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October 13, 2022

The Missing Masculine Virtue

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all-Philippians 4:4-5

Men, when was the last time you were challenged in your gentleness?

Gentleness usually doesn’t make the list of masculine virtues.  I tend to think more about grit, determination, perseverance, strength and fighting bravely (last week’s post).  But Paul, in his letter to the Philippians, certainly had men in mind when he told his readers to make their gentleness known to all.

Men, we are called to be gentle.

As I write in the Living Lionhearted Journal:

Our world needs men who use their masculine strength to love with gentleness.  A lion, not a kitten, can exhibit gentleness because he is first strong.  True masculinity is power kept in check as a man engages in a righteous cause. 

I have a friend named Joel, who was a wrestler and UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) fighter.  He’s a big, strong dude, and I definitely wouldn’t want to face him in a cage fight.  But he also has a big heart and a genuine love for people.  He shared with me that almost all the UFC fighters he knows, some of the best fighters in the world, are incredibly gentle people.  You wouldn’t know it while watching them bloody their opponents with kicks to the face, but it’s because they KNOW they are lethal that they don’t feel a need to prove it out of the ring.  They can remain gentle in their interactions with others, knowing they can call upon their strength if and when the time comes.

Jesus, who was given all power and authority in Heaven and on earth, led with gentleness.  We see this in his earthly ministry through his teachings and interactions with the people around him.  He has authority over demons, thunderstorms, disease, and death.  No one has more power than Jesus.  Yet he’s also a model of true gentleness.  Think about how he welcomed the little children and reacted to the woman caught in adultery.  Even his “triumphal entry” into Jerusalem was an example of gentleness.

Paul admonishes his readers to let their “gentleness be evident to all.”  Is there evidence of gentleness in your life?  What does it look like?  Does it come naturally, or do you have to work at it?

There is nothing soft about exhibiting gentleness.  The world needs good men, and these men are gentle in their words and actions.

Does your wife see your gentleness?  What about your children, friends or coworkers?

 Do you believe gentleness is an important masculine virtue? 

 Here’s your homework: ask a few people close to you if you exhibit gentleness.

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