(Image courtesy of Gladiator, 2000.)
"Where are all these people going?"  "What are their families like?"  "Why is that person walking down the sidewalk right now?"  If you have been around me long enough, you will know that I ask these types of questions from time to time.  I think it's because I enjoy watching people.  I honestly enjoy hearing peoples stories, or at least
wondering about them.

It is because of this desire to know and understand people that I question a lot of things, especially the seemingly foolish actions of other people.  Why do people do what they do?  In the case of ignorance and disrespect, I firmly believe there is an inward, usually deep-rooted, issue behind every outward outburst of foolishness.  The outward response of disrespect is easy to notice, and I see it every day as I teach at school.  But labeling this inward issue is usually quite difficult.  That is why it has taken me so long to draw even general conclusions.

In my observations of diverse populations these last few years, I have finally come to the conclusion that there are three types of men: 1) The Man With Too Much Pride, 2) The Man With Too Little Pride, and 3) The Man With No Pride.

1) The Man With Too Much Pride
This kind of man views himself as far superior to others.  He comes across as very arrogant, very pushy, very aggressive, very disrespectful, and sometimes very angry.  He views the world as his stage and everyone else as his serf.

He is the kind of man who acts tough and gets into verbal arguments, but will most likely back down from any real physical altercation.  He is a bully.

This type of man's outward behavior of aggression and disrespect stems from a desire to be accepted and respected by men.  Most likely, his father was not physically present, or if he was, he was not involved in a positive way in the life of his son.  As this boy grew up, he saw his only way to gain acceptance and respect was to force others to give it to him, or to act so tough that no one would dare challenge him.  This front of acting tough and aggressive saves him from future rejection.

Although he comes across as proud and strong, he is really quite weak; he is crying out for acceptance, demanding that people accept him in order to feel fulfilled as a human being.  He is very aggressive toward others because he is putting up a front that will keep him from being found out as the weak man that he is.

This kind of man is to be greatly pitied.  He has had no one take interest in him, neither accepting him nor teaching him to be a man.  He is a boy in a man's body, desperately seeking for someone to be proud of him.

2) The Man With Too Little Pride
This type of man views himself in a very unhealthy way.  He may come across as loud and prideful, but he actually has no pride as a man.  This is the kind of man who lives his life in fear; he may send his girlfriend or wife to check the noise downstairs at night.  He is very weak in both speech and especially action.  He may not even view himself as a man, even though biologically he is.

This type of man, once again, suffers from lack of acceptance among older males in his life.  He may have been abused in some way, in which case his scars go much deeper than rejection.  Nevertheless, this kind of man does not have the pride to say, "I am going to be a man.  I'm not going to fight with girls.  I'm not going to dress like a woman.  I'm not going to sit back and watch bullying take place.  I have a healthy understanding of what it means to be a man and I will carry myself in such a way as to be worthy of being called a man."  The reason he cannot say this is because he has not had a man in his life model this for him; no man has taught him to take pride in his manhood.

This kind of man is to be equally pitied as the man with too much pride.  He has had no one take interest in him, neither accepting him nor teaching him to be a man.  He seeks to be accepted by men, but since he has been rejected earlier, he has given up and turned to the female world as his only source of acceptance.  This has totally disgraced his nature.

3) The Man With No Pride
This kind of man views himself with healthy self-confidence.  He knows how to act like a man because his father, or some other positive male influence, has modeled for him what it means to be a man.  This kind of man realizes that pride has no place in the mind of a man; instead, humility and respect have been taught.  He has also been taught to be intentional in everything he does.  He has been taught - and had it modeled for him - to do what he says he will do, to finish what he started, to respect authority, to work hard, to treat others as you would like to be treated, and so on and so forth.

Truthfully, he was seen as a worthwhile investment by moral and godly men, beginning at a young age.  This type of man is now more difficult to find than the previous two, and his task is now daunting, but all the more important: to continue the process of teaching and modeling manhood to the next generation.

Ultimately, how we act directly depends on our inner being.  Who are we serving?  If we are serving our self, then we will act immorally; however, if we are serving God, then we will act morally.

If you are a man reading this, then please check yourself, as I most certainly will.  For your convenience, I've provided a graphic below to help gauge your level of manhood.

If you have failed as a man up to this point, there is no better time than the present to change.  The battle will be difficult and the road ahead will be very enduring - but endure it!  A man was meant to struggle and strain, and then reach the other side as a victor!

If you believe yourself to be a man with no pride, then humbly accept your responsibility to pour into the lives of young men around you.  If you have a son, then choose today to pour all you have into him, teaching him and modeling for him what it means to be a real man.

None of us will ever reach perfection; none of us will ever be a man absent of all pride.  However, we can strive toward that goal, knowing that there is hope to be found in the persistent journey toward true manhood.

If you have questions about what it means to be a real man (and you most certainly should), then get in the Word of God.  The Bible says, "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord" (Psalm 37:23).

Let your steps be ordered by Him and for Him.  Become a man of no pride, selflessly serving God and others.

Die to self; live for Him.  BE A MAN!