I got these two articles out of order, but both are excellent. God made man as he is for many reasons and we should never try to alter that. Thanks for sharing, it was very well put.

You put this altogether so wonderfully, opens up our eyes to the marvel of God's creation of a man. How we need Godly men today for the battle, and it is surely a battle, a war, we are in. Thank you, Sonya, how I appreciate your words.

Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

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Tell of My Kingdom's Glory
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