The ideal man is one of steel and velvet. He has the strength, endurance, and unwavering characteristics of steel, as well as the softer, gentle, nurturing qualities of velvet.
We need both, but struggle to find balance.
Men who are just steel come across as cold and rigid. They may accomplish a lot and people know they are a force to be reckoned with. But they are also critical and unable to tolerate the perspectives of others. They only care about being right and pushing their agenda. They don’t care how their decisions impact others.
Men who are just velvet are seen as weak and passive. They have no backbone or direction in their life. While very likeable, they are not dependable – great to have around when life is comfortable, but are not much help when life gets hard. These men are very accommodating to the wishes of others, willing to go along and avoid conflict, even when it is not good to do so.
Steel and Velvet
Men who can balance both are strong and gentle. They protect and provide for others. People feel secure and cared for in their presence. These men can be counted on to come through in difficult and serious situations, and also be playful and lighthearted when the occasion calls for it. These men are not only respected, they are also loved.
It is not easy to maintain this balance, and we may never strike it perfectly.
However, together the qualities of steel and velvet bring peace, happiness, and fulfillment to our life and relationships. And, to be sure, our wives appreciate our steel being wrapped in velvet.
In a time when we tend to lean toward one extreme or the other, we need more men willing to be men of steel and velvet. Our families and society would be much better for it.