Learn It, Then Earn It (For Dads)
There’s a difference between maleness and manliness. A person is a male by virtue of his sex (gender), his DNA. A male is not a man simply because of his age, his profession, his marital status, whether or not he’s a virgin, what he owns, or any other arbitrary factor. A male becomes a man when his life is manly. What is manliness? Virtue. This is one of the 3 main tenants of TrueManhood.com – nothing new for the readership.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church, in paragraph 1803, states that virtue is “the habitual and firm disposition to do the good.” The CCC clarifies that virtue is an action… doing… a verb. So when does a male become a man? When he does good. You’re a male reading this… are you a man or are you simply a male?
Thankfully, with the definition that the Church gives us, we don’t have to wonder whether or not a male is a man, which means that we don’t have to wonder whether or not our sons (or the males interested in our daughters) are men. It’s the benchmark by which we “grade” them. When we know that, we can move forward to help these males continue to live in a manly way. This brings me to my point…
Manliness isn’t given, manliness is earned. Before something can really be earned, someone must know what they are earning, thus males must first learn what manliness is before they can earn it. As fathers, it is our responsibility to not only live out manliness (ie: virtue) but to teach it. The world gives various versions of counterfeit manliness for our boys to shoot for (search “Cultural Manliness” on this site for more on the world’s main version) and if we don’t teach them what authentic masculinity is, their only option is the world’s option.
The world’s option isn’t an option for me. It’s not an option for my son, Dave Jr. It’s not an option for my daughters Lily, Emma, and Maria. The world’s option is a lie.
Let’s work together as Catholic fathers to teach our children (male and female) what masculinity is. If you ever wonder, just refer back to the Catechism, to TrueManhood.com, or to the “Guide to Virtue” found on my site. More to follow on dads teaching their sons what TrueManhood is all about.