I was having a professional conversation with a group of men and women when out of the blue, one of the ladies suddenly said, “Men are so messed up and confused”! Every jaw dropped as I (a man) immediately answered, “Yes, you are correct”. The look on the women’s faces was priceless and one that I will probably never forget, but the best part was the messed up and confused look on all the men’s faces that were there! Of course, I was forced to explain myself, and I did.
I believe there are multiple factors that have contributed to men being messed up and confused. I don’t think this list is exhaustive, but it will give us a good picture.
When did Men get Messed up and Confused?
Since the feminist movement (that really began gaining ground in the 1960s) got underway we have become scared to stand up for true masculinity for fear of being mislabeled or attacked. I think it is partly because we have forgotten what true masculinity looks like, honestly. There has been a lack of teaching and discipleship in the home and our churches. Most of our dads didn’t teach us and, for the most part, neither did our pastors.
For the longest time I used this lack of discipleship as a crutch. I complained that I didn’t know these things because “I was never taught or discipled.” My mom did what she knew how, but she is not a man and could not teach me to be a man! Poor, pitiful me. I felt sorry for myself because I thought I was in the minority of Christian men. I now know that men who have received discipleship from their dads or other godly men in the church are in the minority. If you are in the minority – praise God!
Don’t sit around and blame others for your lack of training. Whatever your circumstances were, you can still learn to be a Godly man, a devout husband, a god-fearing father and a model citizen. Find training. Follow the examples of godly men around you. Ask them questions. Read good books. Listen to sermons, etc. The bottom line is this: do something about it so you can disciple others, train your sons, and stop this cycle!
Cultural Attacks on Biblical Masculinity
– A lot of women today are continually trying to force themselves into roles that they were never designed by God to do or carry. It’s not that they couldn’t do these roles or jobs as well as men, it’s not that they aren’t as smart as men (my wife being a great example – I have a true treasure that happens to be a great deal smarter than me), it’s just that God didn’t design them to do these things or serve in these areas. Before I start getting emails about this comment, I encourage you to read the entire series!
I am not a male chauvinist trying to put women down. On the contrary, I would love to see men and women working together the way God designed it to work. But when men shirk off the responsibility of their God Given roles, someone has to take the lead and women will step up to the plate!
Side note for single men: Search for godliness in a woman, not just good looks. If you find both, like I did, marry her – quickly!
Family and church leadership is a privilege and weight given by God to the men (1 Tim. 2:12; Eph 5: 22-23). More on this later. Feminism has worked its way into the church as well.
We call it Egalitarianism.
This is the belief that men and women are completely equal in all ways – there are no role distinctions at all. Each gender does not have specific responsibilities. This position will have men and women on equal playing fields in EVERY area of life. It teaches that mena and women are equal to each other in EVERY aspect. Well, this is biologically impossible. Men are just not biologically able to have babies!
We fight for the biblical position of Complementarianism. This is the belief that men and women are created by God equal in value and worth, but have specific gender roles as assigned by the Creator. He created us. Therefore He gets to design the rules and roles.
– This is following what our culture says is manly. So, either you work out a lot, love sports (especially football), hunt or fish, love cars, own a 4-wheel drive, tell nasty jokes, sleep with as many women as possible… or you’re just not a man! This mentality has also crept into the church. Every men’s ministry has to be doing something “manly” like this all the time or it’s just lame. Not that there is anything inherently wrong with the things on this list (save for the nasty jokes and sleeping with women not your wife). But, if these things are the focus of what you say is masculine, then you have a misguided sense of what God desires for us to be as men.
– This happens when boys refuse to grow up and accept their God-given responsibilities. It seems to be happening more and more often! Our culture tells our young people that they should put off marriage as long as possible. “Just live together.” “Who needs a ring?” “Kids are a burden.” They are told to have as much fun as they can when they are young and single. As if to say “Once you’ve had all the fun you think you can have and you’ve put off marriage as long as possible, then you should get married and die.”
The church, again sadly, has been no different for the past few decades in this area. You see church after church across America filled with women, children and the elderly, but where are the young men? Men between 18 and 40 seem absent from most churches in America because men refuse to grow up!
– This goes along with machismo, but takes it a step further. This is the belief that says ALL women should submit to and serve ALL men. This is NOT what the Bible teaches about submission. The Bible teaches that a woman is to submit to her own husband, not all men. Furthermore, submission here does NOT mean servanthood or slavery, but we’ll cover that in the next part of the series. Male Chauvinism, unfortunately, has been an issue in many homes (and even tolerated in some churches) where the woman is treated as a personal servant, waiting on the man hand and foot. There is no other way to say it so here it goes…
Male Chauvinism dishonors God, makes a mockery of His holy institution of marriage , and profanes the gospel of Christ!
There is so much more that could be said on what biblical masculinity is and is not, but I pray enough has been said here to give you a good idea and whet your appetite to find out more. The bottom line is that God created men, gave them certain jobs to do, and wired them to accomplish those jobs. If you are a man and you are reading this article today, I encourage you to build your family in light of what God has created you to do.
I will be talking exclusively about this in the next two parts of this series. Biblical husband will be next and then Biblical fathers after that.
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