Monday, October 10, 2011

More Thoughts on Biblical Masculinity

A continued exploration of some of my thoughts from my recent post on this subject.

A friend of mine was discussing this through e-mail with me and we talked about the distinction between personality traits and character flaws- a very important distinction.

So what is the difference between a quietness that is OK- or even admirable- and a quietness that is weak and unManly? What is the difference between (another discussion with another friend) a man having a perfectly manly desire to stay inside and do computer work and a man being a mouse who can't handle a good, rugged hike?

God has given us different personalities.

God has also called us all- all of His sons, that is- to be men. Manly men. To obey Him, serve Him, advance His Kingdom.

So to the degree which our personality traits hinder our obedience to Him- to that degree our personality traits are character flaws.

You may be a quiet warrior or an outgoing one, a musical warrior or an outdoorsy one, a blogging warrior or a fishing one.

But as a son and ambassador of The Most High God- you must be a warrior.

No matter your method, you must slay the dragons.

So, to make it practical. If your quiet personality means you talk less and listen more, that's probably a good thing that we could all learn from. If your quiet personality means that you don't evangelize, don't meet new people, don't truly love others, then your quiet personality is now more than that- it has gone into the realm of sin, because it is preventing you from doing what God has called you to do.

On shyness. I don't think shyness is ever a good thing. Quietness can be Biblical, but shyness is a manifestation of love of self. So instead of being shy, we should turn our attention from ourselves to others, and start loving God and loving the people He has placed in our lives. (1st and 2nd greatest commandments)

On to my next point. Hear ye, thou wimps.

"The glory of young men is their strength, and the honor of old men is their gray hair." (Pr. 20:29)

Note to Mr. Hiccup: If a girl is showing you up (or beating you up) in physical contest, either she had better be quite the man or you had better be quite ashamed. Fortunately for you, young sir, Astrid is quite the man.

We are to be the protectors of the "weaker vessels"- that adjective is Scripturally applied to all of womankind, though the passage in question speaks specifically to the marriage relationship.

As young men, we should be strong. The stronger vessels.

So, my brothers, what are you doing to be strong? To be a good steward of the body that God has given you, of course- that goes for my sisters in Christ as well!- but specifically to be strong. Ruddy. Healthy. Able to protect and serve.

Do push-ups. Run a few miles. Something.

If your natural smallness means you aren't the fastest kid in the Church or the record-holding pusher-upper, fine. That's how God made you. Learn to use your mind. Hiccup is a good example of this- he can't throw the iron ball thingies, so he invents a machine to throw them for him.

But if you take that to be an excuse to be pale and wan, with bent shoulders and limp wrists, then you had better invest in some P90X or something.

Point three in my post addresses the girlyman syndrome.

This is something I've done myself in the past, and I regret having done so. I want to warn my brothers lest they too fall prey to this condition.

The girlyman syndrome is likely to happen when a young man hangs out around girls a lot. Note that it doesn't have to be this way. Not at all. It just takes a man of superior vision to be able to retain Godly masculinity even when he spends most of his time with those of the fairer sex.

A godly young man can be thoroughly manly when spending time with sisters in Christ- pure, masculine, respectful, chivalrous, edifying, and downright a pleasure to be around!

But the girlyman tries to be like the girls he admires or hangs out with (or is infatuated with). He'll read the books they like, and at least act like he enjoys them, just to please them. He'll listen to the music they like, he'll eat the same foods, he'll- well, the list goes on. You get the idea.

He's the kind of guy who says that he's not insecure about his manhood, therefore he can proudly carry around Pride & Prejudice or wear pink or collect stuffed animals.

Neither said book nor said color nor said pets are my issue. My issue is a man who is, ultimately, fearing (wo)man instead of fearing God, and who is acting out of regard for others instead of vision for The Kingdom (Mat. 6:33).

This is no true man at all.

Sadly, it can be very endearing to the young ladies since this young man is sculpting himself in their image.

