Written by Pastor Reginald Long (Greater Shiloh Baptist Church - Tyler, Tx)
What is a Man? This question has been contemplated throughout history. It has been said that a man is more than breath and britches, but a man is someone who is responsible, dependable, and integral.
I completed an interrogative investigation of my own manhood and found that while I thought I was a man, I only displayed the qualities and characteristics of a man. While my father gave me the tools of honesty, responsibility, and integrity, I realized it was up to me to use those tools to become a better version of who I was.
For many men we are taught who or what we should be, but we often suppress who we really are. I finally figured out if I was going to really be a “Real Man” I need to not only be polished on the surface but on the inside as well.
I created a portrait of myself that I wanted people to see, placed it in a frame, and put it on display for the world to admire. Although I painted the perfect picture my frame was defective. The thing that was to hold me together, the thing that was to incase and impower me revealed my internal issues and flaws. I was depressed and despondent on the inside and I dealt with that by overeating. It was not until I addressed my food addiction that I could be a “Real Man”.
I surrounded myself with people who enabled and pacified that addiction. I made it okay to be a “Big Man”. It wasn’t until my son wanted me to go with him to the school for a Father’s Day Out event that I realized how much a man and father I was not and how my weight limited my involvement with my son. It was at that time I made the decision to become not a “Real Man” or a “Good Man,” but I wanted to be a “Whole Man.”
So for me being a man is now about not only possessing the tools but using the tools to remain a “Whole Man".