It is fair to conclude that there has been a much-needed resurgence of masculinity of late. Our culture’s drift towards effeminacy has so infiltrated the church that a limp wrist seems a requirement for the pulpit. For this reason, I applaud recent works like Michael Foster’s It’s Good to Be a Man. We need straightforward, no-chaser teaching on masculinity like a compass needs the north, like Romeo needs his Juliet, like Fox News needs Tucker Carlson back. As the kids say, we need it real bad, no cap.
So my intention here is not to discourage the rising generation of men from the pursuit of manliness. Rather, it is to encourage them to run even faster toward that goal. We need men to obtain the prize; pulling a hamstring halfway down the track will not a champion make. In this spirit, I offer some signs of weird man to avoid, followed by indicators of normal man strength which we should all embody post haste.
Go West, Not Weird, Young Man
A notable sign of weird man masculinity is the relentless sharing of workout photos and videos on social media. Worse yet, when another man ardently likes and shares such images, adding that string of fire emoticons. Note well. Lifting weights—commendable and ordinary. Telling your friend that he put in good work today on that lift—perfectly normal. Drooling over your buddy’s gym pics, retweeting them, and calling him a “king”—go ahead and pump the breaks right there.
Another bad sign is being a he-man-woman-hater. Yes, it was good fun when Spanky and the boys from the Little Rascals founded that club back in the day. But you must grow up to actually like women. You need to find one that you like enough to protect her all the way to the grave. I am thoroughly acquainted with how many false charges of misogyny are leveled in these parts. But that doesn’t give you the right to actually be misogynistic. Signs of this kind of thing would be calling women idiots, talking bad about your mother, or visiting those dark pornographic sites on the internet.
Likewise, don’t set up the likes of Andrew Tate as a paragon of masculinity. Young men are looking in every direction for what it means to be a man. But the guy who admits that he tries to get multiple women to fall in love with him so that he can get them to prostitute themselves and make him money, that guy is not the pristine example of manhood. In fact, this kind of thing is an example of when misguided attempts at manliness go around the bend and become effeminate. It is of the nature of women to woo a man who will work for her and bring home the bacon. It is of the nature of men to work and provide for women.
A final sign of weird man is all of the chest-puffing. If you keep that up, you end up looking like one of those birds of paradise shaking his tail feather in the rainforest of Papua New Guinea. It is quite fun watching them do it. And it is fun enough if you are teasing. But if you are the least bit serious about your boasting, you simply look like a buffoon. It is true that even among our species, men compete for women’s approval. This is natural and as it should be. However, the kind of lady you really want to win doesn’t look for a man who points to himself but puts points on the scoreboard.
Marks of a Normal Manly Man
First, find profitable work that people appreciate enough to pay you for. Then do your job well. After you have been at it for a while, stay at it even more until someone could honestly call you skillful. Proverbs 29:29 says. ” Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.” Wanting to stand in the king’s court isn’t enough. You have to show up on time and get to work.
Second, marry a woman and have a lot of kids. Die for the well-being of your household. Leave it all on the field. Pray for them. Lead, protect, provide. Give your kids the best education you can find.
Third, worship God with your family. This comes before everything else. You will never be the man you should be if you do not appear before your Creator on the Lord’s Day.
Fourth, stop griping about your problems and start solving them. Yes, things are going to rot. So do something to fix it. Read a book. Understand the times. Find some other men who are actually laboring for reformation and join them. Build something so that your grandsons will have it better than you and be better than you.
Fifth, place your trust in the truest man that ever lived. Adversity is unavoidable. Without Christ as your Lord, you will be forced to choose one of two bad paths.
The first is to surrender. You will flake out and flame out. You will call it quits, phone it in, and grow resentful that you fell short of the standard. In the worst forms of this, you will abandon your wife and neglect your kids. You will follow in the footsteps of Olympic gold medalist Bruce Jenner, who after a considerable display of natural or animal masculinity, didn’t finish the race and ended up soft, effeminate, and gay.
The other bad route is to respond to adversity with uncontrolled anger. You will kick lawnmowers and throw hammers. The challenges of life will stir anger in you such that you will repel your children like a magnet. Your household will walk on eggshells around you until they walk away from you altogether.
The curse that fell on our father Adam has fallen on us. We now work by the sweat of our brow. It is a tough road. The only way to endure is by faith in the Second Adam. He works patience, fortitude, and courage in us. The true form of these qualities can’t be found anywhere else.