Christian Masculinity and Confidence

It is an observable fact that God created women to be attracted to “confidence.” Therefore, it would behoove us to understand the aim of a Christian man whose primary goal is to serve God, but has not been gifted with celibacy (1 Cor 7:7).

We know that Satan likes to have cheap knockoffs of what God has ultimately planned for our lives. Self confidence or irrational self confidence, as espoused by “game”, is a poor knockoff of what Christian men are called to in godly masculinity.

Often times, we mistake “confidence” as something that a godly Christian man should have but that is incorrect. If we are to have confidence as Christian men it most definitely is not to be in ourselves.

So let’s explore what that would look like for a godly Christian man.


1. To understand confidence we must go to the Greek used in the New Testament.

There are two Biblical components of confidence that the NT writers use: Parrhesia and Peitho.

παῤῥησία — parrhēsia — par-rhay-see’-ah — G3954 Strong’s

From G3956 (pas) and a derivative of G4483 (Rheo); all out spokenness, that is, frankness, bluntness, publicity; by implication assurance: – bold (X -ly, -ness, -ness of speech), confidence, X freely, X openly, X plainly (-ness).

πείθω — peithō — pi’-tho — G3982 Strong’s

A primary verb; to convince (by argument, true or false); by analogy to pacify or conciliate (by other fair means); reflexively or passively to assent (to evidence or authority), to rely (by inward certainty): – agree, assure, believe, have confidence, be (wax) content, make friend, obey, persuade, trust, yield.

These words is used in many famous verses from the NT namely,

Parrhesia — 31 times in the NT and thrice by Jesus. Once when Jesus said Lazarus was dead.

Once to the discples, John 16:25 “These things I have spoken to you in [f]figurative language; an hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in [g]figurative language, but will tell you plainly (parrhesia) of the Father.

Once at the trial before the priests, John 18:19 The high priest then questioned Jesus about His disciples, and about His teaching. 20 Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly (parrhesia) to the world; I always taught in [g]synagogues and in the temple, where all the Jews come together; and I spoke nothing in secret. 21 Why do you question Me? Question those who have heard what I spoke to them; they know what I said.”

Acts 4:13 Now as they observed the confidence (parrhesia) of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them [k]as having been with Jesus.

Acts 4:29 And [v]now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Your bond-servants may speak Your word with all confidence (parrhesia), 30 while You extend Your hand to heal, and [w]signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy [x]servant Jesus.” 31 And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness (parrhesia).

Peitho is used 55 times in the Gospel, thrice by Jesus.

The rich young ruler: Mark 10:24 And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again,“Children, how difficult it is[b] [for those who trust (peitho) in riches] to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”

Jesus and Beelzebub: Luke 11:22 But when someone stronger than he attacks him and overpowers him, he takes away from him all his armor on which he had relied (peitho) and distributes his plunder.

Rich man and Lazarus: Luke 16:29 But Abraham *said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 But he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!’ 31 But he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded (peitho) even if someone rises from the dead.’”

Romans 8:38 For I am convinced (peitho) that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Philipians 1:6 For I am confident (peitho) of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.


2. What is interesting about these two words is that they denote the two qualities that should be developed by Christians:

Parrhesia is about a external boldness, especially through the spoken word (rheo), the same word that God used to create the heavens the earth.

Peitho is about an internal confidence, by which we have salvation.

As I discussed heavily in my previous post To game or not to game, we know that out of our hearts come our actions. Therefore, we know that an “internal confidence” must be developed before the “external boldness.”

Thus, Parrhesia is therefore a product of Peitho.

However, Peitho itself is about the confidence we have in God, and we do not have confidence in God except manifested by the fruits of such confidence. Therefore, we know that there must be some fruit of “Peitho” in our lives that allows us to manifest “Parrhesia.”

Can you spot which of the fruits leads is manifested by peitho (internal confidence) in God as contrasted to the definition of confidence from Merrium-Webster. Take a moment before moving on to the next section to think about it.

con·fi·dence noun \ˈkän-fə-dən(t)s, -ˌden(t)s\

1. a feeling or belief that you can do something well or succeed at something
2. a feeling or belief that someone or something is good or has the ability to succeed at something
3. the feeling of being certain that something will happen or that something is true

Galatians 5

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.


3. If you guessed all of them you would be correct, but the two that stand out the most are the following:

Faith (pistis) as it relates to our soul’s salvation and assurance in God, and His salvation and peace (eirene) as it relates to our emotional state.

πίστις — pistis — pis’-tis — G4102

From G3982 (peitho); persuasion, that is, credence; moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), especially reliance upon Christ for salvation; abstractly constancy in such profession; by extension the system of religious (Gospel) truth itself: – assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity.

