Masculinity is not toxic, nor is it a sickness as the American Psychological Association’s new guidelines suggest. “The truth is that masculine traits such as aggression competitiveness and protective vigilance not only can be positive, but also have a biological basis. Men produce far more testosterone, which is associated biologically and behaviorally with increased aggression and competitiveness. They also produce more vasopressin, a hormone that makes men aggressively protective of their loved ones.” (Komisar, WSJ-1/17/19).
What is unhealthy is not masculinity or femininity but the demeaning of masculine men and feminine women. Ms. Komisar goes on to say, “Women produce more oxytocin when they nurture their children than men, and the hormone affects men and women differently. Oxytocin makes women more sensitive and empathetic, while men become more playfully, tactually stimulating with their children, encouraging resilience. These differences between men and women complement each other, allowing a couple to nurture and challenge their offspring.”
You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered. – 1 Peter 3:7. Biology confirms Biblical teaching that men and women are uniquely different. Peter suggests that healthy masculinity is to live with your wife in an understanding way and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life. Wow! Evidently even back in the first century there were mean-spirited men that would not honor women, thus the need for emphasis from Peter. Healthy masculinity is what wives want, children need, churches desire and communities require.
There are mean-spirited men just as there are mean-spirited women. Twenty-two years ago, I was on the Mall in Washington D.C. with over a million other men. There were about 25 National Organization of Women in a barricaded off area yelling obscenities, making degrading comments to the men attending the Promise Keeper’s ‘Stand in the Gap’ event and were aggressively bating any man within earshot to engage them in a yelling match. No one took the bait and no one ever suggested that femininity was toxic.
Prayer guide: Father, thank You for Your design of mankind, that a man should “leave his mother and father, unite with his wife and become one flesh … for the sake of raising godly offspring.” (Genesis 2:24 & Malachi 2:15). I have fallen short of Your design by letting cultural norms and clear perversions influence my thinking, come into my home, divide Your churches and confuse communities. Forgive me Lord. Grant me strength to stand firm in Your word to rebuke the un-biblical and unhealthy attack on masculine men and feminine women. Be glorified through healthy marriages and godly offspring that are standing against cultural attacks. Help me be the masculine man You call me to be, that my family, church and community needs. Amen.
A faithful father is the masculine man his wife, children, church and community need.