Biblical Masculinity

Iron Man

Iron Man

In my high school years growing up I went to a Catholic boys school and it was interesting to observe the different paradigms and expressions of what was perceived to be a real man. How boys are raised, the examples of manhood set for them and what they are taught about manhood determines their understanding and expression of masculinity. Many men carry into their adult years and marriage life a boyhood understanding of masculinity rather than a biblical idea of what God intended for all men to embrace.

Biblical masculinity begins with understanding the 1st marriage.

Genesis 2:7 tells us that Adam was created first which brings with it the leadership responsibility of naming the animals, including naming the first woman, Eve. Genesis 2:18 tells us that it’s not good for man to be alone, so God wanted to make Adam a ‘helper’ fit for him. The woman was created as a helper and a support to the man and in no way is this to be a degrading term that is to put down women but to help us have a biblical understanding of the husband and wife role. Genesis 2:24 says that a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife and the two shall become one flesh. The man is to take the responsibility to position himself to be able to look after his bride.

In Genesis 3 it all goes pear shaped because Eve gets into an argument with Satan and is ultimately deceived while her husband who should have known better and stepped in and protected his bride was passive, inactive and limp in his leadership of Eve. Many men understand the concept of the sin of commission but not many understand the concept of the sin of omission. Adam didn’t take responsibility but in fact blamed his wife for his own sin and failure to lead.

God’s response is to call out for Adam in the cool of the day. Why? Because Ephesians 5:23 says the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. Just as Christ lays down his life for the Church, so too is the husband to lay down his life for his bride and family and use his strength to lead, teach and protect not to intimidate and manipulate his own agenda. The curse of sin was not put into effect until Adam sinned because Adam was the head. The curse for women was pain in childbearing and desire to control her husband. The mans curse was pain and sweat in work and difficulty leading the wife. From this day forward the gender wars started and men mostly respond in 2 ways to women.

  1. Chauvinist behaviour: The typical Aussie male who isn’t into any sissy-stuff but is either focused on success and status, being angry all the time or wanting to control everything.
  2. Cowardly behaviour: Adams response of shame and guilt and running away from responsibility is typical of this behaviour. This type of male is characterised by little-boy Larry, Sturdy-oak Owen, Hyper-spiritual Henry and Good-time Gary.

The answer is to look to Jesus and follow his example because while the first Adam failed, the second Adam, Jesus succeeded. Jesus took responsibility for himself, his job, his family and our sins. Jesus lead from the front with his disciples and in his death. Jesus lived a life of honour in his relationship with the Father and towards the women he encountered.

Every man is called to do the same. A man isn’t masculine because of his anatomy but rather because of his willingness to embrace manhood as God created and called him to. That is, in relationship with Jesus Christ, take responsibility for yourself, your family and your job. Lead your bride, kids and co-workers setting them an example to follow. And lastly life an honourable life. Live a life that honours God, your church, your family and society.

Lead the Change!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: