I'd like to think that I am not the only woman in America that longs for the days when men were celebrated for their strong, masculine traits -- when terms like "toxic masculinity" were not in our lexicon, and adjectives like violent, misogynist, and homophobic were not automatically associated with successful, confident men. I'd like to return to a time when traditional male traits were not equated with causing harm to society or limiting feminine goals or being accused of intimidation by force.
Maybe it's because I remember what it was like to look upon men as heroes and warriors; men who stood for moral courage and boldness; who were fearless in defending the defenseless and willing to show strength in the face of evil. But these kinds of men were also gentlemen, with a combination of qualities like honor, courtesy, and justice; men who were also able to exhibit love and tenderness while protecting those they held dear. Thank God these kinds of men still exist among us, but I decry the "woke" generation's attempt to eliminate them from our social fabric. And it is because I have lived through decades watching this degeneration of the male image that I want to praise "real men" who are not afraid to be what they were created to be.
And I'm deliberately using the phrase "created to be", because I believe God had a specific plan when He "created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created him; male and female He created them". You see, I still believe in what Holy Spirit empowered John the Baptist's father Zacharias to prophesy over his unborn son, and I think it shows what God intends His creation of man to be. It certainly shows the characteristics of His Son, Jesus, who [as the Bible reveals in His totality] is the model of a perfect man; descriptors like Mighty, Valiant, Merciful, Holy (Set apart), Righteous, Knowledgeable, Forgiving, a man of Peace, and a Warrior.
As I scrolled through the Web, trying to figure out how and when our culture began to redefine what made a man, the overwhelming majority of topics spoke of the inequality of the sexes; how our gender stereotypes need to be altered; and the negative impact of stereotypical expectations of masculinity on boys and men. That's where the culture is going on this topic.
And in my opinion, perhaps the desire to question the definition of masculinity began after the Vietnam War, when for the first time in our country's history, there was definite opposition to the image of the American male as the moral protector of innocent people and a righteous warrior against evil. But, if we are honest with ourselves, that open opposition and debate marked the beginning of our cultural decline and open rebellion against God. I can just imagine the delight Satan took in watching us turn our back on what had been the traditional role of men for centuries.
In a 2015 blog post, I described this cultural shift: "If, like me, you are "of a certain age", then you are most likely becoming discouraged about our culture's disparagement of manhood. Our little boys are dissuaded against playing with toy guns; of displaying any form of aggression or boldness; and of emphasizing their decidedly genetic tendencies to protect "the fairer sex". For pity's sake, they can't even point a fake finger gun at anyone without their school record classifying them as a "danger" for their entire academic career!
We now live in an age where men are no longer allowed to be "men". They must now subject themselves to a lower status for all the years that they supposedly "kept women down." The culture not only wants to blur the line between the sexes, but appears to promote the erasure of any line at all ... we are all free to "be" whatever we feel like on any particular day; and heaven forbid you are decidedly one sex or the other. But you most definitely do not want to flaunt any characteristically male behavior. No sir, that's strictly taboo these days, because, don't you know ... it always leads to unnecessary violence"!
And what it did was restrict the role of soldier, fighter, and protector to the confines of a computer screen. Little boys who had previously played "soldier" or "cops and robbers" to express their natural role of defender or guardian of morality were no longer allowed to act out those natural traits, but had to repress them and constrict them to a computer app. And, here we are, eight years later, and schools are forcing children to eliminate gender pronouns from their vocabulary; teachers with an agenda encourage children to consider gender reassignment therapy; and men dressed in suggestive female costumes entice and seduce children to take part in their fantasies during story time.
So, it's time to remind the world of what I wrote about one courageous mom named Simcha Fisher; a mom with common sense and (whether she knows it or not), the wisdom to know that God made boys in His image. In an article titled, Boys With Sticks, Fisher lays out her argument for letting "boys be boys". She writes: Are we so afraid of the power of violence to overtake us that we are uncomfortable with its harmless expression in children’s play?
Yes, we are, and it’s making a mess of the world. It doesn’t make violence go away when we always tell boys, ‘Put that stick down.’ Instead, it’s making a world where people -- boys and girls alike -- have no idea what to do about unjust violence. [And we have certainly seen how ugly that can get in these last few years].
Boys playing with sticks is not a meaningless game. It’s something that little boys absolutely must be allowed to do, if that’s how they want to play. A boy who wants to pick up a stick needs to know that he can, and he may, and that his affinity for sticks is not a bad thing. He needs to know that a stick is a powerful thing, and that the world needs men who know how to use their sticks.
Ultimately, what we have done is effectively emasculated our boys and men into becoming ineffective warriors. For,
warriors is what they are called to be. It may sound old-fashioned, but
I can remember when men could take pride in being their wife’s
protector; in being a father who provided for his family; or a brother
who watched over his siblings -- when policemen were celebrated for
their service to the public's welfare; and a soldier for defending his
country. As trite and simplistic as it may sound, I am left wondering if the astounding popularity of shows like Outlander are not a result of both men and women longing for a return of warrior/heroes who aren't afraid to stand for right and wrong; who are willing to die to protect their wife and family; and who will remain immovable in the face of injustice and evil.
Actually, that's a pretty smart play by the devil. If he can convince us that without warriors, there will be no violence in the world, then he has leveled the playing field in our spiritual warfare. Of course, you recognize that I am looking at this issue through my Biblical worldview. But I don't believe my view is really that far off from Simcha Fisher, who says this about the warrior mindset: Boys who are never allowed to be wild are boys who never learn how to control that wildness. Boys who are not allowed to whack, and be whacked, with sticks never learn what fighting is like. What’s so bad about that? Well, they may end up hitting someone weak, with no idea how much it hurts to be hit. Or they may end up standing by while the strong go after the weak – and have no idea that it’s their job to put a stop to it.
While Simcha's statement may not perfectly align with my Biblical discernment of God's plan for His male creation, I certainly think her description of what it means to be a boy can yield the opportunities to learn both compassion and what it means to stand steadfast for righteousness and justice. This is perfectly stated in Micah 6:8, which tells us, "He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" Of course, that last part is vitally important in accomplishing the first two admonitions. And there is the unspoken truth that with these responsibilities as protector, provider, and warrior, God has set the boundaries for men ... it is all to be done to glorify Him. So little boys must be given rules to play by, and to know where their sense of power comes from. When we abandoned that important principle of male identity, we set chaos in motion in our society.
I must say that I am glad that I am of a generation that still honors the traditional roles of men and women. I love knowing that my husband takes his role as my protector and provider seriously and with pride. His name actually means "Peace-loving Warrior" and he embodies those important traits of Biblical manhood. I am thrilled to see my nephews following their calling as police officers. And I am encouraged by seeing my Godson [pictured above] live out the warrior spirit that is inherent in his young personality. This world is spiraling into increasing chaos and unmanageable violence. Satan has his warriors on the battlefield... we better be training up ours for the fight of our lives!
#whatitmeanstobeaman #Godlymen #Biblicalmasculinity #menaswarriors #longingforheroes #it'soktobeaman
1 Corinthians 16:13-14 Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.