When you say the words “real men” you may conjure up pictures in your head of people like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Chuck Norris, and The Rock (some might even include Elvis and David Hasselhoff – ha). Most guys have been told all their lives things like real men…
  • Don’t eat quiche.
  • Can defend themselves at anytime.
  • Don’t cry.
  • Never show emotion or affection.
  • Don’t ask for directions (Okay … that one’s true. Real men don’t ask for directions).

I’d like to paint you a different picture of what I think a real man looks like, and it has nothing to do with eating quiche or asking for directions. So, what is true manliness? What does it take to be a real man? Here are some qualities I respect in a real man …

1 – Real men know their word is their bond. When a real man makes a promise, he keeps it.

2 – Real men cherish their wives. Other than God, real men know that their relationship with their wife is at the top of the list. Real men are willing to do anything to better that relationship and meet their wife’s needs.

3 – Real men value their families over their work, their buddies and their hobbies. For no reason would a real man ever put his family on the back burner.

4 – Real men lead their families spiritually. Real men know that God gave them the task of training their children spiritually (Ephesians 6:4), and see it as their responsibility to lead their children to church instead of taking their children to church.

5 – Real men model integrity. Their family doesn’t hear them preach one thing and then do the opposite. Real men are good examples.

6 – Real men build up their children. Real men see the value in using words to praise their children, not tear them down. They focus on what they do right, not just what they do wrong.

7 – Real men know it’s okay to be sensitive. Real men can be affectionate with their wives, hug their kids, tell their families they love them, hold their wife’s hand in public and praise their wife and kids openly.

8 – Real men know it’s okay to swallow their pride. They don’t always have to be right or have the last word in every discussion.

9 – Real men are willing to forgive. They don’t keep petty scorecards with past grievances where people have hurt them. Real men don’t drudge up the past in order to remind others what they’ve done. Real men forgive and forget.
10 – Real men keep their anger in check. They don’t fly off the handle, lose control and do something they regret.

11 – Real men don’t have to go around proving their manliness. It just shows by the way they live.
What did I leave out? And, what’s a trait you value in ‘real’ men?

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Article by Trey Morgan

I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast. Read 1182 articles by
26 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Scott says:


    Thanks for reminding us guys who and what we are supposed to be.

  2. nick gill says:

    I’d reword #1 — Real men don’t have to make promises. When they say something, they do it. (Matt 5)

    I’d also drop “are willing to” from #9 — I know you say it that way at the end, but I think it needs to be said that way at the beginning as well. I know it is far easier to convince myself that “I *AM* willing to forgive” than it is to actually do it.

    12 – Real men look out for others. They spend their time looking for ways to pick up the people around them, not ways to out-do them.

    Thanks for this great reminder!

    in HIS love,

  3. Stoogelover says:


    What did you leave out? Real men love the Three Stooges. That would have evened out the list to 12 … far more preach-able than an 11-point sermon, don’t you think?

  4. sherryfisher says:

    AMEN! I think it is important for a man to be able to admit when he is wrong or to acknowledge that someone else might have a valid point. A lot of hurts could be avoided that way.

  5. Evan says:

    Great list!

    We did a couple of classes for our MS & HS guys respectively and asked them to make a list of real man attributes. The most important attributes to them were mercy, integrity, authenticity, and … what Sherry Fisher added … acknowledgment of failures (kind of goes with swallowing pride).

    Thanks for the reminder, Trey.

  6. fraizerbaz says:

    You’ve just described yourself!

    I, a woman, could learn from these… especially #9.

  7. jamie riley says:

    Trey, I think you covered it pretty well…this is an awesome post and a great reminder of where I need to be as a child of God, and a real man for my friends and family.

    Thanks bro, you’re awesome!

  8. thetimehascome says:

    First, Amen!

    Second, "Real men don't eat quiche." BUT they'll eat "egg & sausage casserole" at men's retreats and men's breakfasts all day and never bat an eye. Go figure. Guys, that stuff is quiche an a bigger pan.

    Third, that picture really creeps me out.

  9. L.C.T. says:

    Another brilliant post. I love your outlook on this kind of stuff, very refreshing.

  10. Dr. Roger D. Butner says:

    Amen! Amen! Amen!

    I like the four part definition Robert Lewis offers in Men’s Fraternity (which I cannot recommend highly enough to all men, by the way!)

    A real man:
    – Rejects passivity.
    – Accepts responsibility.
    – Leads courageously.
    – Expects God’s greater reward.

    Beyond what has already been covered, I guess I would just add…a real man can drive a stick shift. No, seriously, I think a real man doesn’t have to go around trying to prove he’s a real man.

  11. Dr. Roger D. Butner says:

    Just realized you already made my last point on your #11.

    Well, while I’m posting a second comment – if anyone is interested in learning the critical difference between men’s and women’s brains, check out my post from yesterday on my blog.

