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Defining courage



Our culture today offers a marred picture of what it means to have courage. For example, in recent times we have seen revered athletes own up to their failings such as Tiger Wood’s admission of serial adultery, Michael Phelps’ admission to recreational drug use and last week’s confession by Lance Armstrong to Oprah concerning the use of performance-enhancing drugs. It seems the dutiful on-camera confession is all that is required for a reputation to be restored and the shamed are upheld for having the courage to come clean.

It’s one thing to confess and come clean, but let’s not pretend it’s courageous to deceive the public for years (in Wood’s and Armstrong’s case) and only come clean when the evidence is stacked against you. Even Oprah said of her interview, that Armstrong still seemed to be playing semantics, not wanting to fully admit his wrongs, still skirting the truth. We know that it takes a real man, a really courageous person, to admit when they’ve done wrong by others and change. True courage is modeled for us in the Bible, but sadly, celebrated confessions reflect society’s superficial standard of virtue and character.

So we’d like you to join us in a linkup to define real courage. If you have a blog, write a post about a time you (or your spouse) were faced with a choice that took courage, and link your post back to the Stepping Up men’s blog. If you don’t have a blog, feel free to leave your definition of courage in the comments section of this post.

We want to help redefine courage in America today, so every blogger who participates in the Defining Courage Linkup will receive a copy of Dennis Rainey’s book Stepping Up, a Call to Courageous Manhood.  One lucky, randomly selected winner will receive a Stepping Up Event Kit. Posts must be linked by January 28 to be eligible for the giveaways.

Plan to participate in a Stepping Up Super Saturday event on February 2 where Dennis Rainey, Voddie Baucham, Bill Bennett, Matt Chandler, James MacDonald, Robert Lewis, Mark Driscoll, and others help you tackle some of the biggest issues facing men today.


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  1. Steve Mank's Gravatar Steve Mank
    January 21, 2013    

    Who am I to define real courage when for so many years, I’ve been a sinful coward? Failing my marriage, my family and my God. And that’s the point…it takes courage to be a Godly man and stand in the gap. It takes courage to be a leader in our marriages, homes and families. It takes courage to get on our knees, confess our sins and ask forgiveness. It takes courage to turn away from worldly things. My father failed to show me what real courage is so Jesus has become my ultimate example. He knew why He was here and what His purpose was and yet He still gave Himself up for all of us. He certainly could have turned away and left us dead in our sins, forever hopeless and condemned, but He had the courage to bear our shame and make a way for us to be redeemed. No greater love, or may I suggest, courage has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for another.

    • MenSteppingUp's Gravatar MenSteppingUp
      January 22, 2013    

      Well said, Steve. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. January 22, 2013    

    i don’t know if this is a reply, but maybe more of an encouragement… i think real courage is just stopping the cycle, and choosing you this day whom you will serve everyday till death, not just today, but everyday…. self? (i did for so many years) or the Lord? as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!!!!
    it’s not going to be easy, but what does courage take? it takes humility, truthfulness, commitment, and perseverance… wrapped in LOVE! it’s what the world says is weakness, but God has called us out of that and into His marvelous light!!
    it took 3 failed marriages for God to get my attention. i’m surrenderd 100 percent to His will. Men need to stand in purity of mind and body… God has called us to holiness, and in this day and age… now thats courageous!!

  3. Reg's Gravatar Reg
    January 26, 2013    

    My parents divorced whe I was only 5, my father was an abusive alcoholic and hurt my mother. After the divorce I would see my Dad on holidays and sometimes birthdays. My Mother worked 9-10 hour days 6 days a week to make ends meet. This left two boys at home raising themselves and learning to become men from other boys. By the time I was married I was a wreck and a absolute mess as a man. 5 years into the marriage we were ready to call it over. That is when God began to awaken me to what He defined as a man and lead me to lead my wife and my children. I know now that courage is a supernatural gift that comes from God, giving us the power to step up 🙂 and to face the issues, stop the cycles, to change the course of marriages and to become the men of God. Real courage is only found in the hearts of men that have surrendered their lives to Christ Jesus and who love God with all their heart, all their soul and all their strength.

    • MenSteppingUp's Gravatar MenSteppingUp
      January 26, 2013    

      Thanks for sharing, Reg. Many share your story but may not be as far along in their journey as you and you may be an encouragement to them. It does take a man of courage to surrender to God’s leading through Jesus Christ. May your words benefit those who read.

  1. Super Saturday a Call for Courageous Men on January 24, 2013 at 7:47 am

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