Defining and Pursuing Manliness

I recently listened to this excellent podcast, and it got me thinking.

What is the definition of Effeminacy?

The main point I noticed was the need to call out effeminacy as parents and Christian leaders. In love, in public life, in those we want to get to Heaven and in that which would otherwise lead them unaware.

The host and guest couldn't get into everything they want to say, there are limits even on podcasts. Perhaps they desire to leave defining the sin to the local pastor and parent. I thought I would briefly.

Effeminacy in men is:

  • Womanly, in dress / attitude / deed
  • Not manly. Shirking the dress / attitudes / deeds of men
  • Asexual also, see above
  • Soft 
  • Dainty 
  • Overly concerned with appearance (in dress, and body too) 
  • Denying and avoiding the role God made for men, see below

Effeminacy is not cross-dressing. It is not homosexuality. Effeminacy is not even confusion of gender roles. It is the path to these things, and also a sin of itself.

Symptoms of effeminacy include identifying and socializing better with women rather than men, being estranged from or uncomfortable among men, and a great concern with appearance. This concern with appearance looks like shopping for entertainment, caring overly about fashion, and dieting or exercise for how it makes you look.

Further, effeminacy is a learned trait. It is learned (as they say in the podcast) through entertainment mostly. The good news is that manliness can also be learned behavior.

Manliness is:

  • Accepting and living the dress / attitudes / deeds God gives to men
  • Being the complementary counterpart to women
  • Sweating and working (Genesis) 
  • Warring and defending (Judges, Kings, Psalms) 
  • Prayer, Faith, and not doubting (1 Timothy)
  • Sacrificing for their family and loving their wives (Ephesians)
  • Teaching and leading the family (Deuteronomy, 1 Corinthians, Ephesians) 

Women are wonderful, fascinating, and precious. There's no one I love more than my wife, and my mother means the world to me. That doesn't mean they are all the world needs.

I hope that when my daughter is grown she finds a man that is not at all effeminate to be her counterpart. That will allow her to be all woman while he does what he is uniquely called and qualified to do.

What to do about it

Raising a boy in this culture war makes me consider these things. The weapons we have to man up our boys (or ourselves) are these:

Calling out effeminate behavior

Just as the podcast says. When you see a man dressed like he doesn't know he's a man, say so to your young men. When entertainment or marketing nudges them to look pretty, to soften up, to be concerned with things they don't need to be, call it out. Highlight "that's for women" and "that is sin for you."

Good, manly examples

Just as you call out bad examples, contrast them with good. Point out the good manly men they should be like. Point them to your pastor (hopefully), old-timers in the church that have done some things, and other young men that are on a good track.

Further, purpose and decide to give your boys manly examples. Take them to a church workday. Take them to men's breakfasts, the auto shop, sportsman's gatherings, and the barbershop as an experience and not just transactions. Bring manly friends around and connect them.

Manly entertainment

This you won't find it in Hollywood. Books are a better source.

Young Adult biographies of interesting men like explorers and war heroes would be a good start. should help you find some. For fiction that is manly and relatively safe morally Louis L'Amour is hard to beat. He wrote many westerns, detective short stories, and historical fiction. Lastly, instructional manuals are interesting to boys and develop skills. Books like the Boy Scout Manual, worst case scenario handbook, home science and engineering projects, homesteading books, and hunting or fishing manuals.

If your boy isn't a reader, consider audio books.

Manly experiences

Camping, shooting, fishing, and building are all staples of manliness for a good reason. They are tied to manly virtues like planning, self-control, responsibility, and the pay-off of work ethic.

Men of every age can begin building these skills and the values associated with them. Boys can shoot plastic arrows and build with blocks, making blanket forts and "camping." Young men can go camping and fishing nearby, build chicken coops and robots from kits, and shoot pellet rifles. Men can plan these trips and mentor the young, or gather with other men and go hunting, camping, and fishing afar off.

Closing thought

Not every man need be a lumberjack or commercial fisherman. We don't even all need callouses. We do need to embody the calling and responsibilities outlined above. Engineers, architects, businessmen, and many others are not that but can be manly men in every way that is important.

Did I miss something you feel is important? Please comment below

Not every man need be a lumberjack or commercial fisherman. We don't even all need callouses. We do need to embody the calling and responsibilities outlined above. Engineers, architects, businessmen, and many others who are urban can be manly men in every way that is important.

Did I miss something you feel is important? Please comment below

New Rules of Retirement Savings

An incredible book that fixed our finances

This book has saved our family's financial future. The core idea is available to almost everyone, and known by nearly no one! I didn't know about IUL retirement planning before reading it - and I'm so glad I was pushed to explore the idea.

Note: I did build a business by improving on the wisdom of this book, found online here, but these links are not affiliated links. I don't care if you buy the book. I don't know the author and the book isn't published by my company - it just helped me.

I seriously encourage you to learn what is in this book.

Questions I had to answer for our family:

  • Will you have enough saved for retirement?
  • If taxes go up (like Congress says they will) will you still have enough?
  • How are you protected if the market crashes (like in 2008, and then 2012)?
  • How do you avoid high, yearly fees on your retirement savings?
  • Do you have a family plan if you don't live long enough to save?

Our family now has an answer to all of these questions

The security we feel, and the future we have planned, are such a joy to us that I had to share. I knew that I would have to share this whether I could build a business out of it or not. We were blessed and now it's my part-time business.

We even improved the plan in the book!

You can see here how we improved the plan to include Living Benefits. What are those you ask? They are a better life-insurance option that you don't have to die to use; if you get ill or injured so that you can't work the insurance pays early to help. Now my customers can keep their house even if they get cancer later, and their kids go to college even if they are hurt and can't work.

Here is a video explaining

Any Questions, Comments, or Concerns?

How to Listen to "A Certain Sound" Podcasts

Podcasts are awesome. Not only ours, and here are some ways you can listen to them. Some ways of listening are easier to start, but others have advantages (like always being updated, or being mobile).

Here is a list:

Beginner: "I only have a computer" or "I just want to try this out"

Use the dedicated webpage for the podcast to listen right now, online. Our link is Here. This will get you most of the experience, and you can still multi-task a little on or around your computer. You can't go jogging with the podcast yet, or really do chores while you listen, but it's a start.

Advanced Listener: "I want the freedom and control of having the podcast on my phone"

This is the best way to enjoy any podcast. You can listen anywhere, download podcasts for trips where service is spotty, and truly multi-task. This method will update you as soon as a new podcast is available, and make it ready to listen to right away.

If you have an iPhone there is an Apple app called "Podcasts," just search for "A Certain Sound" through the app and you'll find it with our logo right there. Subscribe and you're all set. Now you can listen on your commute, doing dishes, or while taking notes. 

If you have an Android phone my favorite podcast app is Podcast Republic. Search for "A Certain Sound" through the app and you'll find our podcast. Then subscribe and you're set! Now you can listen with earbuds, through connected car radios, and speakers with others even!