an open letter to women about real men

dear ladies,

it has come to my attention that there is some confusion about what a real man looks/acts like.  i realize many of you are about to jump on the “but every woman defines that differently!” wagon o’ doom, and you’re right.  they do.  but they shouldn’t, because it’s dumb.

for those of you still reading, congratulations, you are highly intelligent and very attractive.

for those of you who left because i said you’re dumb, later gators.

p.s.  i didn’t say you’re dumb, i said the way you define a real man is dumb.  big difference.  not that it matters, because you’re not here and i am now writing to entertain myself.

for those of you who carry around a list of what you want in a man on a piece of paper, in your head or are wearing it on a sandwich board, scrap it.  burn it.  gouge it out with a ice pick.  i don’t really care.  just let it go.

calm down.  obvious deal breakers can stay, but even take a good hard look at what you consider a deal breaker and reevaluate if it really is one.  keeping a list can keep you blind to all else that moves, Frodo.

if you are basically literate and female, you have probably noticed the big debate between Egalitarianism vs. Complementarianism.  i am not going to debate those here, that’s what Rachel Held Evans is for.  and she does way better anyway.  i only bring it up because the extremes of both sides define the role of real men much differently.

one says men are the head of household, the wives are the support and gender roles are fairly well defined.  the other says both are equal and have shared roles.

whatever.  i really couldn’t care less.  harmony and contentment are the goal.  however you choose to achieve that in your own home is up to you.  go team.

i say the role of a real man is always the same and it has nothing to do with gender roles or a difference in perceived leadership.

it has everything to do with the difference between control and influence.

in other words, is he a bully or a motivator?

control comes from a completely selfish and self-serving place in the heart that only considers the happiness of one.  it beats down and causes brokenness resulting in submission out of fear.

influence comes from a heart that is focused on the greater good and the contentment of all.  it encourages and breeds confidence in your talents and abilities, while promoting their use.  it demonstrates respect, so you, in turn, are free to trust.

a real man is an influencer.

shut up wordpress, influencer is a real word.  shove your red line up your nether regions.

a real man looks toward the future and encourages you to help him get where you both want to go.  he will never make it a power struggle, so quit with your preemptive “he’s trying to dominate me” strikes.

just because society is telling you you have to piss all over everything to mark your female territory does not make it true.  you don’t.  a real man isn’t even going to fight you for it.

but a real man will walk away if you continue to demand what he is already freely offering.



if you must have a list, here you go:

the keeper: testosterone edition

hit me with some other differences between control and influence.  go.


19 comments on “an open letter to women about real men

  1. Michael Vuke says:

    *bursts into applause*

    Well said!

  2. i think a real man will influence you toward your future, without criticizing your past choices, moves, etc. control will always be underlined with comparison — to others, to himself, to whatever. influencing a woman toward the utilization of her own gifts, talents, goals is comparing her to her own opportunities, her own abilities, her own non-limits. and i think that with time, the cultivation of a deep love will result in a man being privvy to how to influence her toward what she will truly love & what will bring forth her best, without making her feel like she is helpless without him. control demands need through manipulation. influence reminds her she can stand on her own, but that it sure is nice to have someone cheering for her.

    • “control demands need through manipulation.” That’s an excellent one-line definition. And most of us have probably known at least one person who fit that description. Even if it’s just a co-worker or an acquaintance of a friend.

  3. Julie Barnhill says:

    Comment word count:


  4. Julie Barnhill says:

    Comment Word Count:

    Male 85


  5. Julie Barnhill says:

    (UGH. Sorry for multiple posts as it won’t post math symbols!)

    Comment Word Count:
    Male less than 3
    Female greater than 85


  6. I think I would add that a real man can have off days, but the off days shouldn’t be the normal days. Every person of either gender has their off days. A pattern, though, can either be showing up a weakness or a character flaw. Weaknesses can be the places we fit together, where God melds the weakness of one with the strength of the other, and vice versa. But character flaws are a big red flag.

    • Yeah. I completely agree with this. There should be grace extended to everyone during ‘off days.’

      Also, I may be completely off, but I think it is easier for guys to fill their God given roles when we as women are interacting within our own God-given roles-as respecting and encouraging supporters. We don’t have to lay aside our own goals in order to respect men, but we do need to honor guys and appreciate their input. Too often misinterpretation and presumption stand in the way of good communication between men and women. This is where it ties back into grace. We shouldn’t assume the worst when a guy does or says something unconventional.

      • “This is where it ties back into grace. We shouldn’t assume the worst when a guy does or says something unconventional.”

        I think it was in Love and Respect, but I’m not sure. something I read recently talked about how in a relationship we know we love each other, but we seem to often assume the worst about the other person’s intentions. We should assume the best, we know they love us, so when they do something that comes across negative we should give them grace and assume that their motives were good.

    • jonnybgood says:

      well said bud

  7. susan says:

    so funny, I clicked on the link up there and was all fired up to write a response on my pet dealbreaker (9ntegrity!!!) and there it was already. So it’s good to know that 7 months down the track and a million blogposts later my values are still the same:)
    Real mans confidence? That’s when their inside matched the outside. And they are ok with who they are in their own skin, insecurities and all.

  8. Can I reblog this?? It’s a great reminder in a nutshell. I’d like to to feature it on our blog about domestic violence, because real men encourage, not abuse!

  9. Reblogged this on Cottonwood Commons Transition Home and commented:
    A Woman’s Guide to Women is a great humor and advice blog about relationships. Here is a letter written by the author Sharideth Smith, reminding women (and men) what makes a REAL man.

  10. jonnybgood says:

    thankyou sheridith this blog of yours is quite nice… now you need a blog for girls about guys, lol. if only more girls read this site..!
    oh wait are we realy that complicated to most girls sheridith?

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