Dear Ben, Brooks, and Eli,
I am so thankful that God gave me three grandsons to love, each of you a gift to our family. Already I see your boyish ways mingling with unique personalities, revealing who God made you to be. Although your ages span over 7 years, I pray that you will be close friends one day.
Sadly, you have been born into a world where the grand way God designed men has become increasingly confused and blurred. The affect of feminism over the past 60 years has not only had devastating repercussions on women, but also on the family, the church, and the community. Indeed, it has brought increasing instability to the entire world.
God, in His wisdom designed the family as the primary means for passing the gospel onto the next generation. Husbands and wives are called to showcase the covenant relationship between Christ and His church, yet far too often divorce mars the truth about a faithful God who laid down His life for an adulterous Bride. How we must grieve our Father’s heart when we are more concerned with our happiness and comfort than being faithful and grateful children of Promise.
As I have come to understand ways I have personally been affected by the lies of feminism, I have seen many ways men have been impacted as well. God designed men to protect and provide for the welfare of others, yet sin has brought selfishness, independence, self-reliance, and abuse of power, all of which has brought devastation upon the family. Here are two ways I have seen men particularly affected:
1. As society has diminished the essential role of motherhood, countless women have joined the workforce to find their value while increasing the competition for jobs once mostly done by men. This has struck at the very core of what men were created to do; that is to provide for the family while the equally important work of keeping a home and raising children was entrusted to women. While this does not mean women should never work, it does mean that when our identity is in Christ, we will not need to find something the world says has value to make us feel good about ourselves.
2. Men were designed to protect their family and society yet women seeking independence have insisted they can take care of themselves without any help from men. Certainly, while women can do many things themselves, this confusion of roles has brought further instability to the home.
The truth is that, apart from the gospel, which compels us to glorify God according to our distinct design, men often tend toward one of two extremes:
The bully. This man exerts dominance over women using physical, emotional, or sexual abuse to maintain control. This man desperately needs to hear the gospel; that Christ came to deliver him from the sin that controls and compels him to control others. Psalm 51 is David’s prayer of repentance when he learned that what pleases God most is a broken spirit and a contrite heart. Real manhood begins on your knees.
The passive man. This man, often ruled by an unshakable sense of shame or fear of failure, has decided it is better to do nothing than to risk failing. Seemingly content to let women lead, self-respect eludes him. He also needs the hope of the gospel; that Christ came because we have all failed to meet God’s holy standard. In His great mercy, our Savior died to cover our shame and overcome our failure to live righteously by living a perfect life on our behalf. God empowers men who look to Him, helping them lead through His strength and wisdom. To walk as a godly man requires ongoing reminders of gospel grace.
God is the only one who can deliver men from either of these foolish and ungodly responses, the macho bully or passive wimp. In my next letter I will share some characteristics of a gospel centered man, which is what I pray each of you will one day strive to become.