The 13 Qualities that Define a Man

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A few weeks ago, I wrote a post called 5 Ridiculous Things Women Expect of Men. While this post was largely written in jest, a commenter by the name of Mara explained that in her opinion the first three items on the list showed a “lack of manliness.” To support her claim, she provided a link to The 13 Marks of Manhood by Dr. Albert Mohler. Using the bible for reference, Dr. Mohler cites 13 marks of manhood. I decided to share the list with the SBM Family today for discussion.

1. Spiritual maturity sufficient to lead a wife and children.

2. Personal maturity sufficient to be a responsible husband and father.

3. Economic maturity sufficient to hold an adult job and handle money.

4. Physical maturity sufficient to work and protect a family.

5. Sexual maturity sufficient to marry and fulfill God’s purposes.

6. Moral maturity sufficient to lead as example of righteousness.

7. Ethical maturity sufficient to make responsible decisions.

8. Worldview maturity sufficient to understand what is really important.

9. Relational maturity sufficient to understand and respect others.

10. Social maturity sufficient to make a contribution to society.

11. Verbal maturity sufficient to communicate and articulate as a man.

12. Character maturity sufficient to demonstrate courage under fire.

13. Biblical maturity sufficient to lead at some level in the church.

WIM SigWhat are your thoughts on these 13 marks of manhood? What qualities would you remove from the list, if any? What qualities would you add? You can read the full justification behind each of Dr. Albert Mohler’s marks of manhood by clicking here.

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  • Stanley

    So if I understand it right, maturity is when a man (or woman ) does what the bible asks of 'hem. Then I and a lot of people like me who don't follow the bible like that may very positively never be mature.

    #1, #2 , #5 and in #4
    Is a responsible unmarried and childless adult male mature? Not according to those lines.

    #6
    Is a man who chooses another man as a life partner mature? Definitely not according to what the bible thinks is MORAL.

    • zillz

      it's definitely a BS list.
      My recent post Street Fighter x Mega Man Trailer

      • http://twitter.com/SecretSweetLady @SecretSweetLady

        sorry for the duplicate but:

        Wow that is what you take out of this? How do you define:

        The 13 types of Maturity (you may leave the 13th one out)?
        Understanding maturity?
        Responsibility?
        Courage?
        Righteousness?

        I take it you do realize that being mature in those 12-13 ways would make you a great father, husband and man in general right? If not what isn't necessary and why? Would you have been a happier child and your mother a happier woman/mother/wife if your adjusted list would be your father? Or would the list as is be the better option? I would like to know how (and if ) you think about this.

    • http://twitter.com/SecretSweetLady @SecretSweetLady

      I guess it also depends on what you consider as male maturity. I consider wanting a family as a sign of maturity, because I believe it is a natural process in every human being. That makes me judgmental when someone else who has your definition of maturity, does not want kids. However we are free to believe what we want. I always say that it's best to only date someone who believes in the same definition of maturity. So I try to find out how a man defines maturity (and how he shows that in his behaviour) before going beyond a kiss.

  • Well Enuff

    The biblical and reproduction mandates have to go. You can still be a man without reproducing or practicing a religion. Some people don't want children or religion in their lives. Whenever one or the other is forced upon them it usually has disastrous results (deadbeat dad & religious hypocrite).

    • oh ok…

      Oh relax…geez louise! It still depends on your morals whether or not your religious…
      If you don't want children then be kind and mentor the kids…our lives are still not our own.

      • Well Enuff

        "our lives are still not our own."

        Only if that's what you believe.

  • Adonis

    LMAO. oh sh*t.

    Basically a man is not a man if he doesn't cater to women & cater to the church.

    Shoot me! Shoot me now!

    I understand where that mangina of a Doctor was going. But I'll pass. Appreciate the advice

    • http://twitter.com/SecretSweetLady @SecretSweetLady

      Wow that is what you take out of this? How do you define:

      The 13 types of Maturity (you may leave the 13th one out)?
      Understanding maturity?
      Responsibility?
      Courage?
      Righteousness?

