Men, Be the Glorious, Masculine Protectors God Created You to Be… Please.

I’ve had the same mechanic, Mark, for several years. One morning last spring I took my car to Mark, and he innocently asked what I was doing for the rest of the day. Before I tell you this story about Mark, I need to tell you a little something about me: Very few people have just surface-level conversations with me. I am one who goes deep… quickly. It’s not that I try to, it just sort of happens. And I love it. I treasure the relationships I build with people quickly. It’s one of my life’s joys.

Back to Mark asking about my plans for the day…. I told him I had a great day ahead – I was on my way to an all-day board meeting to review grant applications from life-affirming organizations. I expressed how excited I was to be spending my day hearing about agencies around my city that were helping women with unplanned pregnancies choose life for their babies (and thrive!). Mark didn’t quite know what to do with the territory I’d just verbally walked us into, so he played it “safe”. (By the way, “safe” is a relative term.)

Mark said something like, “I think that’s wonderful. I’m just a man and can’t imagine what it would be like to be in the position of an unplanned pregnancy. I know it’s a women’s issue and I don’t have a voice in this conversation. It’s not my business what a woman does with her body.”

Maybe most people would have nodded and gone on their way, but that’s just not the way I’m built.

I responded, “I’m so sorry you’ve believed the lie that as a man you don’t have a voice in this conversation… and it is a lie. This is a human issue, not a male or female issue. Many abortions are of male babies in the womb – I’d say males are entitled to weigh in on that. Men marry women who have been hurt by past abortions and are left to help her pick up the pieces – that greatly affects men. But more than that, Mark, you are a man who was created and designed to protect. You can’t opt out of this conversation. Yes, some women want men out of this conversation, but they are only hoping you’ll forget what you were designed to do.”

I wasn’t sure how he would respond. Maybe I offended him. Maybe I embarrassed him. I certainly didn’t intend to do either.

It wasn’t his voice that spoke first, but his welling eyes. Mark, a man pushing 70 years old, tough as nails, looked at me through tears and said, “Thank you. Thank you for reminding me what I’ve been created for.”  

“But you, man of God… pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness” (1 Timothy 6:11).

I love men. I’m not talking about in a Mae West/Marilyn Monroe bawdy sense; I’m referring to the blessing men are when they walk in the holy set-apartness of their God-given masculinity. I typically write and speak to and about women (because there’s been a vacuum in most Christian teaching regarding Jesus and women), but equally as vacuous in our current culture is the conversation regarding God’s intentional design for men/masculinity.

Not too long ago, the cultural masculine archetype was found in men like John Wayne, James Bond, and Superman. Today, our culture is encouraging men to temper typically male traits, leaving many men confused as to their role. Men need not look to Hollywood or comic books for their heroes. Biblical masculinity is rooted in imitating Jesus.  I’m not talking about the milquetoast, seemingly passive Jesus from Sunday School. I’m referring to the Son of Man from scripture who exemplified especially masculine characteristics as He walked this earth. He made a whip and overturned tables of religious con artists (Matthew 21:12-13; John 2:15-16). He stood up for and between the woman caught in adultery and her accusers ready to stone her to death (John 8:1-11). He was a provider (John 2:1-11; John 6:1-14). Jesus loved children and warned that anyone who harmed a child would be better off with a millstone tied around his neck and dropped into the sea (Matthew 18:6; Luke 17:2). He resisted temptation and exercised perfect self-control (Matthew 4:1-11). He loved sacrificially unto the cross because He knew you and I would need atonement for our sins.

I marvel at the differences between men and women and I’m in awe of God’s intentional creation of both. God called His creation of distinct genders not only good, but “very good” (Genesis 1:31). However, since the fall (Genesis 3) we have been in a battle of the sexes. Much is being made today about “toxic masculinity”. But masculinity, in its God-created form, is not toxic, it’s a GLORY to God and a blessing to the women and children under its protective covering. Women and children cannot flourish without strong, protective, righteous men. A man who draws strength from the Lord, serves Him, serves his family and city, is courageous, steadfast, and protective is… glorious, literally bearing the image of God’s glory.

Men, I pray you read my words as encouragement. I fully acknowledge the messages coming at you regarding masculinity are confusing. But culture’s script is never where you find your part to play. Do not listen to what our culture is telling you about masculinity. Do not listen to women whose agenda rides on usurping your divine role. Do not even take my word for it. God was and is clear in His design, call, and expectation of what you will do with your masculinity in the days He’s given you to walk this earth. Don’t miss it.

“Be alert, stand firm in the faith, act like a man, be strong. Do everything in love” (1 Corinthians 16:13-14).

Dear Lord, thank You for Your intentional design of men and women. As a woman, I am thankful for the way You designed men to be courageous protectors. Thank You for the men in my life who are living out Your design for masculinity. Lord, may we train up men who reflect Your glorious intentions for men. May we see Your design for masculinity and femininity are not in competition but are a completion of each other. Lord, we love You and we love Your design. Maranatha! Amen.

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