Part of being a man isn’t just who you are and what you believe, but also what you can do. Men should be men of action, ready to handle anything that may face them. Or as the Boys Scouts say, to Be Prepared. So are you prepared to tackle the jobs, the basic tasks, and the emergencies that may come your way as a man?
As a starting point, check out this list from Popular Mechanics where they list 100 Skills Every Man Should Know. Read through them and ask how many you know or how many you’ve already done or would be prepared to do (that is, without reading the instructions first). Don’t feel too bad if there are several skills you don’t know. Unfortunately, we’re not our grandfathers, who could probably do most of these things and would find the idea of making a list for us to review just silly.
We live today in a disposable and dependent society where we just replace things when they wear out, call a professional when we need something done, and spend most of our lives indoors or at least in the safety of civilized society. But I contend that these manly skills are still good to know. We should be men ready and able to change a flat tire for a stranded old lady, to protect our families from all kinds of threats ,to be good stewards of our resources by maintaining and repairing as much as we can on our own, and as Christian men, to lead our families and be bold witnesses for Christ.
In fact, I thought of ten more things I’d add to the list;
1. Earn a living (Get a job!)
This should be obvious, but for many in the next generation it looks like this isn’t a given. Read 1 Timothy 5:8 if you’re still not sure.
2. Defend yourself and your family.
Take a self-defense class, learn to use a weapon, and stay in shape. You never know when you may have to fend off a mugger, a drunken idiot, or even a stray dog.
3. Identify venomous snakes and poisonous plants.
Know what snakes can kill you and which plants not to touch.
4. Train your dog.
An untrained dog can be a nuisance or even a danger. Train your family dog so that they are a welcome addition to the family and so they know their place in the pack. Your pet will feel more secure and your family will be happier and safer.
5. Rescue a drowning swimmer.
Not as easy as it sounds, but you never know when a total stranger or your closest family member may need you to save their life.
6. Know what other religions (really) believe.
Did you know that those nice Mormons think they can become gods and populate other planets or that Jesus and Lucifer were brothers? If not, maybe you should take a class or read up on what other religions really believe.
7. Give a credible defense of Christianity.
“Always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.” 1 Peter 3:15
8. Share your personal testimony of God’s grace in your life.
Remember, testimonies aren’t just for former drug addicts and criminals, we all have one. Learn to share yours boldly and effectively for God’s glory.
9. Preach the word.
Faithfully proclaim God’s word to the best of your ability, to others or at least to your own family. “Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.” 2 Timothy 4:2
10. Train your children.
“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4
So how prepared are you as a man? See a few things you could learn by taking a class, watching a video on the Internet, or asking a handy buddy of yours? I did pretty well but had a few things on the list I don’t know. I need to learn to weld and make beer (but probably not at the same time!). Why don’t you make a personal goal of tackling a few of these you don’t know how to do? If you’re a father, how about teaching your son one or two of these next weekend? Maybe he can even teach you a couple.
Finally, leave a comment on what you’re going to work on, what you’ve learned after reading this, or what other essential manly skills were left off the list. I’d love to hear about your journey too. And ladies who read this blog for men (and I’m glad you do), tell us guys which of these skills are most important to you and which other things you think we should know.