Act Like a Man
Act Like a Man
Written By Mark Elfstrand, Cultural Affairs Writer   |   06.16.24
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Here comes another Father’s Day. A relatively minor blip on the annual calendar compared to Mother’s Day. No need to explain why that is, right?

What does it take to become a “father” or “dad?” Biology tells us that a boy barely entering his teenage years is quite capable of impregnating a female and voilà—the baby arrives nine months later. Welcome to the world of fatherhood—and motherhood.

But let’s face it.

For both sexes, it takes some serious work to become a skilled parent. Many is the young man who avoids it by leaving the relationship with his previous love interest in the dust.

Tragic. And our cultural wellness suffers because of it.

For the male who really desires to be a good father, his parallel track must include fundamental understanding of what manhood is all about. He has to come to appreciate masculinity and what makes a man, a man. That is trickier than it appears.

Several years ago, my friend Preston Gillham of Dallas led a men’s retreat at a church where I served. His final session developed his talk around the need guys have to be “affirmed” as men—like welcoming them into the fraternity of manhood.

At the end of that session, he asked if anyone in the room needed that affirmation.

About half the men in the room stood. Guys of all ages.

This awareness was raised to new heights when our men’s ministry used the curriculum of Dr. Robert Lewis titled, “The Quest for Authentic Manhood.” When Lewis introduced the series at his church in Arkansas, the men’s ministry exploded.

It happened at our church as well. We encountered plenty of men who needed knowledge about what true masculinity meant—and living out “authentic manhood.”

Lewis establishes what he refers to as the “four faces of manhood”: The King Face, The Warrior Face, The Lover Face, and The Friend Face. I’ll focus on just one—The Warrior Face.

It can be described this way:

“The Warrior Face takes the initiative for a purpose greater than himself. He is assertive, but that assertiveness is submitted to God. He fights for the benefit of others. The man who wears the Warrior Face is a man of action, and his actions flow out of his submission to God.”

I reflected on this recently as I watched another media circus over the kicker for the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs, Harrison Butker. As a football talent, he is superb. He’s won many a game for the Chiefs.

Harrison became a national headline after his May 11th graduation speech at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. A speech, by the way, which received a standing ovation. The school is a Catholic college. Students are decidedly Catholic. Butker is, too.

Yet his words drew an enormous cry of “foul” from the progressives within our culture. Butker challenged President Biden, a professing Catholic, on his aggressive pro-abortion agenda. He strongly encouraged the role of motherhood and homemaker to be of great value to any society.

And he dissed the LGBTQ+ “pride” agenda, defining it as “evil.” How dare he!!!

A few members of the Chiefs organization—a couple of players, his head coach, and even the wife of the owner—stood by Butker as a player and as a person of character. His critics included Chiefs player Travis Kielce and his girl friend, Taylor Swift. She demanded the Chiefs release him!

Harrison not only did not apologize for his comments despite this pressure, he clearly stood by them when he spoke a few days later at a “Courage Under Fire Gala” in Nashville, Tennessee.

Here is a particularly powerful portion of his message:

“Our love for Jesus, and thus, our desire to speak out, should never be outweighed by the longing of our fallen nature to be loved by the world. Glorifying God and not ourselves should always remain our motivation despite any pushback, or even support. I lean on those closest to me for guidance, but I can never forget that it is not people, but Jesus Christ, who I’m trying to please.”

He received another standing ovation.

Returning to that definition of The Warrior Face we see,

“A true warrior takes the initiative for a purpose greater than himself. He is assertive, but that assertiveness is submitted to God. He fights for the benefit of others.”

The apostle Paul, in writing to the church in Corinth says,

“Be alert, stand firm in the faith, act like a man, be strong.” 1 Corinthians 16:13 (HCSB)

Harrison Butker, a married man with a son and daughter, clearly understands that instruction. And lives it. May his son, James, grow to be a man like his father.

It’s a good challenge to all men for this Father’s Day.

Mark Elfstrand, Cultural Affairs Writer
Mark Elfstrand is a Christian husband, father and grandfather. A 40-year radio veteran, Mark has been a drive time air personality in Sacramento, Dallas, Pittsburgh, and Chicago, including WMBI and WYLL. He has also served in various ministry leadership positions. His current endeavors can be found at
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