"That's a good dog!" He spoke those words like they were irrefutable. He knew it for sure, and wanted the rest of us to be aware of it also. The qualities of a "good dog" were obedience, intelligence, and loyalty; and knowing that dog, I would have to agree with his assessment. What are the qualities that we would look for and say "that's a good man"? In order to answer this question rightly, let us ask what the world's answer would be first.
Much of the world today has been trying to blur the differences between masculinity and femininity for a while now. I still recall the college professor that tried to encourage everyone to be "androgynous" (a fairly new word to me at the time) because that was (according to her) true to our evolutionary progress (every word after that was fairly suspect to me). So now, some 30 years later, what would she and others of her philosophical persuasion say was a "good man"? Of course, I cannot be completely sure (after all, a barbarian society is quite hard to interpret), but I will fathom a guess.
A "good man" (according to modern American culture) is one who satisfies his passions, and yet does not assert himself on anyone else (especially women and minorities), except those who have "antiquated" and "medieval" opinions (who should be screamed at). To put it in other words, the world wants men to be slaves to their own lusts, but only in so far as it promotes the superiority of females and the utter stupidity and uselessness of males. Men who have been formed like this have been emotionally and spiritually castrated. They have rejected the very heart of what it means to be male.
Following on what I have said in the past couple of posts, what would be a good list of the qualities that define godly masculinity? Unfortunately the list is longer than I plan on this post being in its entirety (and spending the time to define each of those qualities would encompass a book in itself!). I could summarize it, though, with the following statement. The necessary qualities of a godly man are those things that require a bold and humble strength to accomplish. This might, at first read, seem too simplistic and non-specific. In truth, however, it foundational and crucial.
A godly man is one who seeks to know what his calling is (for it is not exactly the same for every man), and then seeks to perform it with greater faithfulness every day of his life. For example, the godly man would say, "how does King Jesus want to me to teach my wife and children to love Him?" (which is a married man's duty before God; whether he likes it or not!). Then, he will go out and find the answer to that question (which may involve research, or even [oh, no!] asking someone else, like his priest). Once that is accomplished he will sit down and find the best way to implement that in his own home. Finally, he will spend time in prayer and seek the wisdom of God so that he can present this important truths to his wife and children.
A unmarried godly man will not be much different. He may not be asking about teaching his wife and children (unless he is planning for his future marriage), but he will, at the least, be asking how God would have him to establish holiness in his life and home. Then he will follow through with the subsequent steps as listed above, according to his own situation.
In other words, a godly man is one who is brave enough to ask the hard questions; the questions that ask for correction from God (the prayer "God show me my faults" is possibly the most humble and godly prayer anyone can pray). A godly man is one is bold enough to get up off his rear end and make sure that his family goes to Mass (and does not allow any excuses to stop him). A godly man is the one who is honest enough with himself to admit his faults and accept his responsibility to correct them. A godly man will never be mistaken for Homer Simpson. A godly man seeks to hear God say that he is a "good man". That is masculinity, and that is what every man is called to by virtue of being born male. Will you accept your calling and "do manfully"?