And they might be Godly girls. A young man made in their image might be externally a pretty straight-laced and Godly fellow. (Maybe I should put a comma after "pretty". :-)

But the reason for his Godliness isn't true repentance and worship of God, nor the working of The Spirit in his heart, but rather a fleshly desire to please others.

Such sculpting in the end only results in a girlyman, not a true man seeking conformation to The Image of Christ.

These might be hard words for some. Know that they are spoken in love and with a smile! I hope this post edifies both brothers and sisters in Christ. Brothers- if you find yourself falling into these categories, and can see why that is Biblically reprehensible, repent and reform! Sisters, perhaps this will better arm you to look for the right things in men instead of being attracted by a man who molds himself to your will just to please you. Perhaps it will also prepare you to encourage Godly Vision in your brothers.

Men. We need to be devoted to a cause higher than ourselves. That cause must be The Kingdom of God. And for that cause we must be prepared to forsake all else.

For The Glory of God.


GodsPianist said...

Wow! Great post, Gabe. Thanks for sharing. Maybe I should print this off and save it for six years for my little brother:).

Grace said...

This is really good, Gabriel! I shared it with some guy friends of mine, and I'm going to send it to my brother. Thank you! Very good thoughts.

Aubrey Hansen said...

*feels weird posting since so far only girls have commented...*

Gabriel, I wish to repeat myself - I very much appreciate it whenever you expound on what God has taught you about biblical manhood. Not only does it help me see godliness in others, but it helps me write male book characters that conform to HIS image!

Keep pressing onward!

Gabriel Hudelson said...

Thanks, all. :-)

Yeah, Aubrey, what's with the dearth of male commenters? Hope that changes.

Not hoping for less lady readers, though.

Just more gentlemen as well. :-D

Andrew J. said...

Excellent, excellent post, Gabriel - thank you very much for sharing.

I think being 'girly men' has begun to be accepted in our society, to a shocking degree. Thanks for the call to return to God's word and what it holds between its covers for us.


Gabriel Hudelson said...

Thanks, Andrew- my first male commenter! :-D

Christie Elkins said...

Nicely put!! I'm going to let my boys read this when they are "men" :)

Gabriel Hudelson said...

Thank you Mrs. Elkins. :-)

Corey P. said...

Bravo and well-said.

I have to admit, one of the things I dislike about many films these days is how they often feature wimpy male protagonists. I really enjoyed "How to Train Your Dragon", but frankly, Hiccup - as a guy - left a little something to be desired. For that matter, so did the character of Astrid (talk about lack of femininity).

For myself, I would like to see more male protagonists similar to Russell Crowe's Maximus... :)

LoneWolf said...

Excellent thoughts sir!
I try my best to live by such rules, but find myself discouraged when my friends follow the path that you described as "girly men", thanks for further solidifying my goal.

Gabriel Hudelson said...

Welcome to the discussion, gentlemen! Mr. Wolf, I thank God that this post was encouraging to you! Corey- hear hear! Or hear here- or both!

BushMaid said...

Delete Comment From: Thine is The Kingdom

BushMaid said...
Sorry, another girl. ;) But I must parrot everyone else: Brilliant, instructional and encouraging post, Gabriel. :D

Gabriel Hudelson said...

Oh, no, you needn't apologize. :-)

David R. said...

Oh yes, Manly men, Real men, STRONG men...Gun totin men. :)
The wimps in today's society, well, honestly they just plain annoy me. They shake you hand and their hand is as weak and limp and soft as velvet spaghetti.
BUT, I agree whole-heartedly that there is a line between a wimp and just a indoorsy, who would rather program computers than chase rabbits across the desert with shotguns. (guess which one I would rather do. :) )
I think there is nothing wrong with liking indoor activities, but they MUST be willing to roll up their sleeves, get their hands dirty, and do some rough tough grimy gritty work. Not going to the extent that every young man must be able to bench press 200 and run 6 miles in one shot every day of the week, but nobody is making that claim. We just need to be able to do what we have to, whether it be school work, programming computers, gutting the deer you shot to provide for your family, or taking down that armed marauder breaking into your house with the intent of hurting your family. I never want to condemn other young men who are not as "outdoorsy" as say, somebody like me, but they need to be able to tough through WHATEVER God lays on their plate.
SO, that being said, if any REAL MEN are out there and up for the challenge, grab a shotgun and lets go hunting. :)

Gabriel Hudelson said...

