A 21st Century Pocket Guide to Manhood
A New Look at Masculinity
What if everything you’ve learned about manhood was a farce, debacle, and a lie? As many have witnessed, what if manhood isn’t fast horses and split second draws - “the man who can fight is the man who is right”? To our would-be relief, what if it isn’t the confusingly popular “Family Guy”, the stereotypical noose that hangs every father figure. What if manhood isn’t even the clean, 1950’s provider, Ward Cleaver, who generally has a good perspective on life, but carries a look of confusion as he seeks to fit into his fatherly role in his daily estranged home.
A new era is forming in the younger generations of the 21st century. An era of new perspectives, people seeking for better vision. Sadly, many are looking forward without any knowledge of the past, while others are letting the recent past depict an ill-fated future.
Taking a new perspective on manhood, we will visit the stereotypes many have followed, as well as the teachings we’ve absorbed… then, we’ll take on a refreshed perspective, keeping what is good and throwing out the bad.
Feminism started with Eve usurping God’s instructions to not eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. In turn, subsequently taking the lead from Adam by pressuring him to eat of the same Tree, thereby landing us in this mess we call sin. She wasn’t completely to blame, it was also the serpent’s fault and Adam’s, yet, it was Eve’s coercion towards Adam that began the downward spiral. Her punishment? Her desire would forever be to her husband, and he (Adam) would have rule over her (Gen. 3:16).
Fast-forward to the feminist movement of today. By the 1920’s, women had claimed a voice in the morality of American politics, becoming an even stronger driving voice through the Prohibition era. By the 1930’s, woman had gained substantial societal freedoms while film makers had begun flaunting the freedoms, choices, and sensuality of women on screen. The 1940’s rolled in and World War II delivered eleven percent of the United States population, which comprised of 99.98% men, away from their homes, forcing women to take hard labor jobs and fill in the gaps of fatherhood the best they could.
With the modern conveniences of technology making life easier at home and with jobs opening up to the female labor force, the 1950’s began awakening to equal rights. Largely influenced by Simone de Beauvoir’s writing, The Second Sex, popular culture took notice in agenda driven dramas such as Make Room for Daddy, a hot tempered dictator of a father, the Donna Reed Show, a superiorly competent housewife who kept her husband’s leadership in check, as well as the Honeymooners, two bumbling husbands who rarely gained the appreciation of their wives.
By the 1960’s, the stage had been set. Betty Friedan’s book, The Feminine Mystique, was the match in the sage brush. The “Second Wave” was in full swing and everything feminine began resembling oppression. Abortion rights were demanded, while demonstrations consisted of bra burnings and protests of the Miss America Pageant. What resulted since the 1960’s has been the death of over 62 million inconvenient babies since the Roe vs Wade legalization of 1973, the dereliction of anything viewed as sexist male, and the speed gathering steam roller of popular social perspective against God given masculinity.
While the modernized phrase, “Toxic Masculinity”, has it’s points, the feminists and LGBTQ movements have created the phrase to undermine the God ordained social order of male leadership. While they advocate for good things such as bully-free schools, lower suicide rates, lower violent crime rates, etc, they have taken it a step further to say that any form or show of masculine traits are toxic to themselves and those around them.
The Emasculated Christian:
Somewhere in forgotten history were Christian leaders, such as the Pilgrims, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson (yes, he was a Christian), Benjamin Franklin, and many Western settlers, who founded and discovered this country. It was the Christians, such as William Wilberforce, Charles Spurgeon, and John Wesley who laid the ground work for Dr. Martin Luther King to march in protest against American Civil Injustices, losing his life to a cause well worth fighting for. Yet now, aside from a few greats, including such figures as Dr. James Dobson, Erik Metackses, and Senator Ted Cruz, we find ourselves void of Christian men who fear God and are willing to stand up for truth, life, and spiritual freedoms.
