Let’s take note of the first of several biblical passages that bear on masculinity. Ancient Israel’s King David demonstrated aspects of the character and values of maleness that God values. For example, God referred to David as “a man after My own heart” (Acts 13:22).
The Old Testament books of 1 and 2 Samuel are largely devoted to the life story of this man of great faith who in his youth took on dangerous wild animals and brought down a giant enemy warrior—and who went on to endure many trials, rising from personal failures to continue in God’s ways.
Fatherhood in the Bible
On his deathbed, David instructed his son Solomon, who would be the next king, to “be strong and show yourself a man” (1 Kings 2:2, English Standard Version). David’s life was a life of action, courage, and boldness. He knew his son would need these same qualities to lead the nation effectively.
God told the first man to have dominion over the earth and all its creatures and to tend and keep his environment (Genesis 1:26-28; Genesis 2:15). God told the man to subdue, oversee, administer, rule, care for, and protect creation. As a result, man has corrupted this role throughout human history is certainly true. But readers cannot deny that God told Adam and his descendants to be decisive, assertive, and rule over the earth.
Masculinity in the Bible
The Bible shares many examples of men who lived masculine lives. For instance, while probably only a teenager, David wasn’t afraid to take on the giant Goliath.
Certainly, Noah defied his neighbors and friends for 120 years. He built the ark in which he and his family were saved.
Above all, Abraham showed courage and determination as he followed God’s instruction to uproot his household and relocate to Canaan. So, he later led a private army to rescue his captured nephew Lot.
Moreover, educated in the pharaoh’s court, Moses became a scholar and a general commanding the Egyptian army. God used his talents to defy the pharaoh and lead ancient Israel out of Egyptian slavery. Subsequently, Moses, coming to the end of his time to lead the nation of Israel, anointed Joshua to be his successor. Notice his instructions to the younger man: “Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the Lord swore to their ancestors to give them … Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged” (Deuteronomy 31:7, NIV)
The apostle Paul’s instructions to the elders of the Church at Corinth included this telling passage: “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong” (1 Corinthians 16:13, ESV). Paul, who himself endured beatings and stoning for the faith, knew it took courage and fortitude to be a follower of Christ in the early days of the Church within the Roman Empire. These are proper manly examples that young men need to learn to emulate.