      I take it you do realize that being mature in those 12-13 ways would make you a great father, husband and man in general right? If not what isn't necessary and why? Would you have been a happier child and your mother a happier woman/mother/wife if your adjusted list would be your father? Or would the list as is be the better option? I would like to know how (and if ) you think about this.

    • DaysandDollars

      I'm not presuming to know you as a person at all, and I do try to be objective when reading your posts/replies, BUT based solely on the overwhelming majority of your posts, you really seem to absolutely ABHOR women. It doesn't matter what the post is about, you always find a way to make it into an opportunity to denigrate women. Why is that? If your desire is to be as antagonistic as possible simply for shits and giggles…it's beyond trite.

  • Aisha

    If you're a Christian, this is accurate and expected. If you're not, then there are different ways to show spiritual, personal, physical, etc. maturity. What that is, I don't know because I usually date men who at least have a belief in God…whatever you believe though does guide maturity and interactions with people. So yeah, insert your own into the list that apply if this doesn't fit you.

    • AfterMath

      At a base level, yeah, but like somebody said above what if you're a Christian who believes in (or practices) homosexuality? According to this list your maturity is in question. There are so many principles that are preached in Christianity that I question, let alone disagree with. Does that make me not a Christian or a bad Christian? Does it make me immature for not diving blindly into this?
      My recent post Learn About “the Other” Algebra

  • mara

    WIM I'm so pleased that you posted this. These comments are interesting. Of course if you don't base your life off of the Bible you wont subscribe to some of the items.
    As for the claims that the "unmarried" and "childless" would not be mature according to the author I would suggest they take another look at the wording. He said SUFFICIENT TO. Not saying that you MUST marry and MUST have children to be mature. but that you MUST be at the maturity level to be ABLE to do those things.
    I would like to add that it's important to remember that maturity takes time and effort. If I see someone working to become mature in these areas I will get behind you 100% even if you're not all the way there yet.

    • AfterMath

      He did say sufficient to, but there's no stated knowledge base that says that "you are now sufficient to lead a wife and children".

      Isn't that a blatantly sexist statement too? I wonder if the list of qualities that define a woman include having the spiritual maturity sufficient to LEAD a husband and children? I wonder if they use the Bible as their example to say that a woman should have the spiritual maturity to FOLLOW a husband?

      And that still doesn't get to the obvious question of what spiritual maturity is and why its necessary to have a family.
      My recent post Learn About “the Other” Algebra

      • Adonis

        @AfterMath At least, I know you will dissecting this bullish today.

        This list sounds like trying to tell a man to be great to someone's arbitary specifications, and then he must be enslaved to support a family. Too much fun.

  • http://twitter.com/SecretSweetLady @SecretSweetLady

    I believe that it is good advice if you take religion out and replace it with a combination of commitment, reliability and compasion. Then you get :

    1. Spiritual maturity sufficient to lead a wife and children.

    Spirituality doesn't have to come with religiousness

    2. Personal maturity sufficient to be a responsible husband and father.

    3. Economic maturity sufficient to hold an adult job and handle money.

    4. Physical maturity sufficient to work and protect a family.

    5. Sexual maturity sufficient to marry and fulfill purposes that come with compasion, reliability and commitment.

    6. Moral maturity sufficient to lead as example of righteousness (define by the person himelf)

    7. Ethical maturity sufficient to make responsible decisions (responsibility being defined by yourself)

    8. Worldview maturity sufficient to understand what is really important (importance being defined by yourself)

    9. Relational maturity sufficient to understand and respect others

    10. Social maturity sufficient to make a contribution to society.

    11. Verbal maturity sufficient to communicate and articulate as a man

    12. Character maturity sufficient to demonstrate courage under fire

    13. General maturity to be able to take the lead in your own life by living according to the morals and values you believe in and expect from others.

    • Adonis

      @SweetSecretLady

      I like this list better, however I rather cater to MULTIPLE women, I am shareable.

      • http://twitter.com/SecretSweetLady @SecretSweetLady

        I don't believe in that

  • Smilez_920

    I agree . For the most part, if you take out the religious undertone ( even if you don’t want a child or marriage ) the character traits mentioned in the post are definitely 13 qualities / marks of manhood.

