Manhood, The Great Prerequisite For Marriage


When providing marriage help for men, I am often forced to point out that many men are simply little boys in the bodies of men. That is, mentally, emotionally, and, especially, spiritually, many men have failed to grow up.

Unfortunately, very few boys seem to be truly making it to manhood. And, the fundamental difficulty with this as it relates to marriage is that boyish men make poor marital partners.

Here are a few characteristics of men that are still boyish in their tendencies:


Boys are Motivated by their Feelings Instead of Biblical Principles


Feelings of anger, despair, apathy, and laziness will only serve to hurt a marriage. When a man is driven by these feelings, he ceases to act like a man, but rather a boy. And, when this occurs, disaster looms in any marital relationship.


Boys are Self-Interested, Men are Selfless


One of the more difficult jobs that I have as a pastor and marriage coach when providing marriage help for men is encouraging men to separate themselves from their selfish tendencies. In fact, this is why Ephesians 5:28 tells men “to love their wives as their own bodies.” This is primarily because God knows that men naturally serve themselves before the needs of others, and, when this occurs in a marriage, problems quickly arise.


Boys are Still Looking for Validation, Men Walk in Validation


Humans are naturally on what some call a search for significance. However, this significance should only be found in the love and security that only Christ can offer.

Males that lack validation also lack an ability to selflessly love. This is because only those that stand on the solid ground of Christ, a high self-worth in Christ, and a healthy respect for themselves truly have the ability to love others without any strings attached to their own insecurities and selfish tendencies. We deal with this further in chapter one of our marriage book, How to Fight For Your Marriage Without Fighting With One Another.


Boys Live for themselves, Men Walk with the Lord


When I speak on manhood versus boyhood, I like to ask the question, “Are you a man in the sight of the world or in the sight of God?”

To be honest, there are many men that are manly from the world’s perspective, but, in reality, all that really matters is what God perceives.

In I Kings 2:2-3, as David was departing this world, we find him instructing his son, Solomon. This was a part of his speech:


I go the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and shew thyself a man; And keep the charge of the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself:


I love the way David defined manhood. It was not by square footage, money in the bank, athletic achievements, or a beautiful woman. David told Solomon that a real man keeps the commands of the Lord.


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Posted in Issues Relating to Husbands

22 comments on “Manhood, The Great Prerequisite For Marriage
  1. Shawna Watson says:

    My husband is a full blown narcissist who puts on a good show for everyone making me look like the bad guy and him an innocent victim, while being a complete self serving monster who says he is a Christian while all of his actions prove otherwise. I am turning into an ugly hateful person because I’m so hurt and tired of all of his horrible actions and words. I am in the worst depression ever because I want to be obedient to God, but can’t seem to find peace and joy in our Lord, no matter what like I used to. I’m trying to balance my walk with God, and to teach my children to respect my husband because they hate how he treats me and can’t stand him, when I’m not even able to respect him no matter what, which is what God specifically instructs us to do with out husband’s. But at the same time, I know daughter’s wind up finding men like Thier father’s, and sons model after the father figures and this terrifies me. I’m scared staying in this marriage is going to drive my children to more hate and resentment and I’m scared that my precious 8 year old daughter is going to think this kind of behavior from a man is OK and that my horrible way of reacting and lack of self control is OK, but then I feel guilty because thinking of my children first over my vows to my husband is not what God instructs us, but then God also tells us to protect the innocent. I want to have peace and joy in the Lord only, I just don’t know how anymore as long as he is here

    • Mary says:

      You just described my situation to a tee! We are currently separated. I cannot deny how at peace I am having him out of the house with limited access to our 4 kids.

    • BecomingAStrongWarrior says:

      Please read Leslie Vernick’s book, “The Emotionally Destructive Marriage.”. Addresses your concerns from a Biblical perspective, inclusive of the entire Word of God, rather than a few verses. ☺

    • Josie says:

      If he doesn’t improve, please, for your own good, and the good of your children, leave. God does not intend for us to live this way, and it WILL affect your children EXACTLY the ways that you mentioned, and possibly worse. I know from experience. Love in Christ.

    • Mr Warren says:

      You just named 3 or 4 things that you stated God wants you to, but you’re not doing them. It seems as if you’re blaming everything on your husband when you admitted to being disobedient yourself. The best thing you can do is focused on changing the things that you’re struggling with and stop focusing on the transgressions of your husband. You can’t expect God to move I’m your marriage when you can’t move in obedience to what He has commanded you to do.

      • Sarah says:

        That’s it. God expects us to continue in obedience. We have to continue to work on our own walk with the Lord. It may take many more years to see change in your husband but as long as you remain steadfast God will be working on your behalf. We can not change our husbands but God can.

    • Anonymous says:

      Shawna, respecting your husband means allowing him to face the consequences for his own actions. It doesn’t mean putting up with his do FIL behavior. Get help now!

    • julia says:

      to Shawna any anyone going through that: I understand, im living that too but, we are almost officially divorced. my spouse is not all bad but his thinking is off. he puts his kid first above our marriage and will do what he feels or thinks is right regardless of what the bible instructs. selfishly relies on his own understanding. Ive expressed how lonely in marriage I am I told him how much I needed him and to make our marriage a priority. didn’t happen. a man will treat you according to how he thinks. I did not want to be divorced but the order here is all wrong. respecting him showed him that nothing was wrong and that I was happy. A man has to be WILLING (and teachable) to make the needed changes regardless if he understands, we aren’t always going to understand Gods instruction. It may be uncomfy too but we aren’t smarter than the almighty.

  2. Anonymous says:

    God divorced Israel for acting childish and self serving. The He died for Israel. Israel is still childish.

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