A few things to note. First, pistis is a derivative of peitho which makes obvious sense. We are assured in our faith and salvation. Second, our faith is of a divine persuasion or origin — that is that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us (Rom 5:8). It is He who first called to us to repent and accept the gift so that no one can boast, and as we accept that gift we are recreated in Him to do good works (Eph 2:8-10).

εἰρήνη — eirēnē — i-rah’-nay — G1515

Probably from a primary verb εἴρω eirō (to join); peace (literally or figuratively); by implication prosperity: – one, peace, quietness, rest, + set at one again.

I’ve posted this before in the manosphere, but reading the wiki on eirene is worth understanding the full nature of how the word is used in regard to one of the two overarching emotional states Christians are to have (peace being one and the other being joy):

Peace is the result of resting in a relationship with God.[13] Peace is a tranquility, a state of rest, that comes from seeking after God, or, the opposite of chaos. Peace or eirḗnē is God’s gift of wholeness and derived from eirō, “to join, tie together into a whole”,[14] properly, when all essential parts are joined together as one or as a whole.The word “peace” comes from the Greek word eirene, the Greek equivalent for the Hebrew word shalom, which expresses the idea of wholeness, completeness, or tranquility in the soul that is unaffected by the outward circumstances or pressures. The word eirene strongly suggests the rule of order in place of chaos.

When a person is dominated by peace, he has a calm, inner stability that results in the ability to conduct himself peacefully, even in the midst of circumstances that would normally be very nerve-wracking, traumatic, or upsetting…Rather than allowing the difficulties and pressures of life to break him, a person who is possessed by peace is whole, complete, orderly, stable, and poised for blessing.[15]

Jesus is described as the Prince of Peace, who brings peace to the hearts of those who desire it. He says in John 14:27:[16] “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid”. NKJV The only way to get this peace is to trust in the Jewish God, YHWH, as Isaiah says, “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You”.[17]

“Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the presence of God no matter what the conflict”. -Anonymous

“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”.[18] “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit”.[19]

When having peace with God through the sacrifice of Jesus, we are then able to make peace between men, and also between men and God, also called “evangelism”. It is understood that those who have peace with God, and are therefore sons of God, will act like their Father in heaven and become those who are able to make peace, or be peace makers, as Jesus says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God”[20] and “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me”.[21] So by saying this, Jesus is stating that only those who have received peace with God through Himself, the “sons of God”, are able to make peace, no one else. These sons of God are specified by John when he says, “None of those who are children of God continue to sin, for God’s very nature is in them; and because God is their Father, they cannot continue to sin”.[22] Paul also says, “Never pay back evil for evil. Take thought for what is right in the sight of all men”.[23] Peace, in the Bible, is much more than just a lack of yelling or lack of war, it is the presence of YHWH allowed into a place and a person. Only with the Jewish God is there peace, as Isaiah writes, “‘There is no peace,’ says the Lord, ‘for the wicked.'”[24] Jesus is the Jewish God,[25][26] and He is alive.[27]

Now, we can see why irrational self confidence, as espoused by “game” is a poor knockoff of what eirene is to a Christian man striving for godly masculinity.

The very fact in knowing that we are whole in Christ, with or without a woman, should be reflected in our character and our words. Nothing turns off a woman faster than neediness, and if you need a woman to make you whole, then you are not walking in the perfect peace of your salvation which is God.


Conclusions

The greatest commandment.

Deuteronomy 6:5 “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

Matthew 22:35 One of them, [n]a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the great and [o]foremost commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

Mark 12:30 and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’

Luke 10:27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”

I find it interesting there is a passage difference between Matthew, Mark and Luke. Mark and Luke include strength there, but it is not present in Deuteronomy or Matthew. There’s commentary on this here — http://www.studylight.org/ls/ds/index.cgi?a=520 — though I’m only going to discuss 3 at the moment.

The pulpit commentary suggests:

  • Heart; which among the Hebrews was considered to be the seat of the understanding, is here considered as the home of the affections and the seat of the will.
  • Soul; the living powers, the animal life.
  • Mind; διαμοίᾳ, intellectual powers. These are to be the seat and abode of the love enjoined.

And these mesh well with what we have learned about in this post about our confidence in Christ.

  • In our hearts, we have eirene, the peace of God which is a wholeness with Him.
  • In our souls, we have peitho/pistis, the faith and assurance of salvation from God.
  • In our minds/might, we have parrhesia, the intellectual understanding that leads to an external boldness of which we can freely speak to others because of God.

