Valuing Biblical Manhood
Last week at a lunch for pastors, I gave a message you can listen to called "Some Sweet Blessings of Masculine Christianity." I drew out eleven benefits of valuing biblical manhood. Here is my outline:
By “masculine Christianity,” I mean (though words are inadequate):
The theology and the church and the mission are marked by over-arching male leadership and an ethos of tender-hearted strength and contrite courage and risk-taking decisiveness and readiness to sacrifice to protect and provide for the community—the feel of a great, majestic God making the men lovingly strong and the women intelligently secure.
In this ethos…
1. Men are freed to have feminine traits without being effeminate and women are freed to have masculine traits without being tomboys. (The most admirable women have masculine traits and the most admirable men have feminine traits: Lopsided masculinity and femininity are not as admirable.)
2. Men are more properly attracted to the Christian life when it does not appear that he must become effeminate to be a Christian. (Dominance of female leadership undermines the proper sense of a man’s call to be a leader, protector, and provider.)
3. Women are more properly drawn to a Christian life that highlights the proper place of humble, strong, spiritual men in leadership. This more properly feels freeing and safe. It feels like a place where the men in her life might learn to take initiative without being domineering.
4. We are freed to celebrate strong, courageous women of God who love the biblical vision complementarity, without and sense of compromise. The men are so clearly strong and secure in their leadership that they are not threatened by women who are spiritually mature and effective in ministry.
5. Men are awakened to their responsibilities at home to lead the family and protect the family and provide for the family. A clear definition of manhood helps a man take responsibility.
6. Youth leaders and parents will catch a clearer definition of how to answer the question of a boy: “Daddy, what does it mean to grow up and be a man and not a woman?” And a clearer definition of how to answer the question of a girl: “Mommy, what does it mean to grow up and be a woman and not a man?”
7. The meaning of masculinity and femininity in singleness will be clearer and a lifetime of singleness without sexual intercourse will be more understandable and livable. (The definitions of masculinity and femininity in What’s the Difference? are not marriage-specific.)
8. The corporate worship teams are not dominated by women and the songs chosen are not dominated by a one-sided feel of intimacy or majesty. The presence of masculine men and strong theology and music give the corporate worship a feel of strength that helps men discover and express the fullness of the emotions toward God that God calls for.
9. The God of the Bible will be more fully portrayed and known than where the tone is more feminine. The God of the Bible is overwhelmingly powerful and authoritative and often violent. He is Lord and King and Master and Sovereign and Father and Ruler. His tenderness and gentleness and patience shine in their beauty because of appearing in this dominant light. Women need an ethos of this kind so that they can relax and be more of their nurturing selves without fearing that they must work to create the ethos of God’s grandeur lest it be lost because the men are not speaking it and modeling it.
10. Preaching is more readily prized. Preaching is “expository exultation”—a forceful acclamation of the greatness of God and a passionate appeal for full-blooded response to him. The fear of strong preaching is part of the effeminizing of the church, and the full range of the way God is and appears on the Bible is not known where preaching is simply casual and conversational.
11. A wartime mindset and a wartime lifestyle will feel more natural. And that is what the world needs from us—a readiness to lay our lives down for a great and global cause making all the sacrifices necessary to push the word of Christ into the most inhospitable places.