The Lost Art of Masculinity

By Scott Keith


Have you ever met a man that could change a room just by walking into it? I’ve met a few of them in my time. My Mentor Dr. Rod Rosenbladt is one of them. My Dr. Father Jim Nestingen is another. My friend Paul Koch is yet another. Have you in turn ever wondered what is it about a man that can cause such an effect simply by entering a room? It’s masculinity. Being masculine is laudable not deplorable, though you wouldn’t know it by watching TV, going to the movies, or engaging in modern culture. It seems that almost every male character portrayed in modern media seems to be stupid, incapable, or irrelevant.

Something has been lost along the path of moral enlightenment of political correctness that has seemingly completely overtaken our modern culture. In fact, what has been lost, among other things, is the truth that we as a society and culture need men to be men. We need men to be masculine. Clearly, we do not need men who are abusive, overbearing, or stagnant examples of male domination and chauvinism. Clearly we could do without those who think that women are lesser by design and unworthy of our respect, dignity, or care. But clearly we lost something when we stood by and allowed the pendulum to swing so far to the other side thus causing men to be feminized, confused, and examples of insecurity and uselessness.

It seems easy to identify what it means to be masculine. To be masculine is first, I think, something quiet. Those who are masculine are not mean or loud, and they will never be perceived as blowhards. Rather, they are almost unassuming in their demeanor. In turn, they are not moralists per se. Sure, they know what is right and what is wrong, and they will stand up for the right and fight the wrong. Their sense of right and wrong doesn’t lead them to sanctimony and self-righteousness. Rather, their sense of right and wrong will, more often than not, lead to forgiveness. Masculine men are capable, strong, and confident.

They may not know the answer to every question, or how to fix every problem, but they see themselves as capable of figuring it out. Further, they see it as their vocation to try!

And when they can’t, they are confident enough to ask a brother for help. In turn, masculine men have a true sense of filia, or brotherly camaraderie and love. They will find other masculine men with whom they surround themselves who they know they can trust. Often it may seem that masculine men run in herds because they are always together. This is not some sort of negative gang mentality, rather it is iron sharpening iron. Think of Tombstone, Braveheart, or Band of Brothers. Men need mutual support to teach them to be men, especially in our day.


But none of these characteristics is what changes a room simply by entering it. So then, what is it? What changes a room when a masculine man enters is the sense of grace that he brings with him. His unassuming, strong, confident, capable, non self-righteous, and forgiving character seems to pour forth from his pores like sweat on a hot day. He is strong. But his strength is not used to abuse, it is used to protect and save. He is confident. But his confidence is not used to demoralize. Rather, a masculine man’s confidence is shared so that your confidence in him becomes your confidence. He is capable. But, his capability is used to build up the weak and destroy the strong and oppressive. He is not a moralist.  Rather, he forgives; confidently, capably, and seemingly unassumingly. A masculine man can forgive as much with a gesture as with his words.  In short, as my friend and mentor Dr. Rod Rosenbladt would say, a masculine man “is a foggy, or out of focus picture of what God is like.” Essentially, he is grace and freedom to those he encounters. To be masculine is laudable not deplorable, and it’s a lost art that we ought to rediscover.