13 Marks of Manhood

Quite often, men have a silent cry. Cratered deep inside they feel as if they’ve been left out of the information loop. If only someone would tell them what biblical manhood is to look like. How is a man to spiritually lead in his home? What does a mature man look like in the areas of communication, finances, relationships, sex, and so on.

The need is an undeniable one—our society is awash in arrogance and apathy. Clearly, this is a cry for discipleship within the church. It’s a plea for boys to become men who will boldly walk with Christ. Let’s face it: guys need Pauls (those who are older in the faith), Timothys (those younger in the faith), and Barnabuses (peer-to-peer relationships) in their lives.


In a previous post I had mentioned the booklet A Guide to Biblical Manhood by Randy Stinson and Dan DumasAnother go-to resource of mine is Dr. Albert Mohler’s From Boy to Man: The Marks of Manhood. Written a number of years ago, it addresses the problem of our day: men in the church who are still living as boys. Mohler rightly calls this an “extended male adolescence.” It’s a valid observation.

The church needs to think about the next generation. It can do better, much better. In many ways, we see its men are sloppy spiritually—undetermined. Often it is because they lack any real discipline or discernment. And they walk alone.

Dr. Mohler writes:1

thumb-boy-to-manWhen does a boy become a man? The answer to this must go far beyond biology and chronological age. As defined in the Bible, manhood is a functional reality, demonstrated in a man’s fulfillment of responsibility and leadership… boys and young men are desperately looking for models of manhood and answers to their urgent questions of male identity, male responsibility, and male roles…

Therefore, as followers of Christ, we understand that it is our responsibility to embrace, affirm, (celebrate) and fulfill the roles and responsibilities God has given us.


What follows is a list of thirteen attributes, qualities, signs that should be evident in a man maturing in biblical masculinity. They are in summary form from his booklet.

Also, be sure to drop down to the end of this post and listen to the 63-minute MP3 in which Dr. Mohler explains each of these marks in his own words, with his own experiences, all entirely predicated upon Scripture. It warrants more than a single play.

The thirteen marks of manhood are as follows:

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

A man must be ready to lead his wife and his children in a way that will honor God, demonstrate godliness, inculcate Christian character, and lead his family to desire Christ and to seek God’s glory.

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

True masculinity is not a matter of exhibiting supposedly masculine characteristics devoid of the context of responsibility. In the Bible, a man is called to fulfill his role as husband and father.

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

The portrait of young manhood made popular in the media and presented as normal through entertainment is characterized by economic carelessness, self-centeredness and laziness.

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

Of course, men come in many sizes and demonstrate different levels of physical strength, but common to all men is a maturity, through which a man demonstrates his masculinity by movement, confidence and strength.

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

Even as the society celebrates sex in every form and at every age, the true Christian man practices sexual integrity, avoiding pornography, fornication, all forms of sexual promiscuity and corruption.

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

The Christian man is to be an example to others, teaching by both precept and example.

7. Ethical maturity sufficient to make responsible decisions.

To be a man is to make decisions. One of the most fundamental tasks of leadership is decision-making. The indecisiveness of so many contemporary males is evidence of a stunted manhood.

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

The Christian man must understand how to interpret and evaluate issues across the spectrum of politics, economics, morality, entertainment, education and a seemingly endless list of other fields. The absence of consistent biblical worldview thinking is a key mark of spiritual immaturity.

9. Relational maturity sufficient to understand and respect others.

[H]e must be able to relate to his wife, his children, his peers, his colleagues and a host of others in a way that demonstrates respect, understanding and appropriate empathy.

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

The Christian man bears a civilizational responsibility, and boys must be taught to see themselves as shapers of the society even as the church is identified by our Lord as both salt and light.

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

A man must be able to speak, to be understood and to communicate in a way that will honor God and convey God’s truth to others.

12. Character maturity sufficient to demonstrate courage under fire.

In these days, biblical manhood requires great courage. The prevailing ideologies and worldviews of this age are inherently hostile to Christian truth and are corrosive to Christian faithfulness.

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

There is a role of leadership for every man in every church, whether that role is public or private, large or small, official or unofficial. A man should know how to pray before others, to present the Gospel and to stand in the gap where a leadership need is apparent.


Again, these are only excerpts of what can be gleaned from Dr. Mohler’s booklet and audio message. I encourage you take advantage of both and share them with a friend.

1 Mohler, R. Albert. From Boy to Man: The Marks of Manhood (SBTS, 2005). PDF (goo.gl/oNhtMP) accessed November 1, 2016.