What does it mean to be a man? My sense is that it’s a question more of us men should be asking ourselves. Most of the men I know are proud of their masculinity and emphasize their manly traits. They disdain any behavior they consider to be feminine and scorn homosexuality. They openly esteem a strong sex drive and belittle sexual abstinence.

What I don’t see enough of in men that I know is recognition of the moral obligations of manhood and the honor that comes from living up to them. Being a man casts each of us into roles replete with emotional, intellectual, and spiritual obligations. We are first and foremost sons, brothers, and fathers. It is incumbent upon us as the stronger sex to care for our parents, siblings, mates, and especially, offspring. And beyond family are our roles as friends, associates, and citizens. It is our duty look after our colleagues, do good for others, help those in need, and act in the interest of our country.

And we men could benefit from learning to be humble. Yes, we are bigger and stronger than our mates, but in every other respect, they are at least our equals and are consistently better than we are at some endeavors.

To honor our manhood, we men need to understand that as the stronger sex, we are obliged to serve. Our job is put the interests and well-being of those who depend on us above any selfish goals we may have. Masculine dignity, in short, derives from service to others.

Until we men learn to serve, we are incomplete men.

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