7 Uncommon Characteristics Of Masculine Christian Men

Over the years people have asked me what I think the difference is between a masculine Christian man and an effeminate one. Some assume that when I talk about the need for men to fully embrace their god-given manhood that I am advocating that men become (1) chauvinistic pricks or (2) demeaning towards other men who do not embrace their inherently god-given male characteristics.

Simply put, I believe men are created to be different than women. And yes, I believe that a person’s gender is god-given and not culturally ascribed. Genesis 1:27 says “…male and female he created them.”

Men become effeminate when they reject their specific gender differences. Not in the sense that they become “fags” (or whatever hateful and slanderous name you pick). And definitely not in the sense of being more sensitive or emotional. But effeminate in the sense of embracing what is unnatural to their god-given male gender.

Here are 7 uncommon characteristics of masculine Christian men…

1. Masculine men don’t have sex with other men.

One would think this would be self-explanatory, but not in today’s culture. I don’t care how tall, well-built, tough acting and great looking a guy is. If he has sex with another man, he is performing an act reserved only for women. In the truest sense, only effeminate men have sex with other men.

2. Masculine men are comfortable being the “head” of their wives.

Ephesians 5:23 says, “The husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.” The word “head” in Greek (kephale) is used to describe an anatomical head, but also to describe the point of a spear, the top of a wall, and the front of a ship. The context of Ephesians 5:23 tells us that just as Christ went ahead of the church to save it as its Savior (dying on the cross), the husband goes ahead of his wife and protects her (and as an indirect result his family). Masculine men lead their wives in the sense that they sacrifice for them, protect them, and keep them from experiencing undue stress, exhaustion, pain and hardship. Only effeminate men push their wives to go ahead of them and experience what they as husbands should experience.

3. Masculine men treat their wives with tenderness.

1 Peter 3:7 tells us that husbands should treat their wives with respect “as the weaker partner.” In the Greek it literally says “weaker vessel,” referring to a woman’s smaller physical stature. Masculine men are both strong and tender at the same time. Effeminate men treat their wives as physical equals, verbally fighting (and sometimes physically fighting) under the assumption that “she is just as strong as I am and can handle it.”

4. Masculine men lead well and submit well.

Ephesians 5:21 tells us to “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Masculine men feel very comfortable leading their wives, but at the same time feel just as comfortable submitting to their wives, just as scripture teaches.

5. Masculine men model for their children what a woman doesn’t look like.

Early childhood developmental psychologists call this “triadic family relationships.” Little girls learn how a woman acts not only by observing her mother, but by contrasting her with her father. The father demonstrates how a man acts and how a woman doesn’t act. Masculine men don’t dress like women. They don’t act like women. They don’t wear dresses and makeup. Of course there are common characteristics shared by both parents, but both go to great lengths to model what each specific gender looks like for their children. And unlike what our culture teaches us, that’s a good thing. As a proud father of three girls who routinely crush boys their age in soccer and lacrosse, I want them to also know there are things they shouldn’t do as young women.

6. Masculine men are comfortable around other men.

Effeminate men were allowed at an early age to coddle whatever male-to-male relationship insecurities they had and spend more time among girls than boys. Rather than acknowledging what John Eldridge calls the “Father wound” in many men (lack of bonding with the father) and challenging men to bond with other men, church cultures often perpetuate a lack of authentic male relationship building opportunities (the very thing that can heal a father wound). Simply put, effeminate men spend most of their time with women or other effeminate men.

7. Masculine men speak the truth in love.

Effeminate men are afraid of confrontation. They gossip, slander and besmirch people, especially other men. Masculine men aren’t afraid to confront sin, call on people to change, and speak prophetically into people’s lives. Effeminate men only focus on feeling accepted and being inclusive. Masculine men aren’t afraid to speak the truth in love.

What do you think are the  main God-given differences between men and women? What did I miss? Get wrong?

Brian loves helping Christians live thoughtful, courageous lives. He's a popular blogger, author, and pastor at Christ's Church of the Valley in the suburbs of Philadelphia.

  • Ed

    Well said, Brian. My son and I will celebrate his 13th birthday this coming Sunday. I have been planning discussions leading up to and following that landmark day centered on what it mean to be a Godly Man. Jesus was a “Godly man”, “man’s man”; the embodiment of the Masculine Man. With your permission, I’d like to print your article and make it a part of our discussions.

    Thank you for a timely article.

    • Brian Jones

      Absolutely Ed. Enjoy that special time. Blink and he’ll be in college before you know it.

    • GodHatesBigots


  • Matthew Sullivan


    Thanks for the great post! I am preaching a series in the summer about what Christian Men are supposed to be and how they are to act. I plan on including this and hopefully point some of those men to your blog and books.

    • Brian Jones

      Good luck with your series Matthew. Make sure you share the links to your sermons when you’re done!

  • http://jonstolpe.com Jon Stolpe

    Can I recommend two excellent books on this subject?

    Tender Warrior by Stu Weber…I read this book several years ago, and it’s an excellent read. Weber speaks about being a man, husband, and father.