As a Christian man speaking to my brothers in Christ, I would encourage you not to look to develop the “self confidence” that the world loves and that is an illusion of attractiveness, but to love God with all of your heart, soul, and mind/might. This is the confidence that we are called to in Christ that will be attractive to Christian women.

1 Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.

Throw away confidence as a childish thing.

Instead, walk in the peace/wholeness of God in your life, grow in your faith and assurance of your salvation, and speak boldly of the things God is working on in your life and the lives of others. This fullness in Him is what God has intended for His all humans, and this is what is attractive to another facet of His creation (women).

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18 Responses to Christian Masculinity and Confidence

  1. Looking Glass says:

    The one “crux” problem, in English, still revolves around “Love” and a need for a complete reconstruction of the word within Theology. That’s a straight up suggestion for a post. 🙂 Though it’s the last “step” the screws things up, for most guys. “Love” (agapeo in this case) is the final spot that Churchians inject whimsical emotions to the proceeding of the action touch points within the commands.

    Extending on my comment in the previous thread, we don’t disagree. It’s just something of a viewpoint & analysis application that we see as being different. This will take a little bit to tease out, so if the first attempt isn’t clear, I’ll try again in a few days.

    While I agree that, at the locational “core”, there is a massive difference (the gulf between Heaven & Hell), but, since we are not in someone’s soul, we can only “see” the outside and works. This is why the *practical* overlap is large. It is only upon inspection (“test the spirits”) that the difference are made plain.

    Now, the depth of the difference is like two Men that invest in Real Estate. One made a billion dollars and got out before the 2007 market collapse. Another lost everything. The only difference between them: Timing & Choice. They “tread” the same paths, to even the close viewer, but the “fruits” of their works are very different.

    Another version: it is like a scalpel in the hands of a surgeon. One of the great medical inventions. We all know someone that’s life was saved by its use. But, to the end of the Ages, more will be die by the Sword than will be saved by the Scalpel, though each is a blade of metal with the purpose of cutting the Flesh. The specifics of Who, Why and What are the differences, the practicalities are very limited in their difference.

    This also goes much further than just this topic. Frankly, Faith, as sometimes realized, is simply no different than Insanity (to the outside viewer). Being moved to Actions utterly counter to your Self-Interest is one of the most practical outcroppings of Faith, yet the World will deride it, just as Jesus said it would. Considering what God may ask you to *do* in Faith, don’t sell this point short. Mostly as I believe you just *paid* to go spend a week in a non-Tourist destination, without the intention of fluffing some resume. (I’ll let that one hang for a bit)

    Though, I believe, the one point most missed on this discussion, did show up in your post. But a bit as an aside.

    Luke 18:18-34 NASB


    18A ruler questioned Him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 19And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. 20“You know the commandments, ‘DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, DO NOT MURDER, DO NOT STEAL, DO NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS, HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER.’” 21And he said, “All these things I have kept from my youth.” 22When Jesus heard this, He said to him, “One thing you still lack; sell all that you possess and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” 23But when he had heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich. 24And Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God! 25“For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” 26They who heard it said, “Then who can be saved?” 27But He said, “The things that are impossible with people are possible with God.”

    28Peter said, “Behold, we have left our own homes and followed You.” 29And He said to them, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, 30who will not receive many times as much at this time and in the age to come, eternal life.”

    31Then He took the twelve aside and said to them, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things which are written through the prophets about the Son of Man will be accomplished. 32“For He will be handed over to the Gentiles, and will be mocked and mistreated and spit upon, 33and after they have scourged Him, they will kill Him; and the third day He will rise again.” 34But the disciples understood none of these things, and the meaning of this statement was hidden from them, and they did not comprehend the things that were said.

    I included 31-34 for a reason. And it’s this. One of the points of Young Rich Man/Ruler (which shows up in all 3 Gospels) is “doing” Religion and the lack of Faith. Luke 16, 17 & 18 spend a *lot* of passages on Faith. Luke 18:8 NASB ““I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?””

    The supremely important part of this, which also goes to 1 Peter 4:1-11, is that Faith and God’s Peace separates you from the World’s Outcomes. A Godly Man *is* outcome independent, just for Godly purpose. This is why we build on the Rock, that is Jesus. The house is still built, but the foundation is the difference. That difference will only be known when the Storms come. And they will. However, we cannot easily deduce the difference. It takes work.

    I’ve been attempting to work out this point for a long while, but I still lack the return of the writing ability to elucidate it properly. This is why I’ve used “Intentions always matter to God” so much. It’s the core & basic aspect of this all. When viewing it all as “tools”, the “means” will always look extremely similar. The issue is always the Intentions and the Results.

