Being Transparent Is True Masculinity




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Carl Thomas

Pastor | Live Free Founder | Lover of Jesus, Philly sports, fitness, tattoos, sarcasm, and craft beers.

Unfortunately we live in an age when “masculinity” is defined by all sorts of arbitrary measures.

How much can you lift at the gym?  
How many women have you been with?  
How much pain can you endure?  

How much … well you get the picture.

The one thing I hardly ever hear as a measure of masculinity is how transparent and/or vulnerable one is when it comes to their struggles or insecurities.

The truth is that our society has cultivated this erroneous belief that a “true man” keeps certain things private … that masculinity isn’t being open and authentic but being quiet and solitary.  

Sadly, this is not the case.  

In fact, quite the opposite is true.  

Transparency and vulnerability is not only commendable; it’s extremely masculine. 

Here are three reasons why.

First, transparency says “I’m not afraid of taking some heat.”

Masculinity by its nature implies that you are able to stand up to the repercussions of what you do (hence the term “man up’).  

Transparency is all about sharing your inner struggles, failures, and shortcomings with the understanding that there may be some hard questions to follow.

You don’t get “authentic” without recognizing that you may need to do a real gut check at some point.

Transparency says, “I have issues but I’m man enough to face them, to own them, and yes … even discuss them.”

True masculinity invites a healthy challenge.

Second, transparency requires trust – and trust requires a lack of fear.

When you get vulnerable with a friend you are basically opening your life up and trusting them to treat your personal information with the respect and honor it deserves.  

Let’s be honest, we have all had our trust violated.

We have all been let down and kicked in the gut.  

However, true men get back up for round two.

True men say, “I’m not afraid of a little disappointment or vulnerability because I can stand it.”

You see, masculinity is all about strength … not physical strength but strength of character and mind.  


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Masculinity is prepared for an unpleasant surprise or bad let down because it can handle it.  

Being transparent, vulnerable, and accountable is all about trust, and only true men are able to do that.

Lastly, being transparent and accountable requires action.

Masculinity is something that is not passive.  

That’s not to say that you can’t be a “manly man” and be a peacemaker or a pacifist.  Even the act of peacemaking in and of itself requires action … it’s deliberate.  

However, in general, masculinity doesn’t allow for an “I’ll just sit around and wait for life to happen” mindset.  

Male leaders are generally seen as masculine.  

It is because they act … they move on things.

Simply put, they are deliberate in making life happen rather than waiting for life to happen on its own.  

Stepping out and being open or authentic is a choice, and a brave one at that. You can’t be truly open without a decision to do so and the action to follow through. 

Openness only happens when someone leads the way.

I know that the idea of being open and vulnerable isn’t a comfortable one but it is a manly one.  

Transparency requires bravery, trust, and leadership. And a man who possesses those qualities is someone who people will respect and follow (which is pretty “manly”).

BTW, if you need a place to be vulnerable and open about your struggles with porn and stuff like that consider joining me in the Live Free Community.

Embrace your inner man and step out into transparency with a community other men doing the same on a daily basis.

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