One of my favorite commentators and writers is Matt Walsh. Not, only because of his writing but his tweets as well. I enjoy following him because many of his tweets are not merely statements but ones that invoke thought and contemplation. Consider this tweet:
We need more masculinity in our culture, not less
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) October 18, 2017
One question that arises from Matt Walsh’s tweet that needs considering is, what is real masculinity and do we need more in our culture?
What is masculinity?
What is masculinity? Having to ask this question and answering it, is part of the problem in my estimation. Our culture has been fundamentally transformed from the Judeo-Christian values this country was founded upon. This problem hasn’t affected the society alone but the church as well. I’m no pastor but my time in seminary and my exposure to the issues of the local church, I find that many in the church couldn’t answer this question.
Since I’m a Christian and I hold to a biblical worldview, I can only answer this question within my own worldview. Many will not agree with me, and I don’t expect them to agree with my worldview or my biblical understanding of what masculinity is. My answer is not exhaustive, as a thorough answering to this question would be a book and not an article.
Therefore, to answer this question lets see what the Bible says. In Ephesians 5:25-33, a passage on the role of the husband, it is essential to examine these verses because most men in society will become husbands and fathers. The Bible teaches us that if a man doesn’t provide for his family, he is worse than an unbeliever and that he must manage his own household well or he is disqualified from service in the Church. Therefore, genuine masculinity is not about merely being a biological male, but specific characteristics characterize masculinity.
Leader of love
In Ephesians 5:25-33, the word “love” is used six times, and in the final verse the man is called to love his wife, and the wife is to respect her husband. Why is the woman to respect and not love her husband? The woman is to love her husband but to correctly understand this passage you must realize what love means and what men are called to do.
This passage tells men to love as Christ loved the Church. So you must understand that love is not merely about emotions or a feeling in the pit of your stomach. Love is a verb, which indicates action and a willful volition of the soul to lay down your wants and desires for the object of your love. In essence, it means to joyfully sacrifices in all aspects of life even laying down your life if need be.
So is the woman to love her husband? Yes. But she is not the leader of love, and thus she is called to respect her husband and not usurp his role as the ultimate leader of love and sacrificer in the marriage, family, church, culture, and society. That is why I believe the word “respect” is used instead of “love” because a truly masculine man will continually seek to love and sacrifice for his wife more than she does for him. In a sense, it is a beautiful picture of two people becoming one in a pursuit to love each other more, and the growth of love and sacrifice is lead by the husband.
Therefore, masculinity is about being Christ-like, the perfect example of masculinity. He showed strength in his loving kindness and gentleness to those around him. He took the role of the servant and served those that should have been serving him. In our society, we see these traits as weak and not characteristic of strength and masculinity. A man must be a fighter and stand on principles, that is what makes a man. This is also true, but these characteristic of true masculinity aren’t exclusive, they are integral to authentic masculinity.
Jesus was no pushover. He stood up against the religious leaders of his day. He called them hypocrites, blind fools, and murders to their faces. He made a whip out of cords and chased the corrupt thieves and money changers from the Temple. He stood up against all the pressures and temptations of the world and never wavered or budged.
If any of you don’t think Jesus is a fighter, then let me direct you to the Book of Revelation and see what Jesus looks like when he comes back carrying a sword. He will bring his strength and might and bring due justice and punishment on the wicked, but at the same time, he will show great love and mercy to the world by sending out his messengers with a message of peace, love, and repentance.
I agree with Matt Walsh that we need more masculinity in our culture, but we must always understand what we are asking for. I don’t want masculinity; I want biblical masculinity in society. I want men to be examples in the workforce of honest, hardworking employees. Men that a company can depend on. Men that provide for their family and forgo the latest big boy toys because the money is needed to buy things for their family. A man that realizes when he gets home his most crucial job begins; which is to serve God and love his wife and his children. He is more interested in raising his children than raising a beer with his buddies at a bar. I want men in our society and culture that stand up for the truth and are steadfast in their devotion to the noblest virtues in our society. I want men to be leaders of love.
Now, men are sinners and are not like Christ. We can’t do this perfectly. We can only strive to do this to the best of our ability through faith in him and in his strength, grace, and mercy. We will fail, but we must pick ourselves up and keep striving to be masculine men. The one thing that I ask from women is this; please don’t usurp or hinder the men in your life from becoming masculine men. Please help us and encourage us to become better men. We can’t do this without you. Help us be the type of men that will help us change our family, society, and culture for the better.