Editors’ note: 

This is an excerpt from chapter 7 of Baesics: Run Hard After God. If Anyone Catches Up, Introduce Yourself by Ernest and Waturi Wamboye. Through personal stories, no-nonsense advice, and biblical exposition, Baesics urges you to commit yourself wholeheartedly to Christ, find your identity and purpose before you find a partner, and set appropriate sexual and emotional boundaries. It addresses the world’s myths about what makes one a man or a woman, how to handle temptations such as lust, and how to deal with emotional wounds.

It is not untrue to say that there is a male crisis in the 21st century. Many men do not know what makes them men. Is it our sexual reproductive organs? What identifies you as a man? Identity in a nutshell is the justification for your existence. If you cannot justify it, you will be in a crisis. Many men have their masculinity pegged on temporal circumstances.

Many men have their masculinity pegged on temporal circumstances.

If you study pop culture you will realise that the world is telling men that they are manly if they have three things. Or, in short, these three things are what the average man lives for:

  1. Attaining and retaining female attention
  2. Financial prosperity
  3. Social dominance.

I am going to call these three: girls, gold, and glory. Let me expound. These are the thoughts of a man whose identity rests in any of the three Gs.

Baesics: Run Hard after God. If Anyone Catches Up, Introduce Yourself

Baesics: Run Hard after God. If Anyone Catches Up, Introduce Yourself

217 PAGES.

No-nonsense advice on how to build a fulfilling love life and marriage. Find your identity in Christ and become a real, godly man or woman. Learn how to set boundaries, resist lust, and heal from emotional wounds. Once you know the basics, you’ll be ready to meet your Bae.

217 PAGES.

The Three Gs of Contemporary Masculinity

1. Girls

Attaining and retaining female attention gives me admiration from other men. Women are sexual accessories to enhance my masculine image. When I am seen with women, I am perceived as manly.

2. Gold

Financial prosperity gives my masculinity freedom, security, power, and love. It grants me the attention of women and it also grants the inevitable envy of fellow men. I feel important because I have money. Without money I’m not manly enough.

3. Glory

Social dominance (fame, respect, titles, status, prestige, possessions, favour, popularity, leadership) gives my masculinity relevance and makes me the alpha male in the room. It is important that I stand out in public for something. If I can’t be seen as the guy with the sleekest car, I will be seen as the most humorous one in the room.

This narrative is not new and nobody in the modern 21st century should actually be shocked by this. You may not hear a man verbally articulate those positions on girls, gold, and glory. But you will see it manifested in his behaviour.

This View of Manhood is Destructive

When a man has his identity in the three Gs, he sets himself up for failure in life. He is intimidated by fellow men who are faring better than he is in any of those three Gs.

1. Girls

The girls he uses as sexual trophies will eventually lose their sexual beauty. And if he lives for this, he may end up making foolish decisions that involve him getting disease and having a horrible marriage as he pursues the latest big bust in town.

2. Gold

In multiple ways, his money can disappear or lose value. His money cannot last forever. And even if it should, his money will not carry him past death. The more money he makes, the more money he leaves behind when he dies—which could even be his 30s, death respects nobody.

3. Glory

Glory fades. Today you are the top artist; tomorrow nobody fills your concerts. Today you have the corner office job; tomorrow you are sick and they let you go. Today you have the latest iPhone; tomorrow Apple releases another. Today you have a title; tomorrow you are demoted or you retire.

Look to God, the Value Giver

Every source of value that does not stem from God is a thief or a poor imitator. A majority of our countries’ constitutional values stem from the Ten Commandments. The moral stand of activists stems from our God-given conscience (Romans 2:14-15). Only a higher being with a higher power allows anyone to have the moral right to say that some things are wrong and some are right. If this moral right to say so comes from one’s convenience and benefit, then right and wrong become relative issues.

Every source of value that does not stem from God is a thief or a poor imitator.

But the man with value-based masculinity knows that absolutes are genuine. That rape is wrong. That murder is wrong. That stealing is wrong. And he does not just uphold the ones that are easy to agree with. He comes down all the way to the ones that the world disagrees with. He stands by these unpopular ones too: that homosexuality is wrong; that any kind of sexual activity outside the marriage institution is wrong; and that sensual thoughts are wrong. He has no grey areas.

Any kind of masculinity that is not based on the big G, God, is at best thievery and will never last because it will frequently intermarry with worldly and secular, power-based masculinity. It will be faithful as long as it is not tempted. It will be confident as long as it is not disrespected. It will be a good father as long as people are watching.

Learn and Live Out Your God-Given Value

Genuine value-based masculinity is what it is because God empowers it; he wills it in a man that surrenders to him and receives his Holy Spirit. And for a man to have the Spirit, he must start by admitting that he is not manly. He then must see that his lack of manliness, his sinfulness, and deceitful heart cannot help itself. He needs a Saviour. And for that man, Christ Jesus died and took away his sin. For that man, Christ allows his Holy Spirit to reside in him. For that man, Christ guides him every day. For that man, Christ promises to glorify him after he dies so that his masculinity goes beyond the grave.

The path to value-based masculinity is to look at the bigger man, Jesus Christ.

The path to value-based masculinity is to look at the bigger man, Jesus Christ. The man who created all the girls in the world and yet honours each of them. The man who owns the universe and yet chooses a life of a local peasant to save your soul. “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9). The man with all the glory in all of history yet he gives it up on the cross just to justify you and glorify you. Submit to this man. Submit to the big G and the three Gs will make sense.