Manly Men-Reflections on Masculinity

By: PaxCare Staff


In the culture in which we live, there are many stereotypes and misconceptions regarding the roles and identities of men. What makes a man, well…a man? How do we determine manliness? This article will shed some light on the issue.

What’s the Manswer?

Read the following two character sketches and answer this question:   Which man is more masculine?

#1.   Mr. A is a florist by profession.   He enjoys going to the ballet, musical theater and supports the arts in general.  He dresses well and cares for his appearance. He is warm and affectionate to the people he meets.   He is in touch with his emotions and comfortable sharing them.

#2 Mr. B is a contractor by profession.   He enjoys monster truck rallies, loves to watch football, and judges the quality of a movie by the number of explosions in it.   His idea of dressing up is wearing  his nice plaid flannel shirt (the one without the beer stain).   He is friendly enough, but not very affectionate.   Some would describe him as gruff.     He does not enjoy talking about feelings.   He would rather solve problems than talk about them.

So, which is more masculine?   A or B?   Answer:   It is impossible to tell from the information presented.

Why?   Because masculinity has little to do with the jobs we do, the things we like, or the way we look.   Masculinity has much, much more to do with how effectively we live out our humanity through the male body given to us by God. Masculinity is determined by how comfortable a man is with his body and uses that body in the manner it was intended by God to be used; that is, to serve others.   Let’s use two different examples.

The Demands of Loving Service

Same question: Which is more masculine?

#1 Mr. C adores his wife. He is conscientious about fulfilling the promises he makes to her. He is an active father and makes sure to spend time with his children every day. He is concerned about caring for his family’s emotional and spiritual needs and regularly leads prayer in his home and encourages his family to take advantage of the sacraments.     His wife and children know that any time they need something, they can count on Mr. A to help them find the most godly and efficient way to meet their need.

#2 Mr. D says he loves his wife but really couldn’t tell you anything about what her needs are or what it takes to make her happy. When she asks him to do something for her, he will often promise to do it to get her to stop nagging him, but he rarely follows through. He is not very involved with his children. He avoids discussion anything he doesn’t have to with his family. He does not pray with them. He will go to church if his wife insists. Sometimes. By and large, his wife and children do not count on him for much.

So, which is more masculine? Clearly, Mr. C. Why? Because Mr. C presents as a man who knows himself, is comfortable in his own skin and he is using his self and his body in the way God intended it to be used; to serve others. A man might have more in common with either Mr. A or Mr. B above, but it doesn’t matter, because his masculinity is determined not by the job he has or the things he likes or the way he looks. It is determined by the way he uses his self and his body to serve.

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