    Raising A Modern-Day Knight by Robert Lewis…I’m reading this one right now. Lewis shares his thoughts on raising our sons to be men.

    I definitely agree that society today tries so hard to completely “level” the field between men and women – making them the same. Instead, I believe there are differences that are worth celebrating. These differences make us better.

    • Brian Jones

      Great book recommendations Jon.

  • http://www.abibleplace.com Diane Stortz

    Brian, your explanation of “head” as meaning to go ahead, as a protector–that’s the clearest and most “makes sense!” explanation I’ve ever heard. Thanks!

  • Steve Brooke

    Great article Brian. I like how you listed out and defined things since that topic can be defined and assumed so differently by so many different people coming from so many different vantage points. I especially like how you defined headship (it gets misperceived easily). I also liked how you defined submission, since submission is really such a positive virtue that even God himself exemplified, and one of the most important and overlooked of the basic Christian disciplines to be practiced in so many different areas and relationships of our lives, and we’d all be a whole lot better off if we practiced it more often. I’ve really enjoyed your posts man, keep em coming! ps – all this talk of manhood makes me want to put on war paint and go beat a drum while yelling out man-grunts half naked in the forest now… or maybe not. ;-)

  • Scott VanDyke

    Brian, sounds like you’ve got the making of your next book. Great blog, my friend.

    • Brian Jones

      Thanks for the kind words Scott and Steve. Hope you’re both doing well.

  • David

    “(or whatever hateful and slanderous name you pick)” Just because you don’t say it outright, doesn’t mean you don’t hold those feelings and that hatred and disgust.

    All seven of your terms and conditions don’t really seem to come from experience or understanding outside your own intentionally limited experience, which sounds a lot like it comes from the same place as that “slanderous” place you forgive yourself from speaking and wave a finger at those who are manly enough to be honest about their feelings on the subject rather than muddle them down with extra words that belie your point and make it sound more accepting.

    • Brian Jones

      I’m not sure what you’re disagreeing with. The entire post? Can you be more specific?

  • David

    I disagree with the entire post. Half because it sounds like it’s not condemnation when it is and half because it is not written from experience or actual interaction with any of these ‘effeminate men’, which is your proper, seemingly polite way of saying gay men. Do you know any gay men or couples? Or was this all written from the media portrayl of them that circulates in many modern christian communities -mostly because of a lack of interaction and a social comfort of portraying them as these men begging to be women because they couldn’t differ between their mother and their father.

    • Brian Jones

      Okay, that’s helpful. I would respond by saying two things: 1. I do know many gay men and gay couples and 2. No, the post wasn’t written to condemn anyone, especially homosexuals.

      I’d respond further, but my guess is that if you thought my entire article was crap, a lengthy response with further explanation would only be met with further disagreement, so I’d say let’s just agree to disagree. And hopefully, over time, if you do ever come back to the blog, you’ll see that what I’m saying about my motives is genuine.

      If not, I wish you the best David.

      • GodHatesBigots

        I love how people decide to make it a “draw” when they either run out of material, or know they can’t win the argument.

  • David

    I wish you the best, as well. However, if you express an opinion on effete men and begin that opinion with the statement “masculine men do not have sex with other men” and end it with “effeminate men only focus on feeling accepted and being inclusive” and expect anyone to believe that you are not condemning homosexuals. Are you sure that many of the people who applaud your opinion are aware that you are not condemning homosexuals? To me, it sounds like your last point is a thinly disguised way of saying that anyone who does not confront homosexuals about their lives (not their liestyle, as that term implies some sort of choice was made in regards to their sexual orientation) is effete by default just for not concerning themselves with someone else’s sex life. It’s an echo of your earlier statement “One would think this would be self-explanatory, but not in today’s culture.” because the majority of the American public now support equal rights for homosexuals.

    Of these many gay men and couples that you know, are there any that you do not feel sorry for?

    • Brian Jones

      “Of these many gay men and couples that you know, are there any that you do not feel sorry for?”

      I would have to say no. I do feel sorry for them – whatever drove them to make their lifestyle choice has caused them to miss God’s best for their lives.

      • carlos

        Homsexual Orientation is not a choice. I love the Lord and I didnt’ choose to like men. I hear people say it’s a choice if so when did you choose to be st8t?

        • carlos

          Anyway, It doesnt’ matter if you are effeminate of masculine. The Lord will accept you as you are. He says come as you are. The Lord will love anyone who follows his commandments.

          • Brian Jones

            But we can ignore the commands about avoiding homosexual behavior?

            • carlos

              we are called to be celibate until marriage.

        • Chad Martens

          Acting on that orientation is a choice though. The same way that an alcoholic acts on his desire to drink, or a liar decides to not tell the truth. All Christians, all people, have their “thing” that they have to deal with on a daily basis….a weakness all their own, but certainly not unique.

