My search led me to discover a lot of timeless wisdom that for generations
fathers taught their sons — wisdom that is so relevant today. Today’s absent
father, either from long hours of work or divorce, means many boys grow up
without a strong male role model.
Here are five of the lessons I learned on my journey for wisdom on what a
man in a relationship should be:
Lesson #1: Take responsibility
Learn from Adam. Don’t do things you know are wrong and then blame others.
If you make a mistake, take responsibility for your actions. One of the
meanings of the word “husband” is someone who skillfully manages his
household. A manager takes responsibility.
Lesson #2: Show leadership
If a man wants to be seen as worthy and have a good relationship with a
woman, he has to show leadership. When he sees a situation that needs to be
dealt with, he should step forward and handle it. People admire those who step
forward to handle difficult situations. We don’t admire those who stand back
and wait for others to solve the problem.
Some men avoid taking the lead because they don’t want to be criticized.
They think they’re playing it safe. A man should say, “I’ll handle
it,” and take the initiative to find solutions. If he’s not sure what the
solution is, do what other leaders do — consult the many sources of
Lesson #3: Make decisions
One of the meanings of the word “manly” is being decisive. A man
needs to make decisions and take responsibility for the outcome. If he’s
reluctant to make decisions, she may resent him. Part of making decisions is
understanding the other person’s views and being flexible. She doesn’t want
someone controlling her, but she also doesn’t want someone who leaves every
decision to her. A man who is afraid of making a wrong decision should ask
himself: Who should make decisions? — someone who isn’t afraid of making
Lesson #4: Be strong
The Talmud asks: Who is strong? He who can control his passions (Ethics of
the Fathers, 4:1). Someone who can control his anger is better than a
physically strong man who can conquer a city. Blowing up in anger can seriously
damage a relationship. If a man thinks he can’t control his anger, he should
imagine being angry at someone, the telephone rings and it’s his boss. Would he
calm down? Of course, or he’d lose his job. Not getting angry doesn’t mean he
accepts bad treatment; he calmly sets limits on the treatment he accepts from
Lesson #5: Be manly
Being manly is not being macho. Manliness is the positive qualities of
decisiveness, strength in one’s convictions, confidence, self-reliance, high
moral qualities, self discipline, honesty and integrity. A man who is manly has
courage to be able to deal with difficulty, pain or danger without backing away
despite his fear.