  • Bree

    Great list and great words of wisdom.
    I don't see a problem with a list that says in order to be the best person u can possibly be in every aspect of your life you should be mature.
    What folks are missing is the fact that maturity isn't so much defined by what you've done or haven't done in your life. Those may qualify as examples of what a mature person does, however imo maturity is defined by your actions, how you handle the worst situations and circumstances, and your mentality. If you think and act like someone who has lived 30 or 40 plus years and should know right from wrong and conduct themselves accordingly.

  • AfterMath

    Its a bunch of abstract stuff that to me is total BS. Sure it sounds good to say these things, but unless you can convince me of what they mean is I'm not buying. I mean what are these levels of maturity? Who sets them and where's final exam to determine my qualifications? Basically its like saying that if I haven't led a wife and children, then I don't know that I'm spiritually mature. And what is an "adult job"? Is that just a stab at part time workers or something? What is God's purpose, has somebody got a text I didn't get, or just some "understanding" of the Bible that so many have debated over for centuries.

    Maybe I'm just salty but this is the same type of stuff they used to preach to me in college that sounds nice, but the minute I say "yeah" all of a sudden I find out that I've bitten off way more than I wanted to and joined some secret society or something.

    In my opinion, there's one quality that defines a man and its what's between your legs, or that Y chromosome if you want to be scientific about it.
    My recent post Learn About “the Other” Algebra

    • Bree

      AfterMath unless your agnostic if u want to know Gods purpose for your life simply as him through prayer.
      The bible is meant to be our guidebook and example of how to live in such a way that will fulfill God's divine purpose for our lives.

      • AfterMath

        See, that's one of my problems with "the church". I'm a deeply Christian man, but to act like if I ask God something through prayer that the Heavens will just part and hear the indistinguishable Voice of the Lord is just crazy. I haven't heard that voice yet, and at times when I thought I heard that "voice", people who once told me that that voice was that of God, later told me that "oh, that was just somebody impersonating God". I'm like, I wish you woulda told me that before I wasted all this time based on a this "voice" (and said person's advice regarding this "voice") .

        I should probably stop in this topic because I can really sound like an anti-Christian dude sometimes and thats not what I am. I'm just not for a lot of propaganda that tries to classify people, and in particular classify Christians into categories like "you're a good person and you are not".

        Ima leave this one alone though because religion in general is a sensitive topic and especially where I'm in an online forum format where I can't be as descriptive as I'd like to be, I'm gonna just let this one go.
        My recent post Learn About “the Other” Algebra

        • Bree

          AfterMath all I can say is u have to know God for yourself. Take other people out of the equation and get to know him personally on your own. Don't let anyone tell you what God's voice sounds like to you, only you can know that.
          God is a spirit, so you have to hear him spiritually, of course u won't hear him as physically as you hear the person next to you talking. If you seek God you will find him, just like if you seek evil then you will find that as well.

  • http://glippost.wordpress.com Darrk Gable

    Probably gonna be lit up for this, but…

    There’s bound to be agreement and disagreement with this list. If you’re a believer in the Bible, it makes perfect sense. If you’re not, then it will likely rub you the wrong way.Now that that’s out the way, my take on it.

    Personally, I feel like it’s an apt list. The maturing process takes a lifetime. If the men who subscribe to the points on the list are working toward a level of spiritual maturity that comes from following Biblical precepts. It’s a challenge to men. In truth, not many of us want to be challenged. We search for the pasth of least resistance, like water flowing. Some, not all, say they want a “good woman”, yet continue to fall for/go after women who are the antithesis of that. And women do the same in regards to men. There has to be standards somewhere. Instead of finding the easiest way, diligence may be beneficial. If it takes diligently working toward a standard, in this case a Biblical one, what’s so wrong with that?

    Sure, claims of patriarchy will be made, just as claims the Bible is outdated. Yet, it does provide a template for us to live by. I’m not saying that everyone will agree with it, but maybe instead of shooting it down as antiquated and out of touch, we, men especially, should really see what is says about being a man.

