If I’m honest with you, I have to admit that I sometimes question whether or not I really understand what it means to be a man.

I grew up surrounded by great, godly men. My father. My grandfathers and uncles. Sunday school teachers. My youth minister. My first boss. They weren’t just men who claimed to love and serve God. They were men who talked openly about faith and taught me to believe while providing me with practical examples of what it meant to be a Christ-follower as I watched them each grow in their own journey with Jesus.

I guess they were great examples, also, of what it means to be a man. But like all men, they were flawed. So, though I saw and studied their examples, I wasn’t entirely sure which characteristics they possessed it was important for me to seek to adopt for myself. I didn’t know because no one told me.

We could talk about being a Christian, but everything we discussed could easily apply to either gender. When it came to questions about any unique aspects of manhood, they not only went unanswered, they went unasked. It didn’t occur to me to inquire, and, for whatever reason, they simply never brought it up.

I haven’t given this too much thought over the years. I realized my lack of understanding about manhood once I got married. So, I sought to learn from professors, mentors, pastors, bosses and even some of the men from my past. I found them more than willing to teach me. While growing in my understanding, it one day dawned on my that this was something I had missed for so long, and I couldn’t help but wonder where I would be if I had received it earlier.

[caption id="attachment_455" align="alignright" width="300"] Chris and Haven Kinsley Photo by Eric Champan[/caption]

I’ve been thinking more about this lately, and it’s no surprise to me that I have. You see, I now have a son, Haven. He’s ten-months-old now, but my wife and I first met him when he was four-months. He was severely malnourished and only weighed seven pounds. However, when I held him for the first time my knees almost buckled from the weight of responsibility I felt to raise him to be a godly man.

I want to model for him what that looks like, and I pray everyday for the Lord to prepare me to do just that and to also provide him with many others from our community to model manhood for him as well. But I don’t want to just show him. I want to teach him as well. So, I pray for that, as well. For the understanding and the words. For him and for me. And for your fathers and husbands and sons, too.



Chris Kinsley is the Communications Director here at The Church at Brook Hills. He and his wife Liza have been active members since 2004. They have two children Story, age 4, and Haven, 10 months old.