1999 James A. Fowler
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I. Biblical usage
A. The word "masculine"
and "masculinity" are not found in the Bible.
B. There are, however, many references
to men and males, and God's intent for their function,
II. Defining "masculinity"
A. Changing cultural concepts of "masculinity"
and "femininity" lead to much confusion.
B. This study will primarily consider
"masculinity" as referring to what it means to be a
III. Cultural consideration of "masculinity"
A. Physical body
burly, "buff," strong, muscle definition, "hunk"
length, body hair, beards
B. Clothing, apparel - style
suits, jeans, muscle shirts, shoes, shorts
chains, rings, earrings, tattoos
challenge - mt. climbing, off-roading, hunting
risk-taking, chance of getting hurt, speed (fast cars)
out to win or succeed - workaholics
to the limit (Ironman), endure pain (refuse to see doctor), masochistic
and powerful - motorcycles, cars, guns, explosions
destruction - fighting, wrestling, warriors, military (Rambo;
sports - football, boxing, hockey; 90 per cent of prison population
things, construction, mechanical skills (electronic gadgets)
to get dirty - mud, dirt, oil and grease, bugs, lizards
cigarette smoking, drug-taking
10. sexual -
masturbation, pornography, prostitution, adultery
aggressive - Gung-ho; Go for the gusto; we are driven; "Charger"
autocratic, dictatorial, macho, bossy, possessive 4. performance/achievement
goal-oriented - trying to prove themselves, activism
selfish, stubborn, rigid, demanding
emotions, emotionally detached, "big boys don't cry"
- yet anger and hostility
strong, brave, courageous, fearless - no "sissy" -
crude, transgress social acceptability - jokes, body noises,
animalistic (Uh, uh!),
stand-alone; limited male-bonding, friendships - relational deprivation;
ol' Boys club", "Promise Keepers"
E. Contemporary cultural evaluation
feminist movement, "Women's Lib."
Men are to blame for suppressing, oppressing, dominating, exploiting
Men should be ashamed, feel guilty - self-hatred, contempt
Men should be paid back, discriminated against, "enemies"
Men should be made powerless, demasculinized
Men should become dependent, servants, passive, emasculated
Men need sensitivity training to get in touch with emotions
masculinity movement, "Men's Lib."- "Promise-Keepers"
IV. Spiritual consideration of "masculinity"
A. God divided the sexes into male
and female, and designed them to have differing roles
- head (Gen. 3:16; I Cor. 11:3; Eph. 5:23)
- leadership of male elders (I Tim. 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9)
B. Men and women are spiritually equal
before God, however. (Gal. 3:28)
C. Functional humanity, male or female,
requires spiritual exchange (Acts 26:18)
D. The life of Jesus Christ in a male
is the essence of functional masculinity.
E. Spiritual maturity develops the divine
character expression of masculinity
- "the Lord has set apart the godly man for Himself"
3:18 - "Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus"
relationship with and derivation from God (Rom. 1:16)
fairness, justice derived from Christ.
consistency, security in character of Christ
in Christ (Phil. 4:13)
in Christ (I Cor. 1:24,30)
of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22,23)
loving, concerned, caring, compassionate, sensitive, cherishing,
with other Christians; encouragement
F. Maritally this will involve
leadership (Gen. 18:19)
one's wife tenderly (Eph. 5:25; Col. 3:19)
(I Tim. 5:8)
faithfulness and purity
G. Parentally this will involve
relating - Eph. 6:4; Col. 3:21)
(Eph. 6:4; Heb. 12:9,10)
H. Each Christian man must individually
ascertain and discern how God wants to express
through him in character and in action, and such will be the
for that man.
1. No simple
definitions or formulas
only by God's grace
V. We must avoid descriptions and perspectives of "masculinity"
that are merely
determined, and continually discern God's perspective of "masculinity,"
God wants to manifest His character and activity in each male.