Amen and amen. Love it, David.

David R. said...

BTW, for all the guys who want to see a movie with some REAL men as hero's, who takes what they have, and no matter the cost does what needs so be done, who are family men, with flaws, but who trust in God, watch We Were Soldiers. The one bad thing about the whole movie is bad language, but get a word blocker and its one of the best movies I have ever seen. Heartily recommended for anyone as long as they can stomach some serious violence scenes.

Corey P. said...

"We Were Soldiers" is an awesome movie. One of my favorite war films, along with "Saving Private Ryan" and "Black Hawk Down". I second David's recommendation. :)

Corey P. said...

(Obviously, the films just mentioned aren't for youngsters, but for older male teens, I think they're a must)

Zachary Wallace said...

Tremendous post! I love to hear someone taking a stand against the blending of the sexes. God made a man to be a MAN, rough, tuff, burly, masculine, loving, kind, considerate, steadfast, gentle, brave, etc.
God send us more true men of character.
I love this quote:
The greatest want in the world is the want of men.
Men who will not be bought or sold
Men who in their inmost souls are true and honest.
Men who do not fear to call sin by its right name.
Men who's conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole.
Men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall.

Press the Battle!

Rebekah said...

A good post overall!

The part about being shy was convicting, considering I have major struggles with that, especially if I am in a new place. I can attest that it is something that is VERY hard to overcome. Probably an area I should devote to much prayer...

I loved the quote about slaying the dragons. :)

To the KING be all the glory!

Gabriel Hudelson said...

Good stuff, Zachary! Thanks for that.

Rebekah, I'm glad it was edifying. :-)

Renadae said...

Wonderful post my dear! I love it when you write posts ranting against feminised men. They need to hear it and take it to heart! :)

Love you! :xx

~ Renadae

Jessie said...

Ditto everyone else...great post!! I don't know how any girl, much less guy, can stand a girly guy...

Q: Do you disagree with a girl running a few miles a day or otherwise doing hard physical activity/work as long as it is not done in competition with the guys?

Gabriel Hudelson said...

Jessie- no, not at all! Pr. 31 says "she maketh her arms strong". Indeed, I don't know of a Biblical prohibition against women competing with men, though one might question whether that is the best playout of the principles we see in Scripture.

Jennifer said...

You're wise Gabriel, from this article to your last comment :) Me, I'd prefer to slay monsters and RIDE dragons; majestic creatures.

Gabriel Hudelson said...

Thanks, Jennifer. :-) All glory to God... I sure pray for wisdom!

Jordan said...

There is an irony in ranting against effeminate/passive men who will more than likely retreat further into themselves in the face of such bold reprimands. It could more than likely prove counter-productive in most cases. Paul mentions "speaking the truth in love" (Eph. 4:15). There are ways to exhort and call out men to Godly manhood in a way that encourages without deriding.

Gabriel Hudelson said...

Jordan, to deride isn't my intention. I certainly desire to obey that exhortation!

Jordan said...

I figured that was not your intent; however, there is a certain level of derision inherit in terms like "wimp." Other than that, good post :)

Gabriel Hudelson said...

Indeed there is. I do think, though, that a tongue-in-cheek goading can have its place.

And thanks. :-D

Jennifer said...

Shyness is not remotely a love of self. That's a typical and very harmful belief of many patriarchal/Quiverfull belief systems, pushed especially by Voddie Baucham, who advises parents punish their toddlers if they don't say hi to a strange adult right away when prompted to. This is an article looking at the problematic nature of such an idea: