Chapter 6: Grow in Your Character: Ryan Leaf, Toxic Masculinity, and the Kind of Man I want my Daughter to Marry (w/ Greg Sowards)


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What’s on the surface never tells the full story. The reality of any item, event, situation, or person’s character can rarely be assessed through a social media post, headline, or first impression. But the true character of something will eventually come to light.

Personal character might be defined as the motivation to do what’s right; or who we are when no-one else is watching. Our personal character is shaped by our value system- our standards of what we believe to be right, wrong, valuable, virtuous, harmful, helpful, or honest. As Christian men, we have the revelation of Scripture- God’s value system and standards for how we’re to live a righteous life that honors Him.

The problem is that so often our personal character as men gets shaped by other value systems besides God’s Word. Standards of masculinity from our family of origin, workplace culture, preferred media, and those in our social circles often have a greater influence on what we believe to be an acceptable lifestyle for a Christian man rather than God’s Word. This creates in us toxic distortions of masculinity and critical gaps in our personal character. Try as we might, we can’t cover up poor character with charm, success, charisma, or swagger. The true character of something (or someone) will always come to light.

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