4 Lessons on Authentic Masculinity from St. Joseph

Sep 8, 2023 | Articles, The Interior Life, Vocation, Mission, & Apostolate

By Markelle

St. Joseph exemplifies authentic masculinity. His life offers invaluable insights for those seeking wisdom and inspiration in their walk of faith. Here are four lessons he teaches about true manliness.

Faithful Acceptance of Leadership 

One of the most profound lessons we learn from Joseph is his faithful acceptance of God’s plan. When he learns of Mary’s miraculous conception of Jesus through the Annunciation (Matthew 1:18-25) Joseph exhibits incredible strength of character. He could have chosen other courses of action, such as doubting Mary’s virginity or fleeing from his duty.  However, Joseph remains steadfast in his faith, trust, and obedience to God’s will. 

It doesn’t end there—three more times, Joseph stoically accepts God’s invitation to lead the Holy Family in a particular way. In each instance, he promptly heeds the divine messages, protecting the infant Jesus and His mother by fleeing to Egypt, returning to Israel, and settling in Nazareth (Matthew 2:13-23). 

Protector and Provider for the Holy Family

Joseph extends his protective embrace to Mary, welcoming her into his home, a sanctuary shielded from the judgmental whispers of the world. In safeguarding her, he becomes a courageous guardian of Mary and her precious unborn child.

He bravely safeguards and cares for the well-being of the Holy Family. During the Flight to Egypt (Matthew 2:13-15), an angel warns him to shield Mary and Jesus from King Herod’s threat. Without hesitation, Joseph acts promptly to ensure his family’s safety. He demonstrates strength in action, courage, and selflessness. He exemplifies that masculinity transcends physical power and involves protecting those under our care, even amid daunting and dangerous circumstances.

Nurturing Those in Our Care

As the earthly father of Jesus, St. Joseph played a pivotal role in nurturing and raising the Son of God, engaging in everyday activities that fostered a profound father-son relationship. Joseph led the Holy Family in prayer in their home, guiding them in heartfelt communion with God. He took on the sacred responsibility of instructing the Eternal Word Himself in the Scriptures, sharing the profound wisdom of their faith with Jesus, and instilling a deep love for God’s Word.

The tender moments around the dinner table were enriched with Joseph’s loving presence, where he nourished their bodies and spirits, creating an atmosphere of warmth and familial love. The Sabbath days were especially significant, as Joseph took Jesus to the synagogue, guiding Him in the traditions of their Jewish faith and fostering a reverence for God’s presence in their lives.

Father and Son could often be found in the carpentry workshop, laboring side by side. Joseph taught Jesus how to meet with customers and practice  the virtues of justice and generosity. As they worked together, Joseph passed on practical trade skills and infused in Jesus the timeless values of hard work, responsibility, and craftsmanship.

Furthermore, in their labor, Joseph revealed the profound lesson of carrying one’s cross with fortitude. Carpenters of that era would journey into the woods, cut down trees, and painstakingly haul the cumbersome timber back, piece by piece, especially if they lacked the means to afford a cart. In this, Joseph taught Jesus the art of carpentry and symbolically demonstrated the weight and sacrifice inherent in shouldering life’s burdens. 

Throughout it all, St. Joseph’s gentle guidance and unwavering love encouraged Jesus’ heart, mind, and spirit, nurturing the compassionate and loving Savior we know today. Joseph serves as an inspiring example for all fathers, guiding them to embrace their vocation with love, patience, and a commitment to instilling Godly values in their children.

Embracing Chastity and Virtuous Living

Joseph’s life beautifully reflects the virtue of chastity. He embraced a pure and self-disciplined way of living, aligning his actions with God’s plan. His life showed that true strength and freedom are found in virtuous choices. 

In a world that often confuses masculinity with worldly pursuits, Joseph’s virginity is a powerful reminder that authentic masculinity is rooted in a willingness to sacrifice personal desires for a higher purpose. His example challenges men to reevaluate masculinity’s true meaning and embrace a life that reflects the values of the Kingdom of God.

In these important moments of Joseph’s life, we find the core of authentic masculinity—Jesus Christ. Joseph shows us how to live rightly, revealing that true masculinity is best understood by imitating Christ Himself.

St. Joseph’s life is a lasting guide for all men, encouraging them to embrace their God-given roles, provide for their families, and base their masculinity on Christ-like virtues. As a respected saint and the patron of fathers, workers, and the universal Church, his example inspires men to boldly follow their calling with deep love and unwavering devotion to God’s divine plan.



When Markelle isn’t immersed in the world of teaching and writing, she delights in the boundless beauty of the great outdoors and embarks on thrilling adventures. But amidst her explorations, one quest holds a special place in her heart – seeking out the nearest Adoration chapel wherever she may roam. For her, spending time with Jesus in Adoration is an unparalleled and extraordinary adventure that fills her soul with awe and wonder.


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