WHAT IS MASCULINITY?
Masculinity is not simply maleness. Just because you have male parts doesn’t make you masculine. God is the ultimate example of true masculinity yet the Bible tells us He has no physical body (John 4:24). So the idea of masculinity is not just tied to anatomy.
In The Mark of a Man part 1 — I gave an introduction to this series.
In The mark of a Man part 2 — We discussed what it means to be a man (according to God).
In The Mark of a Man part 3 — We learned about Pride and it’s impact on manliness.
Today we need to understand the difference between a man and a woman and how to be a godly man.
A Working Definition
I’ve seen several definitions of biblical manhood and they are all pretty good and get the point across, but the one I like the best comes from Douglas Wilson in his book Father Hunger – “True masculinity is the humble, glad assumption of God-given responsibility.”
God ordains and describes the roles, and the job requirements attached to them. Men humbly and gladly accept these roles and requirements and walk in them by His grace. Masculinity and authority flow to those who accept responsibility and flee from those who shirk responsibility.
Men and Women Are Different
In order to truly understand biblical masculinity we MUST understand that men AND women were/are created in the image of God. We are the same and equal in this regard (Gen. 1:26-27). But we can easily see that we are wired differently. We have different desires, different ways of communicating, and different ways of dealing with issues. You can see this in kids. They do not have to be taught these tendencies, they just are. Thank God men and women are wired differently! It makes life so much more interesting and when a man learns to LISTEN to his wife and value her opinion, his life is complimented by the uniqueness that is in his wife.
In the very same way that we (hopefully) mature as Christians over an entire lifetime, we males should continually be maturing into biblical manhood. I’m 47 years old and the same applies to me. Every day I hope to make progress on the journey of biblical manhood, but like you, I can’t say I’ve arrived. I am, as it were, always arriving. Biblical manhood is both being and becoming.
Ideally, the journey itself makes us better and more biblical men. If I had waited until I had “attained” biblical manhood before I pursued a woman in marriage, I’d still be waiting. The pursuit itself, and marriage, and parenting, and pursuing an income, and pursuing an education, and many other life experiences were and are both my being a biblical man and contributing to my becoming a more biblical man.
So what exactly is this journey turning me into, or what am I being and becoming as a biblical man? I’ve thought long and hard about this question. I realize there are as many answers and opinions as there are people to give them, but if I had to boil it down I would say the very core of biblical manhood is the pursuit and experience of God Himself.
And therein lies what I believe to be a man’s two greatest challenges and obstacles to biblical manhood: passivity and pride. We will discuss these two major obstacles next week!
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