Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her. – Ephesians 5:25
Colossians 3:19 Husbands, love your wives and never treat them harshly.
1 Peter 3:7 In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.
The Babylon Bee – a Christian satire website asks:
Are you Suffering from Toxic Masculinity?
More than 40% of men today suffer from it – and their loved ones pay the price.
Toxic masculinity is the latest disease to plague the nation. More than 40% of men today suffer from its detrimental effects. Toxic masculinity is social science term which identifies traditional, cultural norms for manliness such as self-reliance, stoicism, strength, virility, and dominance. Puzzlingly absent from the symptoms are courtesy, kindness, servant leadership, loyalty, self-sacrifice, love for country and family, and commitment to defend and protect those loved and cared for. It is incumbent upon every male to know the warning signs of this virulent disease plaguing the nation.
What are some of the early warning signs of toxic masculinity?
– A belief that men and women are at least a little bit different. If you’re a woman who believes this, then you suffer from an even worse disease called internalized misogyny.
– Eating meat on occasion.
– Holding the door open for a woman once in a while.
– Yelling stuff about freedom and charging into battle wearing blue face paint.
– Being a man who doesn’t hate himself. This is the most telling sign.
Of course this is nothing new. This social malady first began with of the Father’s instructions to Adam and Eve in the garden. The idea caught on and was expanded through New Testament teachings. The New Testament standards set the bar much higher. Men were required to treat women with respect as equal partners. In particular, husbands were exhorted to love their wives, be faithful to them, and be willing to die for them.
Is this toxic or admirable? Well, according to the viewpoint of fallen people in a fallen world it is a very toxic. But then they have no respect or regard for the Lord God omnipotent who reigns from heaven. He is the one who set the standard. It goes without question that if you don’t respect or admire the Father that feel only disdain for Him, you will reject His thoughts and absolutes.
REFLECT & PRAY
At the center of our values is our personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. As our relationship with Him becomes more and more a part of who we are, what we do will become closer to the standards that He has set for us.
Father thank You that You have set forth righteous standards for how we are to live. Thank You for forgiving us when we fail. Encourage and strengthen us to strive to do what is right.
Much of the criticism of biblical masculinity focuses on modern times and unfair practices that are everyday occurrences. But the ancient world was an entirely different situation.
The ancient world in many ways was cruel, brutish, and ugly. Societies were male dominated. Men had the rights and authority; women had the responsibilities and obligations. There was no balance when it came to authority and relationships.
The Lord Jesus Christ and the New Testament writers started a cultural and social revolution. They introduced values and standards of mutual obligation. Duties and responsibilities existed for both males and females.
“The Christian ethic is one of mutual obligation, in which the rights and the obligations rest with every individual. It is an ethic of mutual responsibility; and, therefore, it becomes an ethic where the thought of privilege and rights falls into the background and where the thought of duty and obligation takes priority. The whole direction of the Christian ethic is not to ask: ‘What do others owe to me?’ but ‘What do I owe to others?’ (Barclay)”
Rather than toxic masculinity, according to the Father the symptoms, stipulated above, are indicators of godly masculinity. It is indeed contagious and seems to spread wherever the truth word of God is taught, comprehended, and put into practice. Wherever New Testament truth has spread, husbands attempt to understand their wives and treat them with kindness and love. Women are no longer considered property, slaves, or objects.
Men attempting to follow biblical principles are still fallen men living in a fallen world. Sadly, injustice, cruelty, oppression, and degradation remain. The bar set for godly masculinity is high. Sadly, too few men achieve the standards required. “One of the unfortunate truths about Christianity . . . [is that] over the centuries, many Christ-followers have fallen far short of the standard Jesus set in showing the worth and dignity of women (Dorothy Sayers). But the standard still exists. A good number of men are working really hard to measure up.
A short summary of the Father’s instructions for husbands is: Husbands, love your wives, never treat them harshly, honor them. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.
There is only one cure for godly masculinity and that is not to strive for it.