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I have heard a lot of talk about the dangers of "toxic masculinity" and the need for women to have fair opportunities in our modern culture. I completely agree on both counts. "Toxic masculinity" is a terrible thing and no one should ever exploit anyone else. I celebrate the opportunity for everyone to have equal rights under the law.
However, if you study culture, it's easy to see that we humans are really bad at balance. Just like we once swung too far in one direction and established unsafe work environments for women, I see our culture now swinging the other way and blaming men for... well... pretty much everything bad.
It's time to start talking to men again. And, I don't mean telling them how bad they are. We have heard that enough. Every father's day, most men are told we stink and we should shape up... gee thanks. I am talking about speaking to the soul of a man. Speaking to the part of him that is crying out to be told he matters as well.
Most men alive today feel they are being punished for something they didn't do. Did men exploit culture in the past? Sure. But, the men living today are paying the price for something we didn't do.
I think it is possible to speak to the soul of a man without bringing any disrespect to women. Let's give it a try. None of the below points are a bash to any women. It's just time we reminded men...
#1- Men are Strong.
Guys. It's okay to not buy into the "over emotional" stuff. It is very important that we know our feelings and understand them. However, we must be careful to find the balance. The previous generation told us to stuff our emotions down and not acknowledge them. That was probably because our fathers and grandfathers were part of a generation of war (WW2, Korea, Vietnam) where they had to so they could do what was necessary. That's not sustainable. The current generation says we should give in to all our emotions all the time. That's also not sustainable.
Here is the healthy balance.
I am aware of my emotions but I am not controlled by them. Men are strong. We feel our emotions but live by our decisions. We do the hard things. We make the hard call. We feel fear but move forward anyway. You cannot be strong if you are afraid of your emotions. We feel them but are governed by our principles.
We are strong in character. We don't live by what our culture says. We live according to what's right according to Biblical standards.
We are strong in courage. We don't need courage until fear arrives. Men fight on the front line. That means physical battles and the battle for the souls of our families and friends.
We are strong in values. We live by principles and not by pressure. We realize we don't have to be popular. We are not trying to win a race. We are trying to raise a nation. That doesn't happen overnight. It takes a lifetime.
#2- Men are Complex.
Men are not dogs. Modern comedians love to talk about men being simple, sexual, and shallow. It makes for a funny story but is not true. Some of the greatest thinkers in all history were men. i.e.- Aristotle, Copernicus, Socrates, Sir Isaac Newton, Einstein, etc. These were complex men with deep ideas. Telling men they are simple animals makes them think they have to act that way.
Men are complicated. They have dreams and ambitions. Most men don't need really feel the need to change the world. They just want to make a difference and make their mark. They are lonely isolated lions because they have never been told they are actually made for a "pack." We are supposed to be fighting together. They have never been told their greatest adventure lies right in front of them... their family and community.
#3- Men are Leaders.
God created Adam and gave him the job of maintaining the Earth. Then, God created woman to help men out and create wholeness to the human family. Men are incomplete without women. Women are incomplete without men. Women are beautiful, wonderful gifts from God that men should honor. In our rightful place, we should be leading alongside women and not giving our culture over to them while we disappear into the shadows. Women have led many churches for years because men have disappeared. Women are having to rise up in culture because men are too busy killing each other, shirking responsibility, and walking away.
I have never met a woman yet who would not enter into a marriage of mutual submission where the man was the leader of the home if he would only lead the way the Bible says. The Bible says a man is to love his wife the way Christ has loved the church. Jesus gave up His life for the church. I have never met a woman who would not follow a man who gave up his life to serve his family. Men, I've been told that's the most attractive thing a woman can imagine. Make it your goal to lay down your life to serve your family and make your wife the best she can be and watch how your whole life will change. We lead through serving. You are not the leader so you can have it your way. You lead so you can give your life away. That is the honor of being a man.
Men have been made to lead by serving. We are to lay down our lives for our family, for our community, and for our nation. We are to take our place in our community and stand together.
It's time to remember our value.
None of this is to downplay the significance of women. It's just important to realize that we cannot properly love and respect women in our culture until we first realize who we are. We are strong, complex, servant-leader men.
Link to Video: https://youtu.be/SpumYqevG6Y