What lies at the heart of manliness? There are many ways we could answer that question. One facet certainly is the willingness to take initiative for God.
In the opening verses of 1Kings 1, everything about David spells weakness. He is cold and cannot get warm. The obvious solution is sought and found. Enter Abishag, the pretty hot-waterbottle from Shunem. Everyone fancied her. Everyone, that is, except David. He is too far gone to notice her beauty. He can absorb her heat, but the old warrior has no passion of his own left to give. The text, of course, is not lamenting David's lack of sexual ardor - simply noting it. Weakness.
To make matters worse, David wasn't any stronger with his children. Enter Adonijah (vv.5-10). Because His father never taught him to respect authority, this young lad knew how to exploit weakness. Once again David's leadership crumbles and, because of it, the Kingdom is in jeopardy. If Adonijah's rebellion is not stopped: Solomon is a dead man. What's worse, the Christ child will be killed off before He even has a chance to die! Everything hangs in the balance. The threat of weakness.
Enter Nathan. He is God's man in God's time with God's answer. He sees what's going on, he makes a plan, he takes initiative, and the old, cold King is aroused from his slumber, and the Kingdom is rescued from disaster.
I am indebted to Dr. Ralph Davis for this insight. You can read his extended treatment of this passage here.
This is part of the essence of manliness: Men see what's going on, they know what's at stake, they are willing to stand up, take initiative, and act for God. Come what may.
Where in the sphere of your life's influence is leadership wanting? Where is God calling you to look, to think, to plan, and to act for His glory. What areas of responsibility has God entrusted into your hands? How is your relationship with your wife, your children? What difference are you making at church?What does faithfulness look like in these areas? Are there any places where you are being passive, where God is calling you to take action? What are you going to do today to address these discrepancies. Remember: If not you, who? And if not now, when?
I am sure you have heard it said, "There are three basic types of people in the world: Those who make things happen. Those who watch things happen. And those who ask, "What happened?" May God grant us grace to move the Kingdom forward for Christ. Let us resolve not to be men of the Status quo. Let us resolve to be men.