We have to wonder where the Apostolic church has gone. “The church” that was initially assembling in the Roman catacombs in risk of death now resembles pillared Greek temples, decked with ornate tapestry, floral arrangements, and cute pastel colors. Jesus and the Apostles are believed to have courageously sang a hymnal prophesying of His death, a loving and thankful hymn, yet not void of anguish, peril, and trust in the strength of God. Yet, many of today’s Christian Hymns makes a mockery out of a God’s relationship with man, making Him into nearly a lovesick mortal who is waiting desperately for the first chance to snatch our soul into a predestined and irrevocable salvation.
Our pastors have succumbed to the world, trying to “normalize” the church experience by creating a welcoming atmosphere, complete with dark room worship over soft, rose petal music. Defeatist youth pastors wear skinny jeans and hoodies, pointing to their past, present, and future, claiming they are sinners just as everyone in the church building are… claiming that, contrary to scripture, admitting defeat to Satan and putting your assurance of salvation in the trust of Christ is our only hope. They welcome the sinner, as they should, but require no change of heart in fear of appearing judgmental of the sinner’s ultimate salvation.
Lastly, the modern day, emasculated Christian makes no waves in society. He ignores the abortions, he ignores the sin of the culture, he ignores the sin that creeps into the church, and he encourages passivity… the same way Adam sinned from the very beginning.
In all honesty, we can’t blame Adam too much. I’ve heard people say that if given the chance, they would like to go back and fix Adam (and Eve’s) mistake and thwart humanity of it’s curses. This source of naivety comes from a disproportionate view of the inner soul of man, believing that we could somehow fix what was wrong with Adam… lending a tipped hat towards the belief of humanism, that theory that we are born inherently “good”.
Humanism officially began in the late 14th and 15th centuries and gladly welcomed the 19th-20th century theories of Charles Darwin. Darwin, in short, taught that we are products of stardust, organic mutations, and ever perfecting genetic codes. He taught that only the fit survive, hence animals needed to evolve in order to survive their surrounding conditions. Humanists embraced this doctrine, for it further removed our need of a Creator and gave us sole authority of our own cognizance, allowing us to be the god of our own selves.
Satan understood the power of humanism from the very beginning, baiting Eve and Adam with the prospect of becoming equal with God.
These are the roots of the emasculated man. The offer of power, accepted in the passive prospect of no accountability from God, all while handed to him by the approval of a naked and wiser woman. Sound like many modern day T.V. commercials or magazine covers? It worked for Eve, it works for modern marketing, and humanism is firmly rooted in it all.
What resulted was more than six thousand years of philosophical and practical battle for manhood and leadership between the sexes.
When we think of Jesus, our minds often refer back to our childhood cartoon Bibles depicting Christ’s life on earth or a stained glass mosaic bearing his supposed resemblance. A true Jewish male, by ethnicity, would not likely have blue eyes and by orthodoxy, couldn’t have long hair except by a Nazarene vow. In fact, Paul taught that long hair was shameful in 1 Corinthians 11:14.
We often imagine him only speaking to children, washing feet, and breaking bread. What we don’t imagine is that his ministry, as accustomed to that day, was primarily focused towards men with the expectation that women followed. Even though it was customary in the Jewish culture for the men to be the primary spiritual leaders, modern day studies show that out of two parents in a modern household, a Father rooted in faith has a much greater impact on his children.
Promise Keepers and Baptist Press conducted a study and found a staggering margin of influence when the father of a home led his family spiritually. Of their findings, if a father does not attend services, even when the mother does, only 2% of their children will become a regular worshiper in adulthood. On the flip-side, if a father does attend church regardless of the mother’s participation, between two-thirds and three-quarters of his children will remain faithful. A similar study found that a mother’s new conversion influences her household’s faith by 17% of the time, while a father’s new-found faith influences the conversion of his household 93% of the time. *1
Therefore, it stands to reason that Christ’s mission was most often focused at men and prioritized the restoration of man-to-God order. Known as the second Adam, 1 Corinthians 15 concurs:
1 Corinthians 15
21For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. 23But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits [first to raise from the dead], after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, 24then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. 25For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. 26The last enemy that will be abolished is death. 27For HE HAS PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET. But when He says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. 28When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.
John 17 further explains Christ’s desire to restore the order of worship to God that Adam revoked:
25“O righteous Father, although the world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me; 26and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”
Lastly, Ephesians 5 completes the mental imagery of divine order:
22Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.