          • GodHatesBigots

            You admit sexual orientation is not a choice, that’s the first step to solving any problem; admitting that you have one. With that being said, if everyone did what “god” wanted, that means he doesn’t want gay people to have relationships. I know the whole relationship isn’t based on sex, but the intimacy of it makes up a big chunk. And everyone knows relationships cant survive without intimacy. So “god” wants these people to live a sad, lonely, pathetic shell of a life. He makes them gay, then tells them not to be gay, or they’re going to hell? Sounds like a grade-A douchebag if I’ve ever heard of one.

  • David Knoecklein

    Good stuff. As the stay at home care giver dad and grandfather my identity is derived from selfless leadership. Being a man by being aware takes effort. Relationships require substance. So am I less of a man because my spouse makes more money than I do?(way more). A man is a man who is ready to step up and take the hit, know when the hit is coming and to be ready for all the fall out. From my point of view, leadership,or’ point man’ is demonstrated in choices and choices in attitude. Good stuff Brian

  • Tom

    This is a very important topic. I pastored a church in SE Asia and dealt with this issue several times. In my experience it is quite simple, though we like to make it more complicated. Effeminate men prefer to hang out with women or other effeminate men, no matter what culture. Its sort of a chicken and egg thing, but hanging out with such people tends to make effeminate men ore effeminate and sometimes more likely to enter the homoxual lifestyle all together. 

    The problem in churches is that almost always there is more women than men, and in a church with majority singles (as in my case), it can be very dangerous when an effeminate Christian man suddenly finds a group of accepting Christian single women. Many singapore Christian women seem to also be ignorant of gender differences and Biblical expectations, and often inadvertently encourage these men to be more effeminate. 

    It is tough though because you are dealing with people’s personality, what makes them who they are. Still, hanging out with several such guys, what I’ve noticed is how their effeminate side is really an act. Its something that gets them accepted by a certain group or type of person, but around more masculine guys, they tend to act more masculine. I believe it is key, not just that they see their effeminate behaviors as wrong, but that they see how their need to fit in and be accepted is damaging.   

  • Purple_flowergirl234

    OMG all those are what I’ve been lookin for all my life. A masculine man doesn’t make excuses why he doesn’t take care of his wife. Very good blog.

    • http://www.BrianJones.com/ Brian Jones


  • GodHatesBigots

    Oh, so much to say. First of all “fags (or whatever hateful and slanderous name you pick” in your comments you say “the post wasn’t written to condemn anyone, especially homosexuals.” Apparently it was specifically targeting homosexuals. And what happened to “hate the sin, not the sinner” and “love everyone like Christ loves”? You, sir, are a hypocritical bigot, and a stain upon this earth. Now, onto your first point; I have tried to be attracted to women, I have tried to push away my thoughts of love with another man. But guess what? Your “god” made me the way I am, he made me gay. It’s not a choice on my part. Why would I choose being hated, ridiculed and beaten? Your second point; I have been in a very serious relationship with a woman, one, to try to prove to myself that I can make a choice to be straight (didn’t work) and to fill the void of loneliness in my heart. Guess who sacrificed friends to make sure she got to school? Guess who took physical abuse from her mother so she wouldn’t have to? Guess who worked two jobs to make sure she had a home, food, gas, and clothes? ME! A gay man! Your third point; I have never had sex, me and this woman made love. Tender, emotionally connected act. Yes, it may not have been romantic love, but it was still a form of love. And I always made sure fights never escalated, verbally or physically. And actually, SHE hit ME. Your fourth point; we made decisions as a couple, and took whichever path we BOTH felt was right. As to your fifth point, I don’t have children so I can’t say anything there. Your sixth point; when I wasn’t in school, I was helping dad. We lived on a good chunk of land, always a fence or shed to build, lawn work to do and such. We didn’t have the greatest relationship, but the only time I was around women was at dinner time because we ate as a family. Your seventh point; I would say I’m confronting your sin; bigotry hatred, I’m calling on you to see the error of your ways (I had a way nastier comment in mind for this whole thing, but I’m trying to show SOME respect). I’m not gossiping with friends, I’m getting in your face and telling you that you are wrong. As to the bible condemning homosexuality? In the original Greek version, the word used for “homosexuality” actually means “defiling angels” that’s child rape, not same sex relations. And by the way, do you stone your children when they misbehave? That’s in your bible. Do you eat shrimp, or other “creatures of the sea without fin and scale”? Because your book says “these creatures you shall not eat, for they are detestable to you”. So start a campaign that condemns and hates people who eat shrimp because thats mentioned EIGHT times while the “homo” thing is mentioned TWICE! Being gay is not a choice, so stop hating people just because you don’t understand them. Be a real Christian and learn to love.

  • GodHatesBigots

    “It’s tough though because you are dealing with people’s personalities, what makes them who they are.” I am really amazed that you admit to brainwashing and re-programming people to be just like you, instead of the individual person that “god” made them. Bravo.

  • Barry

    I’m open. honest. i make certain men uncomfortable with how openly i display my emotions. i confront them. I’m usually met with lies. what kind of man is that?

    • http://www.BrianJones.com/ Brian Jones

      A unique one, that’s for sure.