I think to mentor men we need to have a stronger hold on what “masculinity” actually is. To be honest, that’s one thing I’ve struggled with explaining to men in real life.
This is important because — aside from the choice to follow God — the choice whether or not to marry and thus pursue women is one of the most important choices that a man can make in his life. In this day and age if he chooses poorly many hardships may befall him such as risk of divorice shooting through the roof. Similarly, if he does decide to make this choice, he must learn what traits are innate to being a man and what traits are taught and to learn them.
However, the important thing to know is that masculinity should be developed irregardless of this choice to marry even though masculinity is inherently attractive to women. This is part of developing into a man of God that is able to be useful and profitable for God to use in the Church, family, and friends.
In other words, since God created men to be men, we need to learn how to operate fully into what He created us to be. The fact that becoming a masculine man is attractive to women is only a side effect.
Obviously, there are indicators and tells. Planned parenthood, bastion of the left, describes typically masculine and typically feminine traits although they call them “culturally” ingrained and not biological in nature. (from: planned parenthood site, not linking cause they attempted to hijack my browser location).
WORDS COMMONLY USED TO DESCRIBE FEMININITY
- sexually submissive
WORDS COMMONLY USED TO DESCRIBE MASCULINITY
- sexually aggressive
Obviously, some of these are what is traditionally masculine and some are just words they threw in there to polarize. “Clumsy” is not a traditionally masculine word nor is “weak” a traditionally feminine word. Clumsy puts men in a bad light, and weak is able to be polarized for women for non-privileged victim status.
The reason I bring this up is that it is important to know what the “culture” thinks about masculinity because that is how most people will think about masculinity. Indeed, even most Christians accept what is “culturally true” over what the Scriptures say. Thus, noting the context from which someone is discussion a certain point is important, especially when mentoring men.
Scripturally defining masculinity
Even the Scriptures aren’t exactly clear about what masculinity beyond a couple of passages. For example,
1 Kings 2:When David’s time to die drew near, he charged Solomon his son, saying, 2 “I am about to go the way of all the earth. Be strong (DS: strength), and show yourself a man (DS: basically, TO BE a man), 3 and keep the charge of the Lord your God, walking in his ways and keeping his statutes, his commandments, his ordinances, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn; (DS: assertive and proactive about the ways of God) 4 that the Lord may establish his word which he spoke concerning me, saying, ‘If your sons take heed to their way, to walk before me in faithfulness with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail you a man on the throne of Israel.’
1 Corinthians 13:4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 [b]bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails; but if there are gifts of [c]prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part; 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. 11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I [d]became a man, I did away with childish things. (DS: maturity in love) 12 For now we see in a mirror [e]dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. 13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the [f]greatest of these is love.
Genesis 2:24 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother (DS: become independent), and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.
1 Timothy 5:8 But if anyone does not provide for his own (DS: provider), and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
So we know the Bible talks whether explicitly or implicitly that masculinity does involve being:
- BEING a man (or otherwise, be of your nature)
- Assertive and proactive, especially for the laws of God
- Maturing, especially in love
- Independent — some men leave their father and mother and never marry.
- Provider, if married to household, if not at least to himself
Aside from the commands of the husbands in the Scriptures which are:
- Don’t withhold sex (1 Corinthians 7)
- Be the head (Eph 5)
- Love wife as Christ loved the Church and as his own body (Eph 5)
- Live with in an understanding way with the weaker vessel and show her honor as a co-heir in Christ (1 Pet 3)
These are important to know because they will help men understand what becoming men is in the context of God. Hence, knowing these and developing these as a Christian man will be all important just as Jesus grew.
Luke 2:52 And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
Note that the context of this is Jesus questioning the Scribes in the temple and then obeying His parents. Being in submission where submission is required is important. We do not just want to grow in favor with God but with God and men.
Other thoughts on masculinity as a whole and with women
As Vox was going through his “Gamma” series I had the distinct impression that being “gamma” basically personified men who hadn’t become “men” in one context or another.
Gammas are passive aggressive, care about “winning” more than “relationships”, have a very difficult time with self critique, have a very hard time with taking criticism, and similar things. Most of us can obviously say that these are simply hallmarks of an immature man. It should be no surprise that such a man will have little success with women.
Along these lines, Vox’s socio-sexual hierarchy has become one of the main posts of the manosphere for describing various tiers of men according to their sexual success:
Thus, it has become my increasing impression that the sociosexual hierarchy is simply a component of how men use their masculinity around women. Masculinity takes into account the heart and what comes out of it. The “heart” of a man being composed of his biological nature, thoughts, and feelings. And out of the nature, thoughts, and feelings become behavior. As Jesus said it is what comes out of the heart that makes things unclean, and by similar analogy it is out of the heart which makes a man masculine or not.In this context, “game” is simply aping masculine behaviors because masculinity was not passed on from father to son post destruction of the family from no-fault divorce and incentivizing divorce by awarding cash and prizes to women who followed through. Specifically, “game” is a specialized subset about aping masculine behavior in the context of masculined women.This is why I think “game” in particular as it exists is simply a caricature of masculinity. It is specifically aimed at women and not developing a man as a whole, and it is aimed at generating sexual attraction from masculined women. Masculinty, of course, can be learned outside of these contexts. You can see the reddit TRP men realizing over the past year that there is more to being a man than women even though they act immorally.Regardless of that tangent, it is important to realize that a man’s ability to attract women TENDS to be a decent indicator of his masculinity since very few men have been taught how to be masculine by their fathers. Hence, “gammas” now are “full gammas” in that was as far as they developed without masculine father figures or mentorship. Their masculinity it characterized by the same strength, maturity, independence, etc deficits as their ability with women.It is becoming increasingly rare for men growing up in their teens, 20s, and 30s to be successful as a man in life without being successful with women. It’s the same concept as Jesus states in the parable of the talents: Matthew 25:29 “For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away.”However, there are rare exceptions, especially in the technology fields where business success simply may not correlate with success with women. In these instances, we have men who despite being succesful in business, either believe the lies of the culture about how women like nice men or simply think acting masculine around women is wrong for whatever reason. Hence, they fail in relationships because they withdraw their masculinity around women either due to fear or other factors.Hence, strength, maturity, and the like are two way streets both in your life and in interactions with women if you’re interested in getting married.
Some questions for readers
1. So, aside from these traits, are there any other Biblical traits that you can think of that should be fundamentally taught to men to be masculine? I think I pulled out most if not all of the verses that speak specifically to men. There’s lots of other verses but they apply to both men and women which isn’t as unique. Remember, the problem is men need to be more masculine.
2. Which are innate? Which are taught?
3. Also, we need to “define” what these traits are. For example, what does being “strong” even mean? For the most part, it seems like it’s pretty obvious. Strength in a man moves beyond just physical strength to mental strength. To be firm in what he believes (has boundaries) and is willing to enforce them in any situation. Boundaries should be aligned to the Word.
4. How do we begin to start to teach these to men?
5. How do you teach masculinity in terms of being a man for all things versus in the context of women? For most men from what I’ve experienced and talked to men about their experiences is that growing in masculinity seems to be natural with guidance, but that with women it seems to be a “special case” that is more difficult even with guidance.
I think that if we nail down masculinity as it is Biblically along with other non-Scriptural truth we will have a much easier time teaching and mentoring men.