    This is, at the end, why I think the entire argument of “Is Game Evil?” is irrelevant. What is your Purposes for your Actions? Those dictate if they are Evil or Good. God sent Ehud to assassinate a King; Gideon to slaughter an army. Their Purpose was Of God, carrying out his Will. In pretty much any other context, we’d call those actions Evil.

    There’s a further way to cast this as an issue of Priorities. Mess that up, even as a Christian, and you get all sorts of problems. But that’s for later.

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  3. @ LG

    Ah, I see where you are coming from, but I feel I’m still missing some of the picture you’re trying to give me.

    I’m going to write more on similar topics in the future though, and a blog post today so let me know if I’m getting closer to the points you’re trying to make.

  4. Looking Glass says:

    Let me try to spin forth two other analogies.

    1) You’re walking down a road and you see a Man you know. However, he has an identical Twin. We know that “Twins”, while even looking the “same”, have multitudes of differences. If you call out and he responds, you may be able to tell the difference. But, if he doesn’t respond, giving away the information about which Twin he is, you will need to keep approaching.

    Once you are close, if you know both well enough, you will be able to see the difference, but to the undiscerning, there is not enough of a difference to know which Twin stands before them. It is only by the very specific ways in which he *acts* that you can tell which Man stands before you.

    2) A City has built roads for years. Are the roads evil? Do Murders & Ambulances not drive over the same roads, going nearly the same places? Should a Pastor bemoan that his Congregation drives cars that are identical to those driven, along those same roads, as those that produce great Evil?

    Paul implores us to “test the spirits”. And that *isn’t* easy. Discernment & Wisdom are blessings, so why would we expect to easily figure out where the core & intentions of a Man’s action are proceeding. Paul also addresses the “core” issue:

    1 Corinthians 13:1-3 NASB

    1If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

    Each sentence escalates the actions. Verse 3 is selling all of your possessions and being a martyr. We would, from our point of view, see that as amazing Faith & Love, but, as Paul said, “it profits me nothing”. How are, we, the third party observer to figure out that these dramatic actions are without Love? That isn’t easy, if even possible for us. We cannot judge the inner workings of the Heart, for we cannot see it.

    The Faith is the “Narrow Gate” and “Narrow Path” and that applies here as well. This is why the “toolset” to Masculinity looks the same. It’s a good chunk of the reason that Christians are so interested. The “toolset” was denied us, rendering us social geldings, infuriated and flailing. So, in response, since we see the functional, good practicality of the toolset, we see it as a functional answer to our prayers for help.

    However, the intentions of the PUA set are obviously wrong, but don’t question their shrewd operation (Luke 16) and understanding of how Humans are. That we’ve blinded ourselves to the basics of Human communication, very much by intention, because of a lack of Faith, is upon the heads of our grandparents. Weapons & Tools need training, not Fear, for only God should be feared.

    Lastly, 1 Thess 5:19-22 NASB

    19Do not quench the Spirit; 20do not despise prophetic utterances. 21But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; 22abstain from every form of evil.

    “Hold fast to that which is good”. Always important.

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  7. @ LG

    Yes, I see the similaries of where we are going in terms of Game vs Godly masculinity. In fact, teasing a woman by a PUA and a godly man may indeed be the same thing, except the intentions are different. One wants to bed her and the other will do right her in marriage.

    I don’t doubt that God can redeem the heart and use what was meant for evil for good. I can see the utility in terming “game” a “toolset” in that respect.

    However, as you said intentions do matter to God but also actions as well.

    The big problem with a lot of game techniques is that they are built on shaky foundations. Sure, you can repurpose some of the techniques by taking them off of the foundation and placing them on another, but sometimes if the foundation is faulty it also makes the house which was built on it faulty as well.

    You ultimately want to have both the foundation and house be built on the rock. And that is what I’m going to try to do with this blog.

    However, as you noted, it may look and seem like some “houses” were stolen from “shaky foundations” and placed on “solid foundations.”

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  14. This is very good. I’ve always said that Christian guys should be the most confident – but not in self confidence. At the end of the day, the problem with the “game” confidence is that it is often (at least in the beginning) a conjured confidence. True, you might gain self confidence from that – and that could be redeemable at some level. However, confidence in Christ is completely different because it is built for real. The key for a lot of guys is how to live out of that around women or really other social situations. But it starts with my identity. Jesus was the least insecure person ever. The more we dive into him, the more confidence (of the right kind) we should have and where we don’t have it, we need to dive back into him and our own sin to figure out why.

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