How You Can Inspire Godly Masculinity
It seems to me that nearly every young woman with a pulse today is probably wondering if warrior-poet men really exist, or even can exist. Are William Wallace types to be expected only once every seven hundred years like one of those quixotic solar eclipses? Or is it possible that the recipe for “majestic man-ness” could make a comeback in this generation?
Unfortunately, most girls today believe in warrior-poets as much as they believe Santa Claus can touch his tongue to his belly button. It seems most young women I encounter are more likely to believe in the “one-extraordinary-man-every-seven-hundred-years” theory.
Young men in my generation have been shaped by a pattern of manhood that is warped and perverted. It’s no wonder that men today are so often referred to as jerks – the foundation of their manly behavior is self-serving and self-gratifying Being a man, I am very well acquainted with the perversion process. It is very insipid and subtle. You see, we as young men desire to be “normal,” so whatever our culture defines as “normal” behavior very quickly becomes our manly pursuit.
It would be misleading to say to you, a young woman, that men don’t naturally have a weakness in the areas of lust, pride, and self-serving tendencies. But sadly, this “weakness” has become an expectation. A young child may have a natural inclination to steal cookies from the cookie jar, but a good parent does not say, “kids will be kids” and neglect to correct the child and expect right behavior out of them from that day forward.
Men need someone to believe in them. They need someone to tell them that they can rise above this horrendous mediocrity. They desperately need someone to tell them that they can have a lot more than “one thing” on their minds. And they need someone to raise the expectations of their manhood. Believe it or not, we as men need you, as young women, to help us find our way out of this spiritual gutter of cultural “normalcy.”
In my years of marriage, I have found that I am inspired in my pursuit of manhood more by my wife than any other force in my life, save the work of the Spirit of God within me. I do not think I would be stretching it to say that my wife’s vision of manhood for me is as important as the vision of manhood I have for myself. I often like to say, “The words of my princess make me a prince.” It is because she has vision for me to be more than a burping and scratching male with only “one thing” on my mind, that she enables me to become so much more. She has a vision to see me built into a world-changer, a man among males, a picture of her heavenly Bridegroom, Prince, and Lover – Jesus Christ. She believes in what manhood can be, she honors the way I am uniquely crafted, she understands masculinity through God’s perspective, and she expects me to pursue nothing short of “total and complete man-ness.” Her expectations are my inspirations.
You can have the same kind of impact on the men in your life, whether you are married or single. Here are some practical ways you can start today:
Practice making princes out of the men in your life. Start with your dad and brothers. If you can learn how to be a prince-maker in your relationship with them, you will be amazing in your potential future relationship with your groom. Go out of your way to mention that you notice the things they have done well (i.e. mowed the lawn, barbecued some burgers, painted the kitchen, or swished a free-throw), or the times you see them modeling a picture of manhood that you respect (being helpful, courageous, sensitive, or humble). It is the words of our princesses that make us princes. We need to hear from you.
Challenge men to a higher standard. When opportunity arises, verbally proclaim a higher level of expectancy to the men in your life. Here are a few examples of what it could look like:
If they burp or do anything else in the “gross” family, say, very sweetly, something like, “I’ve heard that burping is considered very attractive to the bearded one-eyed yak-worshipping women of Hanalei, but unfortunately, most other girls do not find it very charming!”
If they hesitate to help someone in need, comment (again, very sweetly) something akin to, “This job demands a man with great strength and massive biceps,” then look his way and, with a tilt of your head and adding a sighing lilt to your voice, say, “Here is the man of bulging bicep that will surely save the day!”
If they refer to womanhood in a derogatory fashion, be quick to gently add, “I’ve heard that the men who speak highly of femininity are the ones who end up with the most beautiful wives.”
If they attempt to pressure you to sacrifice your sacred innocence, quickly leave them in the dust, and in your parting say something like, “You have the potential to be a great man. And when you are, you will be a protector, rather than a conqueror, of a woman’s innocence.”
Over time, as you gain even more of a vision for what a young man can become, you will develop your own little ways to draw “majestic man-ness” out of the males in your life.
Ponder the manhood of Christ. In the Bible, read both Song of Solomon and Revelation. Reading those two books together, with the sole intention of seeing a picture of Christ-like manhood, is super impacting. Song of Solomon portrays Christ as a poet, a gentle encourager, and a servant-lover. Job 29 offers an incredible picture of the warrior and poet side of manhood combined into one powerful, world-altering package. Revelation provides a view of Christ as a conqueror, hero, Warrior of warriors, and King of kings. As a young woman, acquaint yourself with the ultimate Warrior-Poet, Jesus Christ, and then you will know better what manhood is supposed to look like.
Become a student of manhood. If you make the study of manhood a lifetime research project, you will in the process become an amazing young woman. Start up a journal for yourself, entitled something original like, “My Study of Manhood.” In it, write all your thoughts, observations, and discoveries about manhood. Ask God to begin to teach you how to appreciate manhood and see it the way He does. A woman who appreciates manhood is an instrument God will use to shape manhood. I personally keep a journal about womanhood. I know that sounds strange, but it’s true. I began it over a year ago so I could better serve my wife and draw her out as a woman. In the process, I have gained incredible insight into God’s heart for womanhood, which makes me want to cheer you (a young woman) on to discover all that God has for you. This is one of the most practical things you could possibly do to prepare yourself for a potential marriage someday, and even to deepen it if you are already married.
Manhood, in every culture, is shaped by a variety of forces. But in every culture, one of the dominant forces that determine the quality of its masculinity is the quality of its femininity. As femininity sours in a culture, men are also soured. The great tragedy of the feminist movement is that it has pigeonholed masculinity and has locked it in a “perverted” cellar, making it nearly impossible for it to escape and transform itself.
I know it is tempting at times to complain about the absence of “extraordinary” men today, but my solemn plea to you is to stop complaining and instead start working to help shape us men for tomorrow. Maybe you should consider making it one of your goals, as a young woman, that 150 years from now, “extraordinary” Christ-like man-ness will be a far more common thing thanks to the self-sacrifice of your life. As men, we would be eternally grateful.*