Having spent a lot of time in the gym over the last couple of months, I am no stranger to the sight of big bulky men. Some of the guys at my gym have abs like rocks and arms bigger than my waist! They’ve worked really hard to look the way they do. I see them huff and puff and throw around crazy weights heavier than I am almost every single day. That kind of dedication is very admirable, and I am all for it.
But if there is one thing I know, it is that a man is not the size of his bicep. It is good to pursue physical health because our bodies need to be taken care of, but at the end of the day, a man cannot be measured by the amount of weight he is able to lift. Muscles are good and they do paint a picture of prime health, but they do not define manhood – not for one second.
A dear friend once told me, it doesn’t matter how big or how small or how fat you are – if you’re able to make a woman’s heart feel safe, you will have won the battle. And he’s right. I’ve been around men that look nothing like the hulk-like men I see in the gym – yet they have the incredible ability to make me feel safe, honored, respected and treasured. They carry a quiet strength – not the pompous kind that shouts physically, but the silent kind that is steady, sacrificial and honoring.
A man is not the size of his muscles – he is the size of his heart. He is the size of his honor, his courage, his faith, and especially his love. The strength of a man lies in not how much he is able to benchpress, it lies in the strength of his heart. It does not lie in his super ninja fight club moves, it lies in how much he is able to fight for and protect the hearts of those entrusted to him.
Muscles are good, but a strong heart is better. A clean diet is good, but sacrificial courage is better. Squats are good, but real faith is better. Deadlifts are good, but protecting and honoring the women around you is better. Real manhood cannot be found in the gym, nor can it be sought for in reps and sets. Real manhood is found in the steady brave heart that abides in God. I’ve seen this, and I know it with my whole heart.
We cannot neglect our physical bodies and let them waste away, but when all is said and done, the man who tends the garden (or jungle, if you prefer) of his heart is greater than the one who tends only to his physical body and nothing else.