  12. Dawn Jenkins says:

    Trey – you know what I need you to post about – I need to know as a mother how do I raise my two sons to have these 11 characteristics. Maybe that is a post that needs to come from Lea??? I have been looking for books on the subject but haven’t found any. I wasn’t raised in a Christian home, so I have no model to follow. Can’t wait to read your thoughts!

  13. Matthew says:

    Real men play chess, well maybe hockey.

  14. Terry says:

    Last fall, my son and I were walking the dog, when my son asked me, “Dad, when will I be a man?”

    Without thinking, I said, “In about 15 years.”

    Then I realized that I had a “teaching moment.”

    So I said, “To be a man, you will need to be responsible. Do you know what it means to be responsible?”

    He said, “No.”

    I replied, “It means that you take care of what you are supposed to take care of. You do that when you feed the dog.”

    Then I continued, “To be a man, you also need to take initiative. Do you know what that means?”

    My son said, “No.”

    “Well, that means that when you see a problem, you try to solve it. You don’t wait for someone else to solve it or for someone to ask you to solve it. When you are at school, and someone has been hurt on the playground, you go and see what you can do to help.”

    Christopher gave me a serious look and said, “I’ve never done that before.”

    A week or so later, I took him to karate practice. On the way inside the building, Christopher saw some trash. He picked it up and threw it away.

    I said, “Do you know what you just did? You saw a problem and took the initiative to solve it without being asked. You took responsibility. You’re becoming a man!”

    You should have seen the look on his face. Our boys need to know what being a man is, and they need the encouragement of their fathers when they start taking steps toward manhood. Thanks for doing your part, Trey!

  15. Dr. Roger D. Butner says:


    I would highly recommend “The Way of the Wild Heart” by John Eldredge, “Bringing Up Boys” by James Dobson, and “Raising Sons and Loving It” by Gary and Carrie Oliver.

    (I’m a Christian marriage and family therapist who loves to recommend good resources, so your comment really flipped that switch for me.)

  16. Brad Loveland says:

    I appreciate your comments from a Christian man/dad point of view. This message is so often looked down upon, but God’s way is the way!

    Thanks and keep the message coming!

  17. cwinwc says:

    Real men do not shy away from contact whether that be contact on the athletic field, contact with our fellow man, contact with our families, contact with our church families, and contact, real and unmasked with Jesus.

  18. TREY MORGAN says:

    After being gone all day, I throughly enjoyed sitting down tonight and reading through the comments.

    I think your comments were much better than the post.

    Dawn … the books that Roger recommended are excellent. I will hit Lea up and see if she’s up for a post :)

    Roger thanks for the recommendations.

    Terry – I LOVED your story.

    As for the picture … yea, it creeped me out too! :)

  19. nb says:


  20. says:

    When writing an article about the characteristics of a “real man,” it might be a good idea to REFRAIN FROM using a picture of the gay biker guy from The Village People as the poster child of “real manliness.”

    That tip’s free – the next one will cost you.

  21. GODSSECRET says:

    A real man is is what its all about.

    Once people realize this they will cease being animals only interested in their own interests.

    They will see the greatness of love of God in the creation in all ways. We are not here to work for our personal interests alone. That there is more to life than filling your belly and your desire for sex. Also life must have greater purpose then being born raising your children. Hoarding possessions as a weasel, paying your bills and then dying. Yet to millions of people these things are precisely what they live for. If these things are removed from their life it becomes empty and they would find it completely intolerable. Most people go through most of life in a haze. They really have no idea who they are, what is going on,

    more on what it is to be a “Real” man at :

  22. Warren Baldwin says:

    Excellent. Mind if I “borrow” a couple of these for my blog and link it over here for the full discussion? Warren

  23. Karin says:

    EXCELLENT! With just a few minor changes this same list applies to women! Loved your post and all the comments! I’d love to make a hand-out – Real Men on one side and Real Women on the other!

  24. katy says:

    That sounds like a PromiseKeeper.

    They encourage men to be real men.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Real men let little girls paint their fingernails…



  26. TREY MORGAN says:

    Thanks Rob for the kind words :)

About Me

Trey Morgan Here are my thoughts about marriage, family, raising children, humor, faith and the life God intended for us all. I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast.

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Trey Morgan
Husband, father and cancer survivor & Senior Minister for the Childress Church of Christ. Tweets about life, marriage, Texas Rangers and randomness.
  • He was pretty tough to listen to as well.
  • As crazy as it might sound, Chris Collinsworth just might be worse to listen to than the song Christmas Shoes.
  • Please remember that some Christmas music is incredibly offensive to people with grandmothers who actually were run over by reindeer.
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  • Chin up Childress Bobcats. We couldn't be prouder. Great fight tonight.

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