Refining Life, on Purpose

Why Yes, Real Men Can Have Pretty Toenails

Real Men Can Have Pretty Toenails


Am I a real man? My toenails have been pink for about a week now. Not just pink, but a girly, translucent glittery pink! And if that’s grounds for removal of my hypothetical man-card, please take it!

I didn’t do the painting, mind you. As you may know, I have three daughters, so they of course did the work in addition to selecting the color. I would have chosen something green and less glittery. I hate hate hate glitter – but that’s a whole different post and a different topic.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not trying to start a new men’s fashion craze, nor do I even advocate men painting their nails – fingers or toes. I do advocate, however, men being true men and being a father if so blessed.

Real Men Engage with their Children

I have three daughters. No sons and I made peace with the reality that I would never father a son long ago. Truth be told, I always figured – in observing God’a ordering of my life – I’d likely be the father of daughters. And while I have no experience being a girl, I do know what it is like to be a child, to have a desire to have a relationship with my parents and I do know the certain value that comes with having someone guide my life.

Those are the things I seek to bring to my daughters. Even if that means doing “silly” things like taking my girls to father-daughter dances. I do not – I repeat: DO NOT dance. Yet, I gladly make the exception for father-daughter dances. It also means going down the baby doll aisle instead of the Legos and action figure aisle (although I have gotten to do the latter with my youngest daughter who is more into super heroes than Strawberry Shortcake – God bless her!).

Real Men Value Others Over Vanity

Having daughters and being a real man also means allowing my daughters to paint my toenails on occasion. I don’t think we would have ever seen Archie Bunker or Ward Cleaver allowing someone to paint their nails. But perhaps Danny Tanner might. Perhaps even Mike Baxter (Last Man Standing) would allow his daughter’s to color his piggies, though it would only be after about 28-minutes of him-hawing around about manly men don’t paint their nails and then doing a web video to explain his rationale and find a way to shamelessly plug Outdoor Man.

He might even correctly observe – if it’s important to your daughters and it doesn’t physically harm you or others, why not create a great memory and a story they can one-day tell your grandchildren? Oh, and by the way, you know what else features great colors? Come on in and take a look at “our” all new pink camo clothing line! 🙂

Real Men Can Have Pretty Toenails

I’m not trying to start a men’s fashion trend or advocating men painting their nails. I do advocate, however, men being real men and fathers. Photo Credit: jjay69 via Compfight cc

Real Men Do Everything Out of Love

On father’s day, I was privileged to offer the father’s day message at my church. It was on the topic of biblical masculinity, centering on I Corinthians 16:13-14 – “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.”

I titled the message “Hold Us Together” because of verse 14. It reminds us that even when we have bad days, are in bad moods, or not feeling well, we must act with love. And love, as Matt Maher says, holds us together.

Dads… engage with your children. Remember they are a gift from God and a blessing you must not neglect! Learn about them, their interests, their dreams, desires and know what’s going on in their lives. If you have daughters or even boys who’d rather bake a cake in an easy Bake Oven than toss the football, it’s okay. Remember that God crafted them and it’s not about you. I’ve worn my fair share of rubber-band bracelets, clip-on ear rings and dressed far more Barbie Dolls than I care to count. And even though it’s not my cup of tea, it’s how my children and I connect. It’s always done in love.

And yes, my toe nails are quite pretty.

Oh, and yes, I’m keeping my man-card!

About Chad Gramling

Chad Gramling makes his home in Indiana with his wife and three daughters. He's the founder and primary blogger at 1Glories, a vision cast onto his heart and detailed in Listen Up Kids: Foolish Dreams, Syncing with God & Running to Win.