I know that I can’t be the only one struggling with this. In a world where skinny jeans are all the rage and Bieber songs about losing your girlfriend are at the top of the charts, it seems that the idea of “masculinity” has totally disappeared. More often than not, men are now more concerned with how many likes they have on freaking Facebook than how they can become a better man or provide more for their family.
Being masculine, as defined by Webster, is having qualities appropriate to or usually associated with a man.
Wow, what a definition. That literally tells us nothing. It tells us that to be masculine, you have to act as if you are a man. But what does it even mean to be a man in this day and age? What is masculinity, and why is our society, in my opinion, suffering because of the lack of it?
I’m no expert (self-awareness by the way is a trait of masculinity), but I do have a few opinions on what makes a man. In the below paragraphs, I’ll briefly describe in 3 points what I think it means to be a masculine man (although there are many more than just 3!).
1) A masculine man is aware of his faults and works to self-improve
Being a manly man is not about always being right, or always being the best. Rather, it is about knowing the areas in your life where you need to improve, and taking a thoughtful and action-oriented approach to continually improve.
This can be anything. This can be your relationship with you wife or girlfriend. This can be your relationship with your kids. This can be your addiction to drugs or alcohol. This can be your basketball skills. The point is that it doesn’t matter what it is. A masculine man will take pride in what he is doing, and work to self-improve in that area.
2) A masculine man takes the lead, especially when it’s difficult
Sometimes taking charge comes very easy. Like when you’re playing a pickup game of basketball with your buddies and you’re team captain. You’re in charge of calling the plays and directing the team. It comes pretty natural.
But sometimes, taking charge can be extremely difficult. Providing leadership in your relationships and families can be one of the hardest things for men, especially when the decision is not going to be popular. You know that you should be leading your family in one direction. You get that gut feeling telling you to take action (you know the feeling), but you hesitate.
You value the immediate comfort of your relationship over having the difficult conversations that you know deep down needs to happen. A big example of this is, and something that I struggle with, is my faith with God. My wife and I are both Christians, go to church, try to raise our daughter in the church, you know, the whole 9 yards.
But as a man, I know that it’s my duty to try to lead our family into a better relationship with God. This means that I need to take the lead and pray more with our family. Talk about God more, eliminate things that we shouldn’t be doing as Christians. But it’s difficult to do so – “What will my wife think of this decision?”, “I don’t know if I can”. All of these are phrases that need to be eliminated. You know the right thing to do as a leader, so do it.
3) A masculine man doesn’t accept excuses for himself, but instead realizes he is ultimately in control of his destiny
“It’s not my fault.” Probably the worst phrase in the English language. Nothing drives me crazier than to hear excuses.
A masculine man looks at himself in the mirror and realizes that the position that he finds himself in is a direct result of the decisions that he has made. Not someone else’s decisions, but his.
Not where you want to be financially? Guess what, it’s your freaking fault, not anyone else’s. Got a beer belly going that you hate looking at? McDonalds didn’t force feed you french fries with a gun to your head. That was the result of decisions that you made.
But guess what? Because you are in control of your own destiny, outside factors have no control over your results. You do!
How awesome is that? To know that you have control over your decisions, and you can literally do anything that you want to! Your success or failure is completely up to you. So get started.