25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. 28So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30because we are members of His body. 31FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND SHALL BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH.
In the Genesis account of Adam’s first day of mortality, his life was a whirlwind. According to chapter 1:26 through chapter 2, he was created, given the job of caretaker of the garden, was instructed about the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, named all the animals “kinds”, went through out-patient surgery, healed, and was introduced to Eve, all in the same day. If you look closely, you’ll notice that the only forbidden fruit he was commanded to not eat was the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Never once, before the fall, was Adam forbidden to partake in the Tree of Life.
How relative is Adam’s life to our own, especially in the modern American rat race? We accomplish goals, none of which are sinful, just like Adam! Even in ministry it is possible to find oneself accomplishing the Will of God and yet “missing the mark” (the Greek definition of “sin”). We can labor at the job at hand, we can handle the ministry that God has divinely given us, and we can be family men who care for and spend time with our wives… yet if we forget our objective, partaking of the Tree of Life, we will miss the mark STILL! Now, to give Adam credit, we don’t know how much time elapsed between his first day on earth and his dooming sweet-tooth, but we do know that he had enough leisure time to listen to the voice of Satan, and it’s obvious, whether he knew of it or not, that he wasn’t looking for the Tree of Life.
Searching for the Tree of Life
As Adam sinned and brought spiritual death to humanity, so Jesus died for our sins to bring spiritual life to humanity. For us to be the leaders we are meant to be, we are to seek for the Tree of Life, the element of the garden which Adam missed. Jesus made it clear in John 6:
53So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. 54“He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55“For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink.
This was a confusing statement, especially for the Jews who, for millennia, were commanded to not partake of blood. Jesus reveals how to partake of Himself later in John 14:
6Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me…
16“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; 17that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.
18“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19“After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. 20“In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. 21“He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.”
Here we see that order again mentioned. To partake of Christ is to join him in Spirit and obeying his Truths.
13Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; 14but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”… 23“But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 24“God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
Christianity and Manhood
One might ask, “This is great and all, but what does the salvation message have to do with manhood?”. Clearly, if we are to understand Ephesians’ 5:25 meaning of “love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,” the gospel has everything to do with marriage… marriage constituting approximately 3/4ths of our manhood experience. To understand true leadership, we must be Christians and be filled with God’s guiding Spirit.
“Yeah, but,” said-doubter may question, “look at our churches and look at the void of real men within them”. Exactly. Let’s look at the void and let’s find the problem.
Author David Murrow shared a modern day study, stating that modern American churches consist of 61% female and 39% male, while the population in America is 52% female and 48% male, leaving a larger than desired gender gap in the church.
I, the author, grew up in a Christian home with an excellent father figure constantly in my life. I was encouraged by my mother to read many great books on Manhood and Relationships. I grew in the knowledge of manhood until my mid-twenties until I found I was paddling upstream on a dry creekbed. What has always been a source of fascination began to become rhetorical and I searched page after page for the source of the questions which trickled down to me.
I finally found that the source in question was in the term, “servant-leadership”. Here, not only did the door of inspiring knowledge open, but the door came off the hinges. It is the misconception of servant-leadership embraced by our churches that has been a turn-off for so many men.
We often tell men that to be a servant leader, we are to wash the feet of the saints as Jesus in John 13. A picture is often illustrated as a softly robed Jesus caressing the feet of his disciples. What we don’t realize, however, is that the true depcition is one of greatness being humbled, an awe-filled reverence by which Peter was humiliated to be washed by his “Lord and Master”. Peter had seen Jesus call the Pharisees “serpents” and “vipers”, he had seen Him cleanse the temple single handedly in the face of the temple guards - not once but twice! Jesus was an authority figure both to Jews in general as well as to the disciples, such as to the point of immortality. He couldn’t be any more of an authority on any subject if his disciples considered Him to be the Messiah, the only Son of God. To bring this into focus, Jesus wasn’t repenting of his power and authoritative leadership, far be it; Jesus was giving perspective on how profound and authoritative leadership, which he prophesied over the disciples, was to be kept in check by humility and love for the church.
