Is masculinity toxic? ∙
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 satirical Christian 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 seen by many as a rampant disease plaguing the nation. More than 40% of men today suffer from its detrimental outcomes. Toxic masculinity is social science term that covers traditional, cultural norms for manliness. Such norms include but not be limited to self-reliance, stoicism, strength, virility, and dominance. Puzzlingly absent from the list of 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 social 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.
- And the most telling sign of all, being a man who doesn’t hate himself.
Of course, this is nothing new. This social malady first began with the Father’s instructions to Adam and Eve in the garden. The idea caught on and was expanded through teaching in both the Old and New Testaments.
The Old Testament emphasizes the importance of the man’s commitment to his wife, his responsibility to love her and bring her happiness and security.
Deuteronomy 24:5 A newly married man must not be drafted into the army or be given any other official responsibilities. He must be free to spend one year at home, bringing happiness to the wife he has married.
Proverbs 5:15 Drink water from your own well share your love only with your wife.
Ecclesiastes 9:9 Live happily with the woman you love through all the meaningless days of life that God has given you under the sun. The wife God gives you is your reward for all your earthly toil.
The New Testament standards set the bar even higher. Men were required to treat women with respect as equal partners. In particular, husbands were exhorted to sacrificially love their wives, be faithful to them, and be willing to die for them.
Does this is sound positive and admirable or toxic and destructive? Well, according to the viewpoint of some fallen people in our fallen world it is very toxic. But then they have no regard or respect for the Father, Lord God omnipotent who reigns from heaven. He is the One who sets the standards. It goes without saying that if you do not respect or admire the Father, but feel only disdain for Him or even deny His existence, 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 moves 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.
Trends in society are often like a teeter-totter. One trend often gives birth to a counter-reaction. Throughout human history, there has been violence, evil, and wickedness. Often there comes a tipping point that brings about a major paradigm shift.
Which of the following statements seems most accurate?
Toxic masculinity is a term originally used in academia stemming from historical acts of brutality and destruction arising from male dominance, misogyny, and violent behaviors. The self-evident savagery of the few has become a stereotype that is applied to the many.
Regrettably, such stereotypes overlook positive masculine characteristics such as devotion, protection, loyalty, caring for one’s family, achievement. The toxic behavior of some men morphed into a sweeping highly generalized condemnation of men and dubbed toxic masculinity. For men who are kind, gentle, self-sacrificing, and meek, such sweeping generalizations are unfair and inaccurate. Toxic violence of a few has become a discriminatory descriptor of the many. For many men and women, such one-sided bias is nothing less than bigotry and discrimination. Such partiality is hurtful, insulting, and destructive.
“Toxic masculinity is a narrow and repressive description of manhood, designating manhood as defined by violence, sex, status and aggression” (The Good Men Project).
“Never allow cruelty, it undermines the natural courage and manliness of the perpetrator” (USMC).
© Dr. H 2022