The curse affects us all, and it especially attacks that which most defines us: our strength.
Here are five things you can just stop doing today to become more masculine:
1. Stop seeking praise
This is the base motivation of virtue-posturing social justice warriors and thirsty white knights. They perform their good works to be noticed. Why? In John 12, Jesus says…
…they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God.
Seeking the praise of men, and especially of women, demonstrates weakness in men: you are compliant to the perceptions of others, rather than commanding your own world, and having it in turn commanded by God. The Lord knows the quality of your work. He sees all. Live for his praise (Colossians 3:22). The confident man knows where he has failed and has spoken with God about it.
You should not be ashamed of enjoying praise—men naturally respond to being honored, and naturally create honor structures. But seeking praise turns it into an idol. Be known by the quality of your work, and fix your desire for praise on God alone. Look forward to hearing from him, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
2. Stop being self-deprecating
Again, this demonstrates weakness. Many men assume that it’s somehow endearing to put themselves down; in fact, it shows that you lack confidence. Emphasizing and even apologizing in advance for your own failures or weaknesses rarely gains you anything; it merely draws attention to what might otherwise have gone unnoticed.
That being said, you should be able to laugh at yourself. A self-serious man is usually twice as frail as the self-deprecater (though few realize this).
3. Stop complaining
Men solve problems. They don’t whine about a situation; they create a solution with the resources available (including prayer). Complaining achieves nothing but to share your misery with everyone else. It demonstrates weakness of resolve, and typically reflects a victim mentality completely unbecoming of a man who was created to exercise dominion.
It is also indicative of faithlessness: a man who complains implicitly sees himself over God, rather than under him—demanding that his Father rule better, rather than trustingly submitting to his will.
4. Stop making excuses
If you fail, own it. Own it completely. Men are leaders, and leaders aren’t excuse-makers. Owning your failure demonstrates strength, because it shows that you will not sublimate your command over your world to anything—even when things don’t go the way you wanted. Excusing failure is a demonstration of weakness; a willingness to become compliant to circumstance. It is just another way to seek praise.
5. Stop breaking promises
C.H. Spurgeon: “Those who are quick to promise are generally slow to perform.” You break fewer promises if you are slower to make them.
If you do say you’ll do something, then do it. And do it no matter how hard it is. If you have a command of your world, then you know what you can and cannot do. So don’t promise things you can’t realistically do. Untrustworthiness might as well be a synonym for weakness. If you’re not sure you can do it, or should do it, don’t promise to do it. If you keep finding yourself breaking promises, then you don’t have the command of your world that you thought, and you need to step back and re-calibrate. Always under-promise and over-deliver. As a rule of thumb, assume that everything you’re intending to promise will take three times longer and cost three times more than you expect.