The type of men we are determines the type of men our boys become. In his book, Man of Steel and Velvet, Aubrey Andelin talks about the importance of men being both strong and tender. He likens a man’s character to a building having a strong foundation of steel to support the structure; while the interior decorations, artwork, and landscaping are like velvet that smoothes off the rough edges, adding beauty and softness.
Because boys today are not being trained and mentored to high standards of masculinity, we are producing more and more men who are spoiled, spineless, and lacking in moral, physical, and mental strength. Unfortunately, when men are produced like this it not only affects their lives, but those around them as well. In fact, it negatively impacts all of society. Weak-kneed men eventually force women to become dominant mothers and take leadership roles they resent and are often frustrated with. By men not fulfilling their natural roles, this then prevents mothers from fulfilling their roles and responsibilities. Or as Andelin says, “If she must become the man of the family, she isn’t free to function as a woman, to devote her time and thought to making a success of her equaling demanding duties as a wife and mother.”
Additionally, the children of weak men suffer. They grow up feeling insecure due to lack of firmness and decisiveness. They never learn to respect or yield to authority. Growing up in a home where a father does not demand obedience, they learn only disobedience. This creates all sorts of problems for their future families and society in general.
The following quote from Andelin describes the strong side of masculinity perfectly. Listen though to how politically incorrect this definition sounds today, “A man of steel is a masculine man. He is aggressive, determined, decisive, and independent. He is efficient in a man’s world, demanding quotas of himself in reaching his objectives. He is competent in a task, fearless and courageous in the face of difficulty, and master of a situation. He has convictions and steadfastly holds to these convictions. He sets high goals, goals which require dedication and patience. He is not afraid of strain and diligence. He rejects softness and timidity. When he has made a decision based on his best judgment, he is unbendable as a piece of steel. These qualities set him apart from women and weaker members of his own sex.”
The standard we have set today for masculinity is pitifully low. The changes that feminism brought to eliminate bad behaviors of masculinity also threw chivalrous and good behavior out like babies with the bath water. Male role models of high standards are few and far between in today’s cultural climate. The most popular male figures now range from Homer Simpson to Donald Trump. To my mind neither exhibits the qualities of manhood that nurture the lives of others.
Boys and men who don’t stand for anything, stand for nothing. Men who promote bad standards, weaken the entire fabric of society much like a crack in a concrete foundation. And males that are soft like velvet with no steel girding cannot be relied upon to use their masculine strength to give respite to those who are vulnerable, tired, or wounded and look to him for protection and provision. Society at large suffers due to their cowardly passivity and self-serving apathy.
Question: How are you modeling manhood to your son or other young males who look up to you?