What Is A Man? Biblical Manhood Examined


The following is taken from St. Paul's Monthly Newsletter.  
To read more newsletter articles from St. Paul's Lutheran, go to: www.anchoredminot.com/news

What is a man? Depending on whom you ask, this question will elicit many answers. And so, instead of trying to navigate all the opinions of manhood in our culture, it is good, right, and salutary to consult what the Word of God says about men and masculinity. First, it must be established that the Bible does not necessarily paint a picture of a muscular man holding a machine gun while smoking a cigar and drinking a beer. Now, the Bible often speaks of masculinity with masculine words such as brotherhood, steadfast, immovable, etc. However, we must be careful not to take a Hollywood view of mankind and superimpose it over the Bible. That is to say, masculinity is not easily characterized by the movie icons of John Wayne, Sylvester Stallone, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Biblical masculinity is not found in visible signs of strength, loud fits of rage, and clinched jaws of power.

So, if masculinity is not pictured in the way of Hollywood muscles, how is it portrayed? What is Biblical Manhood?

First, masculinity can be thought of with the word - ‘meek.’ Keep in mind that when the Bible uses the word ‘meek,’ it does not mean weak and mousy. The word ‘meek’ is not equivalent to being a coward or insecure. Instead, when the Bible uses the word meek, it means that a person is not easily moved to rage and anger by little insults. It means that a person is not easily ruffled or knocked off guard by frantic fear and worry. It means that they are not easily irritated or provoked by loud, passionate reactions. Simply stated, the word meek means that a person is spiritually composed and strong. We see what meekness looks like in Jesus as He rode into Jerusalem on the donkey and as He suffered on the cross. (Remember, Jesus was not helpless on that cross. He could’ve called down legions of angels. Instead, though, being spiritually composed, He willingly chose the cross and endured the scorn.)

Secondly, masculinity can be summarized with another simple word – ‘sacrifice.’ More specifically, in the Epistle of Ephesians, the Apostle Paul tells husbands to love their wives exactly as Christ did for the church. That is to say; husbands are to show love to their wives by giving, not getting. The proper love of a husband to a wife is to sacrifice for her – even die if necessary. And so, properly speaking, masculinity is characterized not only by Biblical meekness (i.e., spiritual composure) but also by self-sacrifice, resulting in a man suffering on behalf of a neighbor in need.

And so, mark this, anytime you see an irrational and unhinged man who is unwilling to suffer and sacrifice for anyone else, you have witnessed the antithesis of manhood. Indeed, bad men are not composed and do not like to suffer but are narcissistic man-children who throw temper tantrums to get what ‘they’ want in order to satisfy ‘their’ comfort. However, Biblical manhood is found in men who – regardless of their muscle mass – go the way of spiritual composure and are willing to suffer and even die, if necessary, for their neighbors around them. After all, a Biblical man knows that his Lord Jesus Christ has already suffered and died on His behalf to give him all that he needs.

In summary, bad men ‘use’ those weaker than themselves; Biblical men, though, become weak to serve those weaker than themselves. Bad men self-satisfy; Biblical men self-sacrifice. Bad men deny the cross and take up their own life; Biblical men take up the cross and lose their life. Bad men indulge the old Adam; Biblical men depend on Christ.

CLICK HERE to 'Like' on Facebook
CLICK HERE to 'Follow' on Twitter
CLICK HERE to Subscribe on iTunes
CLICK HERE to Subscribe on Podbean