We live in an age that embraces effeminacy and androgyny. This has led to many men rebelling against this culture and embracing masculinity. We have seen this on the secular Right, and it is good to see our culture recognizing this error. But as Christians we should not be tempted to go from one error to an opposite error. We need Biblical masculinity, not just masculinity.
Now, a necessary disclaimer: This is not saying femininity is bad. Femininity is good, in women. But men should not be effeminate, as women should not be masculine.
We have seen masculinity be abused. Radical Islam admires masculinity, but we as Christians should abhor that version of masculinity. Barbarians throughout history have been admirers of masculinity. But man as conqueror, pillaging and raping is a perversion of God’s good gift of masculinity. Toxic masculinity does exist, and masculinity becomes toxic when it is not constrained by the guardrails set in place by Holy Scripture.
A man who embraces Biblical masculinity is a man who provides for his family and subdues and rules over nature to build civilization. (See 1 Timothy 5:8 and Genesis 1:28.) Biblical masculinity is a desire to protect, honor and respect women – especially their sexual purity. The Apostle Paul tells us that a Christian man will give his life to protect his spouse. Biblical masculinity is self-discipline – as we see in Proverbs 25:28, a man who is not self disciplined is like a city unprotected from invaders by a wall.
So yes, men should embrace responsibility, leadership, bravery and other manly virtues. But as with all good gifts from God, masculinity can be a terrible thing if perverted by the Enemy. It is always our temptation to replace one error by running away to the other extreme, when we should instead be focused on what God wants for us – and we cannot know what that is unless we are studying the Bible.