The two most common notions in the West of what makes a man masculine are, on one hand, a physically strong, domineering man who leads through sheer force of physicality or personality and, on the other hand, a sweet, sensitive man who refuses to assert himself.

Both of these visions, while acknowledging some important aspects of what men should be, have resulted in the fostering of a self-absorbed narcissistic man who, in the first case, is mainly obsessed with his own quest for power and control and, in the second case, is mainly obsessed with his own quest for personal pleasure. But the biblical vision of what a godly man should look like has little to do with his physical makeup or with his personality type.

Instead, the biblical model of masculinity is the God-man, Jesus. And while Jesus can be both powerful and sensitive, the main quality marking his masculinity is his self-sacrificial love for others. Jesus uses his power to serve others, and he seeks the well-being and pleasure of others.

In other words, the quest for power and pleasure are not in themselves toxic, but the godly man will always be questing to use his power for the other and not himself, and will always be questing to bring pleasure and happiness for the other and not himself.


Aaron Mueller
Chuck Rathert