"I can do all things through him who strengthens me."
If there is one trigger phrase being tossed around concerning men and masculinity it is the notion of TOXIC MASCULINITY.
In a quick internet search, one can find many articles disparaging men from being masculine. In one article on verywellmind.com (This is not an endorsement of said site), Amy Mortin writes:
There are many definitions of “toxic masculinity” that appear in research as well as pop culture. Some researchers have come to agree that toxic masculinity has three core components:
Toughness: This is the notion that men should be physically strong, emotionally callous, and behaviorally aggressive.
Antifeminity: This involves the idea that men should reject anything that is considered to be feminine, such as showing emotion or accepting help.
Power: This is the assumption that men must work toward obtaining power and status (social and financial) so they can gain the respect from others.
What Does the Bible Say?
While we would never endorse the abuse of the roles we play as men, it is important to look at this Biblically.
For starters, toughness is more than brute strength and cavemen proclivities. A man is called to protect his family.
To borrow an illustration from John Piper and Wayne Grudem on the essence of masculinity:
When you are lying in bed with your wife, and you hear the sound of a window being opened in your kitchen at 3 a.m., do you shake her awake and say, “The last time this occurred, I was the one who took our baseball bat and investigated to see if someone was breaking into our house. Now it’s your turn, Sweetheart. Here’s the bat!”?
No! But being a protector calls for more than ensuring physical safety. Proverbs 4:10–15 describes a father who protects his son by passing on wisdom, helping him build godly character, and teaching him to reject the lies and temptations of the world. This father protects not only his son but the generations to follow as the wisdom he shares gets passed on.
As far as being anti feminine, this is fancy packaging for calling men to not be homophobic. Be careful not to fall into this trap. There is nothing wrong with men enjoying things considered to be feminine. As a matter of fact, I would call men back to some of the things the American culture has deemed feminine.
Some of the greatest stories of old involve men gathering together and lifting their voice in song. Scripture is full of men who danced and sang. God gave us the gift of music in order to worship and glorify Him. One might wonder if the heights of our corporate worship has been hindered due to men not feeling singing is masculine.
And lastly, in dealing with the idea of power, if your drive of obtaining power is bathed in control over someone or their acceptance and respect, you might have a toxic idea of power. Let us remember what Philippians 4:13 tells us...
“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
Your strength and power is imperfect and weak. God’s power given to us through His Spirit is perfect and strong. When men wield their power in a selfish manner, it always shows and always fails. When men rise up in the power of God, mountains move and God shines.
Show the World
Let’s be tough, masculine and powerful men for God. Let’s do good and love hard and the world will see what true Biblical manhood looks like.
MD5 Lab Facilitator