Many in our world today would have us believe that all masculinity is toxic masculinity. I will not argue that we can easily make an incredibly simplified and sweeping list of things men can struggle with. We can be overly strong and domineering. We can be hardheaded and bullish. We can wrestle at times with interpersonal relationships and expressing ourselves. Of course, we know that both men and women have struggles. Whenever sin is present, masculinity and feminity will present themselves in ungodly ways – which brings us to an essential discussion on what a man is spiritually and what happens if he brings all of who he is under the Lordship of Christ.
A man SPIRITUALLY is a sinner in need of salvation which is fully available to him through faith in Christ.
In a previous post on what a woman is spiritually, we observed there is no differentiation between men and women in this area of their lives. As a man who is a believer, I have much more in common with my sisters in Christ than with my male friends who do not know the Lord. Certainly, men and women are different physiologically, sexually, and emotionally, but in Christ, gender is not a prerequisite for intimacy with Him. The Apostle Paul tells us in Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Women are not ordained to be more or less godly than men, nor is the opposite true. Every human being, male or female, enters this world separated from God in his or her sin and in need of a Savior.
Paul provides a beautiful explanation of the hope needed by all of mankind and offered to all of mankind through Christ in Romans 5:12, 15-17: “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— … But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.”
If you were to press me to give one simple statement about what would cause me to die a fulfilled father, it would be that my four young men grow to love the Lord Jesus with all their hearts. Only in a right relationship with Christ can they become the fullness of what God intends them to be as men. That is equally true of my desire for my daughters to love Jesus and grow into godly women who honor Him. It is only under the Lordship of Christ that true manhood and womanhood can be found.
Now, glance back at that list concerning men in the first paragraph. Here is what is beautiful about biblical masculinity. God does not erase a man’s strength or completely remove his edge. He does not take away a man’s desire to lead or fix. He brings all of these qualities under the Lordship of Jesus Christ and governs these traits for good. It is not bad for a man to dominate if he is dominating sin in his life. It is not wrong for a man to be strong when he faithfully pushes for Kingdom objectives and fights for the vulnerable to be protected.
Masculinity under the lordship of Christ is good. And while God does not have gender in the same sense that we do, He has identified Himself as Father God. In this role, He displays His glory as a protector, a provider, an encourager, and a leader who loves us. Biblical manhood displays God’s glory. And to the degree to which men submit to God spiritually, they will fulfill their role in masculinity.
Do you want to be the man God intends you to be? Begin by surrendering your heart and life to Christ, bringing all of who you are as a man – physically, spiritually, emotionally, sexually, and paternally – under His Lordship.