The Heart of Man
When God created Adam, He gave him a threefold mission. First, along with Eve, he was to “be fertile and multiply”; to “subdue” the earth and “have dominion” over the creatures of the earth (Gen. 1:28). Then, God gives Adam in particular the commission to “cultivate and care for” the garden where He places him (Gen. 2:15). These passages reflect the keys to a man’s identity in God’s design. The heart of a man desires to generate life and to create things; to be productive; and to provide for and protect others. Said another way, every man is called to be both a husband and a father -- that is, to give himself to another in love, and to be spiritually fruitful.
Each of the particular vocations God can call a man to addresses these longings of the masculine heart in a different way. Married men, priests, religious brothers, and single men all sacrifice themselves for others. They reflect God’s own fatherhood, giving life through their self-sacrificing love, bringing order through their work, and providing for and protecting those whom God places in their care. And all of these vocations are founded on a Christian man’s primary identity -- that of a beloved Son of the Father. His identity flows not from what he does, but from Whose he is -- and that identity gives meaning and direction to his work.