    • Bree

      Exactly Darrk. Cosign

    • Cookie

      Ahem…Amen, and I'm not a 'devout Christian" (or even go to church…) but based on your explanation/perspective/viewpoint on the list, I agree. I think the list represents a valid process for maturing – in this case, spiritual maturing, and I don't think there is anything wrong with working towards that standard…. and thumbs up to WisdomIsMisery for posting it.

  • Streetz

    so basically, cats gotta be perfect? lol…

    • http://glippost.wordpress.com Darrk Gable

      Nah. That’s just it. People get it misconstrued. Ascribing to the aforementioned list, and/or Bible isn’t about perfection. It’s about working toward a standard that God put forth. We will never be perfect. The maturity that is called for is no different than, for example, not doing at 25, what we did at 18. It’s about improving and not doing the same things. It’s the thought, “when you know better, we (in theory should) do better.

  • theshopdotnet

    Very valid points.

  • Bree

    Nobody is perfect Streetz, however we all should strive for perfection in every aspect of our lives, not just a few like our careers. We should strive to be the very best we can be as parents, spouses, lovers, friends, sons, daughters, and every other area of life.
    I'm wondering why people seem to have a problem with morally and ethically doing the right thing and just living right.

  • InsomniaPoet

    This list seems very subjective…who determines what sufficient is? Sufficient for me may very well be insufficient for the next young lady. Two women sitting in church together can have two totally different ideas of what is sufficient an still both be Christian. Sounds like someone's out there selling pipe dreams again that there can ever possibly be some concrete list that defines a mature man or woman. I say we scrap the whole list and people start thinking for themselves instead of looking for some quick/simple answer to a question that is hella (yes I said hella) complex. :)

    • bree

      Problem with people thinking for themselves Insomnia is that the very immature and childish people will go "ham" and do whatever they want and wreak havoc. The 10 commandments were established for a reason. All of them cover everything we should not do in order for us to maintain some semblance of peace and order in this world. If there was no order or discipline in this world whatsoever we would be going to hell in a handbasket a whole lot faster than what we are right now.

      • oh ok…

        "The 10 commandments were established for a reason. All of them cover everything we should not do in order for us to maintain some semblance of peace and order in this world." Agree w/ that!

        But I agree w/ Ms. IP…In the end to each their own.

  • Nomeo

    #5 and #13 should be removed from the list.

  • bree

    the common theme in all of these that people seem to be missing is the word Maturity and what that means.
    Maturity definition taken from Wikipedia – "Maturity is a psychological term used to indicate how a person responds to the circumstances or environment in an appropriate manner. This response is generally learned rather than instinctive, and is not determined by one's age. Maturity also encompasses being aware of the correct time and place to behave and knowing when to act appropriately, according to the circumstances and the culture of the society one lives in.[1] Adult development and maturity theories include the purpose in life concept, in which maturity emphasizes a clear comprehension of life's purpose, directedness, and intentionality which, contributes to the feeling that life is meaningful.[2]
    The status of maturity is distinguished by a shift away from reliance on guardianship and the oversight of an adult in decision-making acts."
    This is the point.

  • http://www.lcsflyers.com Anthony Brian Logan

    Nobody saying anything about discipline, honesty & self-sacrifice. Which is truly what defines a man. Interesting.

    • Blessed1

      It would require to have discipline to accomplish everything on this list

      1. Spiritual maturity sufficient to lead a wife and children. (It would take discipline and self-sacrifice)
      6. Moral maturity sufficient to lead as example of righteousness. (It would take discipline and honesty)

  • http://www.lcsflyers.com Anthony Brian Logan

    The ability to read and follow a book according to what one particular man on earth & organization that you have to pay money to does not define you as a man. Get that church and bible crap out of here. Sexual maturity to marry and fulfill God's purpose? LOL .. silly. Morality and ethics go hand in hand they both fit into the honesty category combined with being a stand up guy. Are you the type of person to sell your own soul to gain the world or will you sacrifice your life for that of your family? What PRINCIPLES do you stand on as a man? That's more important