Are you a Real Man?

Posted by Randell Tiongson on July 23, 2012 | 4 Comments »

Posted in: Leadership, Manhood

Today’s perception on what a real man is so obscure because of culture and media. When you talk about a real man, one would think of a typical half naked and unbelievably buffed model you see in EDSA billboards (are they really men to start with, me thinks). To others, the picture of a real man is one who is fierce, stoic, can take in a lot of alcohol and ready to jump into a brawl. Whether the image of a real man is one who has sculpted abs or a beer belly, our society has a twisted image of what a man should be and for us men, we seem to be clueless on how we should act, think and behave.

In a radio show I co-hosted (as a fill-in), we had a guest who had an incredible story. He is your classic rags to riches story and against all odds, even on the brink of death, our guest survived, thrived and became very successful. He seems to be a nice person, kind, generous and willing to share his knowledge and even his wealth to better the lives of those around him. He truly is an admirable fellow and it was really a pleasure conversing with him. No person, no matter what he has achieved is perfect. This nice guest of ours has an incredible story, besides his rise to success. He is a father of 14 children with 14 different women. While many were amazed at his life story, more were impressed upon his virility and people started to call him ‘idol’. While I do not judge our guest, I am saddened that many will find his ‘adventurous romantic episodes’ as something to be admired and worse, emulated. Well, I guess it’s ‘to each his own’, I suppose.

If society has conflicting views and many of us have settled for less than what a man ought to be, the last 3 weeks have made me realize that God expects his men to be more than what society can ever define. Here are 3 critical learning on the role of real men I picked up from church.

1) Provider: lead financially.

While there is nothing wrong with women working and helping their family financially, the role of the man of the house is to provide for the needs of his loved ones. Man should go out and work for a living and provide a comfortable life for his family as best as he can. Providing doesn’t mean that men should give his family an ostentatious lifestyle that will make him a slave to work and be an absentee father as a result. Having a stable home and providing for such a home will always be the responsibility of the men. It is sad to see many women work hard and their husbands are left at home. Call it the modern family and call me old-fashioned but I believe there should not be reversal of roles in this case.

2) Warrior: lead physically and emotionally.

In the family, the man is the head of the family and he should act as such. There is a reason that the men were created to be sturdier, stronger and maybe even less emotional as the women. Men should not abdicate his role as the leader and hold the family together. Being a warrior does not mean he can be insensitive and push his weight around, that’s a sign of weakness. A real man would know when he should acknowledge the wisdom of his wife, accept his limitations and yet stand firm for his decisions. I don’t think women would like their men to be a push-over, indecisive or cannot take his responsibilities seriously.

3) Pastor: lead spiritually.

While our faith in the Lord is an individual concern, the real man should act as the spiritual head of the family. As a husband and a father, the Lord has bestowed upon me the spiritual covering for my family. It is imminent for us men to pray for our loved ones regularly and with intensity. Our faith in the Lord is something our children can emulate, not from lengthy sermons but from what they actually see in us. I once had a friend who got concerned that his young children decided not to go to church; I gently reminded him his children only copies what they see from him and since he is infrequent in going to the church, they started to think they shouldn’t as well. The good news is my friend started going back to church regularly and is now walking with Christ. Our children read their bibles not so much because we tell them so, but more so because they see us read, especially me.  Filipina women have traditionally been more pious but let me tell you that when the men exhibit a close relationship with the Lord, it is a totally different ball game. As the spiritual head, we can actually intercede for our loved ones and I am certain the good Lord listens to all our prayers.

Further, and more importantly, the real man submits to the real authority. He submits to the authority of Jesus Christ who is the real master of his life.

Whew, writing this blog has overwhelmed me if I am to be totally honest. The burdens of being a man, and a godly man at that, is not easy task nor for the faint hearted. However, it is also only by the grace of God can we do all these. Apart from Him, I can’t really do much. “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:13, NLT

Be a man according to culture or society? Or be a real man in the image and likeness of the Lord? The choice is ours to make.


RANDELL TIONGSON, RFP® is an advocate of Life & Personal Finance. Director of the Registered Financial Planner Institute Philippines. He is also a columnist for the Philippine Daily Inquirer and Moneysense Magazine. He is also the Co-founder of, the country’s premiere personal finance on-line forum. It’s an on-line community that is dedicated to the financial education of Filipinos. He blogs about personal finance at

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4 Comments on “Are you a Real Man?”

  1. 1 TJ Manotoc said at 12:38 pm on July 23rd, 2012:

    Hi Randell! First of all, good stuff! =) I certainly strongly agree with #1 and #2, and as well with #3, but I do have a question for the last line… Just curious, and to spur healthy discussion, in your opinion, are there no “Real Men” say in the Muslim faith? Or other religions outside the Christian faith? Thanks, and keep up the great work! – TJ

  2. 2 Zac Castro said at 1:44 pm on July 23rd, 2012:

    This is very timely in the place I am right now. I pray that God will lead my way so I can lead the way for my son and my wife. Thanks Sir Randell for sharing this wisdom. All the best! |zac

  3. 3 Dennis said at 1:49 pm on July 23rd, 2012:

    @tj I think where Randell is coming from is on a Christian worldview. As Christians, our manhood should be based upon the blueprint of the creator and Scripture. We cannot exclusively say all Christian men are real men nor Muslim men are real men. We would always go back to our Creator. Our design and purpose is found in the person who created us.

  4. 4 john dave l. webb said at 1:04 am on July 25th, 2012:

    @Tj, first off Good one Randell, with regards to Tj’s tough question, “are there no real men, say in the Muslim faith?”. The answer to this toughie will depend on what standard one uses in defining real men, to a philanderer a real man may be one who espouses multiple partners like the getleman Randeall mentioned in his blog, who sired 14 kids from women. To a Muslim, a real man would be someone pious and is convinced in his faith in Allah and how his faith is reflected in his lifestyle. And if his faith is tolerant of polygamous relationships, as long as he abides by the requirements of his faith, that is his convictions. My convictions is similar to that of Randells, a real man is one who humbly seeks relationship from Jesus (not necessarily religion), who obeys him even if its hard, to rely solely in the Bible as the standard to Christian living. The Bible is clear when it comes to the standard of monogamy, and political correctness aside, to a follower of Christ this is non negotiable. To have a passion and zeal for Christ and a life (and marriage) indicative of that professed faith is, in my view, a most excellent measure of a “real man”.

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