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Biblical Masculinity

The world has decided that masculinity is "toxic" and that it is not good to be a man. Being a man is almost frowned upon by society today. But we see the topic of masculinity is brought up in the very first chapter of the Bible.

"And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." - Genesis 1:26-27

Both man and woman are equally created in God's image. There is no superior dichotomy. Men and women individually are needed for God to accomplish His purposes on earth.

"And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it." - Genesis 2:15

"And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him." - Genesis 2:18

God's calling for mankind to reflect His image by bringing human flourishing to the world. It's only possible with men and women working together and complementing each other.

When defining biblical masculinity, we need some common wording and understanding of what it biblically means to be a man. Being a man is what we are praying for, raising our sons toward, and discipling others toward.

"And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him." - Genesis 2:15-18

"Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones." - Ephesians 5:25-30

1. Pursue

In Genesis, God creates the earth and forms a garden as an organized habitat. He places the man in the garden and says, "dress it and keep it." In other words, "Take what I've shown you in this garden and spread it to the rest of creation." That's what we mean by pursuing. We expand His name. Wherever you are, you must pursue God's mission of bringing life and following Him.

Pursuing Him is at the heart of masculinity. God has called you to leave better every situation you find yourself in. You take the initiative to engage Christ with a proactive concern and a sense of responsibility.

Reacting only when things fall apart (as we have seen in modern-day society) is not part of your job description.

This applies to every area of life. Pursuing Him means taking the initiative instead of being ruled by passivity and silence. We must stop being silent spectators in this life for Christ, control our emotions and passions, and boldly lead our families to follow Him.

2. Provide

In Genesis 2:15, they use the phrase "dress it" in reference to the garden. It means "to cultivate, tend to, shape." No matter what form this takes, we are designed to be cultivators. It means we are to take the chaos around us and cultivate it so that it bears fruit and life comes out of it for Christ.

You were designed and created to work. Sadly, many men today will not work. Before sin entered the world, before work was laborious and frustrating, you were designed to work. This doesn't mean you have to be the only one who makes money in your family. It does mean it's your job, as a man, to figure out how your family will eat. And if someone is required to get a second job, that's on you.

Providing is more than paying bills. It's a sacrificial position of looking out for others and seeing their needs as more important than your own. It means in all areas of our life, being a man means going last so that others can be provided for.

3. Protect

A real man tames his passions, whether single or married. A man doesn't abuse women or children; he protects them. A man keeps his hands off of women he's not married to, and he treats his wife with love and respect. He keeps his eyes off pornographic images. All of these things protect the physical, spiritual, and emotional aspects of our family and our own life. A real man is one with a heart, head, and conscience.

"And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it." - Genesis 2:15

The word translated as "keep it" means "to defend, guard, protect." Adam was not only put in the garden to grow it and see it bring forth life. He was there to protect it from anything that could enter and tear down what he is building. We are building our family and must do whatever it takes to protect them from the world around us.

This means a true man puts himself at risk on the front lines. A man volunteers to take the hit so that others do not have to. A real man is like a shield. He takes the blow, so everything behind it won't. From this tension, we see the good news of the gospel.

"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)" - Romans 5:12-17

Jesus, our new Adam, lived out true sacrificial masculinity. He was not a weak man with delicate features as often portrayed. Jesus went down to the cross and was broken so you could go free. Jesus pursued you in His sacrifice. He provided life for you. He protected you from your own sinfulness and from God's righteous judgment towards sinful, selfish, passive men like us. He exemplified perfect masculinity and laid down his life for us so that His perfect masculinity can be given to you.

The good news of the gospel is the only thing that can free you to pursue godly masculinity. You don't have to be the perfect hero; Christ was already that for us. But you are free to run after this picture of masculinity, and every time you fall, you're free to get back up because Jesus covers your imperfection. Christianity needs men willing to stand and be men again. Men who are ready to follow Him no matter what it takes and to boldly stand for truth.

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