When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.
(1 Corinthians 13:11)
Physical growth is almost non-optional. If a man eats the right food, he will grow. Emotional growth is a lot more complicated, particularly since his emotional development is connected to that of his spirit.
This spiritual development gives man the solid foundations that he needs to grow into his full potential. Any man whose spirit, the core of his being, from which his emotions, passions, desires, fidelity, and faithfulness are generated, is stunted will not be developed emotionally. The depth of his inner being produces the depth of his character. His emotions will be generated out of this invisible spiritual reservoir.
Some males grow up physically, but never mature spiritually or emotionally which makes it easy for women, at first glance, to be deceived into thinking that they are dealing with a man. This deception can be very frustrating to women who expect the outer male to reflect the inner man. As a result of the frustration of dealing with immature males, some women have become leery of all men, tending to see “all” men as boys needing to grow up. The truth of the matter is that real men have no connection or similarity to the emotionally immature. Immature males cast a negative shadow on real men everywhere. Though it requires effort, it is possible to separate the men from the boys. Real men welcome this distinction, while immature males will rebel against it.
First, real men are developed emotionally and spiritually, but immature males lack internal development. The have height, but not depth, money without mission, and biceps without precepts. All of their attractive features are external while, inwardly, they are filled with instability. Real men say what the mean and mean what they say. Their outer character reflects their inner being.
Secondly, real men accept responsibility for their actions, but immature males do not. With them, it is always someone else’s fault. Real men celebrate the success of others while immature males cannot accept someone else’s success. They also cannot accept constructive criticism. Emotional time-bombs, they display childish behavior that often can rival that of a two-year-old. If they don’t get their way, they take their marbles and go home.
Thirdly, real men are fiscally responsible. They know that as a man, they must consistently provide for themselves before they can consistently provide for others. Immature males, on the other hand, are underdeveloped when it comes to dealing with finances. This is more that just simply not having money in the bank. Lacking a sense of financial responsibility, immature males view bills as snares instead of financial obligations.
Finally, real men are in control of their desires. They are committed to what is right, and they measure themselves by the value of their relationships. Immature males are sexually immature, tending to measure themselves by what is between their legs, the place where their manhood is located. This, along with their irresponsibility and lack of internal depth, inevitably results in multiple infidelities.
Not all men are immature. Real men exist and are adults in every sense of the word. But there are immature men among us who have not been through the fire. As a consequence, they are like unrefined steel, waiting to become the finish product. These untested, unfinished, irresponsible models will not perform as advertised and should be returned to their manufacturer, God, as soon as possible. Boys become men not when they reach a certain age, but when they move from immaturity to maturity which implies a certain degree of physical, spiritual, and emotional development.
Timothy Houston is an author, minister, and motivational speaker who is committed to guiding positive life changes in families and communities. For questions, comments or more information, go to www.tlhouston.com.