David: A Model for Masculinity

JP: Interesting read on Biblical Masculinity by Thomas Overmiller Image is Michelangelo’s David (replica in Buffalo NY)

A Model for Masculinity


Masculinity is not automatic, but it is God’s designed intention for every man. Properly understood, masculinity avoids both the caveman caricature and the effeminate alternative. It embraces the development of the whole man for the purpose of accomplishing God’s will as a leader and servant.

David was skillful musician. Musical proficiency requires the cultivation of inner discipline that makes diligent practice possible. This kind of approach produces not only proficiency in a particular instrument, but also increased character, mental focus, and expressive ability. These qualities are more important than the instrument itself, and are definitely important aspects for any man to cultivate. Ironically, David played the harp, not the trumpet (1 Samuel 16:23). Our modern conception of this instrument hardly strikes a masculine impression. Nonetheless, full-orbed masculinity does not neglect an appreciation for the finer things of life.

David was a man of strength and honor. He did not spend full days on the harp. As a shepherd, he learned the discipline of labor and the reward of accomplishment. His personal regiment evidently accommodated physical exercise. However, much of this exercise would have occurred in the line of duty itself, and not in a weight room. He was just as much at home on the farm as he was in the conservatory. Wherever he was, he excelled at his assignments. He fulfilled his tasks judiciously and championed in them.

David was a warrior. No matter how you look at it, killing a wild lion in hand-to-hand combat is an incredible feat (1 Samuel 17:34-36). While not every man may have the opportunity or ability to do this, there are certainly opportunities to develop the mental and physical discipline to compete, in a more controlled way. In other words, masculinity embodies playing the harp and playing tackle football, and doing both for mastery.

David was discerning thinker and speaker. He knew both how to interpret words and to speak them. The biblical record of his life and his written psalms bear witness to this. Throughout his life, he demonstrated the capacity to think and speak in a profound way. His academic prowess and intellectual discernment demonstrates that masculinity includes proficiency both in labor and letters.

David was well-presented. His countenance was bright and alert, and he did not hide his countenance in a slovenly, grungy manner. He carried himself in a way that conveyed dignity and respect. He was professional in his appearance.

David was in fellowship with God. He imbibed, believed, and obeyed the Word of God. By personally and publicly aligning himself with God, he ensured that he was on God’s side of any matter. His life testimony endorsed God and not himself. It is for this reason that God endorsed him.

%d bloggers like this: