In our culture, the question of masculinity has sadly been deemed irrelevant. It no longer matters. Maybe in the days of the knights it might have mattered, but today, it doesn’t. It is a shame our culture has come to that. How indeed can we raise up young men if they no longer know what it means to be a man.
Of course, we have a number of misconceptions. Now some of these misconceptions might have a grain of truth to them, but that is indeed what makes them so deadly. For instance, I think part of what makes a man a man is how he responds sexually to a lady. However, we’ve taken that to a deadly extreme when we measure masculinity by how many women a man can sleep with.
I do believe that a man is supposed to be strong in the soul, but we take that to an extent that it should not be taken to when we say that the measure of a man is how much he can bench press. It makes me wonder about a guy like myself who frequently in my old work position had to page for help to lift heavy objects. (Having a steel rod on one’s spine doesn’t help!)
It seems in our culture, men are the ones who are supposed to drink beer all the time, watch sports, and drive cars really fast. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with any of those in themselves. (Although you should drive the speed limit, but you should enjoy driving I think) However, the problem I see is that we make such secondary characteristics the measure of men.
And this has had an effect in our culture. Look at most TV shows. We have gone from “Father Knows Best” to “Father is a big idiot who only thinks about sex.” If anything, it is the women who are the sane ones and just have to keep the hormones of their husbands under control. This is one reason I loved Jonathan Kent’s character on Smallville. He was a positive father figure when many others were lacking.
A lot of this has been on my mind due to a thread in a forum I belong to talking about the Boy Scouts and homosexuality. Why do I agree with them? It’s not just because the Boy Scouts agree with Scripture in this, but because I think homosexuality is harmful to men. I do think that part of being a man is responding to a lady properly and a man properly.
I believe a man should enjoy masculinity, but it should be his own. He should delight in the fact that he’s male. I think he can enjoy other men provided it’s simply delighting in being men. Men can have deep love relationships with each other, but those are not strengthened when they are sexualized. Masculinity is to be exalted in, but you must realize you have it on your own. Femininity is that outside of you which complements you.
Men need men in their lives though to be models and to call them to account. The first main figure should be the father. Unfortunately, many of our fathers in today’s world are absent. They are often married and cheating on their spouse with another lover called a job. (Sadly, this can especially happen in ministry.) It has been one vow of mine that whenever I become a father, that I will set aside time for my children and be a part of their lives.
There will naturally be other men. Such men could be teachers and coaches or men of respect in the church. You might find men at a distance such as a sports star. It’s important though to note that everyone will have role models and we should be sure we have good ones and not bad ones.
As for the topic of sex and women, a real man will treat a lady like a lady. Even if such a man is planning to remain celibate or is a virgin, he will treat a lady like a lady. Unfortunately, too many of our men are young boys with adult bodies who see women as playthings for their own pleasure.
Doesn’t it break my heart to see unmarried men and women buying condoms? Yes. We all need protection for the ultimate act of trust and love between two people. Honestly, part of me wants to cry every time I see it.
Let’s be clear about something men! There’s also nothing unmasculine about crying! How do I know this? Simple. The Bible tells me “Jesus Wept.” Does anyone want to stand up and say Jesus Christ was not a real man? Jesus Christ was the most masculine man of all and is the ultimate role model of what a man is to be like.
Oh Lord! We need men! We need real men who will stand up and lead for if the men of today fall, I do not know if we have another generation of men coming up behind them.