“Lori Hainline & Rebecca Chandler co-authored this list at the respective ages of 19 and 17. Their closing comment: This list is not exhaustive and men like this do exist!”
Well, that’s a great start. Having (presumably) unmarried teen girls describe what a real man is. As opposed to married women or actual men. That said, I do agree with them that men like this do exist. I’ve gone to church and school with men like this, problem is the girls aren’t dating them! So what do they say?
“…values and carefully handles the scriptures. (2 Timothy 2:15)”
“Carefully handles”? Does that mean, “doesn’t throw his Bible around” or “doesn’t interpret Scripture in a way I don’t like”?
“…isn’t embarrassed to worship God and pray in a group setting. (Mark 8:38)”
A real man has to be extroverted and sinless. These girls probably wouldn’t like a man who actually prays out loud about his struggles.
“…takes leadership in a self-sacrificing way. (Ephesians 5:25-28)“
Oh, yay! The self-sacrificial leadership pops up in the third set of descriptors. Bowing to the woman’s desires and mutual submission are implied. Because good leadership is naturally self-sacrificial, only people who have never led don’t know that. They just assume being a leader is awesome and means you get to sit back and relax, when in reality you have a Sword of Damocles over your head. When you are the leader, if stuff goes wrong, it is automatically your fault and you have to fix it. Not cushy at all.
“…not only respects but appreciates a young lady’s purity and innocence. In our culture innocence isn’t retained by accident. (2 Corinthians 11:2-3)
…values his purity as much as he values a young lady’s purity. He is not ashamed to live and act differently from the world in order to guard himself. (1 Thessalonians 4:1-8, Ecclesiastes 7:26)
…can look a girl straight in the eye without communicating any impurity. (Proverbs 20:11)”
The first one is potentially dangerous but better than I’ve seen it phrased elsewhere. The second one is good if living that way didn’t automatically turn women off, a man announcing he’s a virgin has never dropped any panties among young women. The third one is impossible because that depends entirely on the interpretation of the girl. If she decides he’s making bedroom eyes at her, he might as well be. Sexual harassment is a matter of the opinion of the person on the (perceived) receiving end.
“…has no desire to be gross in order to impress other men. He doesn’t burp, swear, or tell disgusting stories. (Proverbs 13:5, Ephesians 5:4)“
Really? He doesn’t burp? Last time I checked that was a natural body process. If they suggested being discreet or saying “excuse me” afterwards, fine, but “doesn’t”? Good luck ladies. Not swearing I can see, there is an actual biblical precedent for that. Also, the rudeness of burping depends upon culture. In some cultures it is a compliment. Whether a story is disgusting or not is a matter of opinion. I think a story about someone getting a face full of horse…hocky is funny as heck. To others it is super gross. NSR has a lot of stories that are gross, but these are stories he has collected organically by living his life. He didn’t make them up for the sake of being gross or impressing others. They are the stories he has. Men should not be seen as terrible men just because their life has brought them gross or awful stories and they choose to laugh at them instead of shrink away.
“…is pleasant and expresses joy rather than feeling that it’s masculine to be sullen. (Proverbs 21:29, 1 Thessalonians 5:16)
…can accept correction (Proverbs 12:1, Proverbs 29:1)”
Real men have a “pleasant” personality, apparently. It’s not like some men are just more reserved because that is the way God made them, or that God made men less emotionally expressive than women overall. This is funny because later on they say a real man should be able to handle life’s hurdles logically. He also has to be able to accept correction…from his prospective wife or women in general. Or feminism embracing pastors.
“…expresses himself with intelligent words rather than using “street talk”. (Proverbs 17:20, Titus 2:6-8, 1 Peter 4:11, Ephesians 4:29)”
“Real men” own a thesaurus. Not to say I’m against men speaking in a decent, educated manner. Well-spoken men don’t necessarily have women crawling all over them though.
With all that said, this is a pretty decent set of suggestions, all with biblical context. You can read the whole thing here. However, we have to consider reality. Men are told they have to be perfect and amazing to capture a “Daughter of the King”, they do their best, and they are sneered at in favor of Bad Boys who absolutely do not adhere to this list or any other Christian list. That is, until all the young women aren’t so young anymore and want a baby above all else. To reiterate what I said at the top of this post, men like this or at least realistic versions of this, do exist. Some of them post around here. The problem is not their rarity, it is the fact that women blatantly ignore them.
I guess the TL;DR version of this is: Lists like this do not help. Men are constantly being beat on by our churches to be perfect, and women already have lists of expectations that are unrealistic and don’t match up with who they’re dating anyway. So give it a rest. Encourage men and tell women to be realistic instead.