So this shall be my starting point, what does the world tell us men should be? You only have to look at the type of things marketed towards men to see what the world is telling our young men they should be. Top shelf magazines and general lad culture teaches men to objectify women. Highly charged, win at all costs attitudes in business teach men that if you're not earning more than the guy next to you then you're failing. Not forgetting the more obvious things like simple physical size; this teaches men that if you aren't big enough then you aren't good enough.
All of this expectation weighs heavy on our shoulders and to be perfectly honest, none of us are really capable of reaching these standards and sustaining them in our own strength. Of course there is also the danger of becoming the exception to the rule and actually meeting the standard set by the world. In the unlikely event that we do, the potential for excess and taking them to the extremes can be so damaging. I've heard many stories of people seemingly who have it all but on the inside it's a completely different story. Some of the testimonies of the double lives I've heard of very successful people, even people in positions of church leadership, can be very shocking.
But all of that said what does God say about how we should be as men? In my prayer life lately I've been asking God what he sees in me as a man. But more importantly what He is calling me to be, as at 22 I'm very much at the beginning of my journey really.
However I believe the Lord calls all men to be a strong, courageous example to others (Joshua 1:9), to have confidence, both in ourselves and in the Lord (Proverbs 14:26). He wants us to be men of great leadership, but not a domineering style of leadership but one of humility and servant-hood (1 Peter 5: 2-3). We should be men of deep faith and conviction in our God (Hebrews 11:1) and that we should learn to be wise in our words and deeds (James 3:13). Finally we should be reliable and trustworthy in what God has blessed us with (Luke 16:10) and we should show through this through our personal integrity and we will be upheld by God even in our troubles (Psalm 41:12).
If we still need any more help from God on what true manhood looks like, all we can do is look at the example, as I said earlier, of St Joseph. When we look to him we see a man who knew who he was, who knew his role in life. As the guardian of Jesus and Mary, he knew what God had called him to do and who God called him to be. He knew that it was his responsibility, in utter humility, to step aside and allow Jesus to be Jesus. We know this because in the Gospels, he said virtually nothing.
So this is my encouragement to all guys, allow God to instil these truths in your life and to believe them. Then watch yourself grow as a man of God.