12So when He had washed their feet, and taken His garments and reclined at the table again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13“You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. 14“If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15“For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. 16“Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. 17“If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.
3Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. 5Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9For this reason also, God highly exalted Him,…
Philippians 2 mirrors Christ’s example, in that servant-leadership is an attitude, not a passivity or weakness. Do you think that Adam, as a servant-leader husband and someone who “treated [his] wife in an understanding way” (1 Peter 3), was right in that he followed suit and was a blessed peace-maker (Matt 5)? Absolutely not, he was punished for listening to his wife in passivity.
“Then God said to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’”.
The point I want to emphasize here is not to become a humble dictatorial leader, although a spineless leader is worse. I regard my wife’s opinion in our marriage more than my own at times. She is better at study, sales, finding good deals, and gave up a career that made more than double my weekly salary when we first got married in order to help me in the home and business. I’m not advocating dictator-like leadership, Solomon would call that foolish for not seeking wise counsel. What I am advocating is for men to take on the God-given role of manly responsibility.
The peaceable man who sacrifices morality for peace is much like Adam… spinelessly allowing the pressures of sin to take him and those under his charge into bondage.
The Facts: Testosterone and Estrogen
The initiator and the receiver.
Testosterone is the most commonly known and most powerful androgen in the body. An androgen is a group of hormones, “androgenic" in the greek meaning “ to produce (geneine) - man (andros)”. In simple terms that I can understand, testosterone is a man-making hormone. The Greek term “geniene”, ironically, is where we derive the term “Genesis” and “gene”.
As men, we are created with higher levels of testosterone, known by the feminist culture as the “aggression hormone”. What they forget, however, is that without testosterone, they would’t be alive today, nor living in a free Republic country… so, assuming they enjoy good lives, they really should be thankful for this male hormone.
The production of these androgen hormones, of which testosterone is a key player, effects everything about the male nature. Androgens influence muscle mass, bone structure, attitudes and competitive natures, genital transformation, and sperm production. Testosterone is a key factor is sexual initiation, as well as split-second decision making in spite of certain dangers.
These hormonal differences make themselves evident in the emotionally reactive ways that men defer to frustration while women defer to mourning, and where men find solutions when women simply want empathy. Androgens are what make competitive men the primary focus of the sports culture and the target market group of action films over romantic flicks.
Men, as we’ve established, are inherently initiators, problem solvers, and are more likely to “take life by the reigns”. This is why God gave the role of caretaker to Adam first, and then created Eve to be his helpmeet.
The argument begs to reveal itself, “Are you saying women are less qualified than men?” Not by design. God designed both Adam and Eve equally for their perspective roles in the garden, but it was Eve’s curse to be subjected to the leadership of the man.
First of all, why would God design someone who is unqualified for the position to help Adam? Their work roles by design are different, but God saw that Adam was incomplete without Eve. It was God’s design that they marry and become one whole unit, or “one flesh” as Genesis 3 would call it. The feminist movement, who even by the 1970’s couldn’t gain a unified mission statement and ironically still struggles with proper leadership to this day, have so vehemently defied the societal order of God that they’ve lost all reason and have gained the perspective that anything testosterone related needs to be equally shared between men and women. The feminists cannot stand the thought of being called a weaker vessel as 1 Peter 3:7 notes, and has unequivocally jumped to the conclusion that weakness means unequal.
What the feminist fails to realize is that 1 Peter 3:7 is telling husbands to honor their wives as fellow heirs of the grace of life, with the threat of unheard prayers to back it! As Eve lost her desire from her own to her husbands, it was Jesus (the second Adam) who was primarily the first Jew to restore equal rights to femininity! Judean societal culture gave the firstborn male the birthright, a greater inheritance, of the father’s estate, and in the absence of the father the firstborn was seen as the authoritative figure in the home. Christ changed that by giving women equal inheritance in God the Father’s eternal life.
You can see this shared equality in the metaphorical question which Jesus answered in Matthew 22:
23On that day some Sadducees (who say there is no resurrection) came to Jesus and questioned Him, 24asking, “Teacher, Moses said, ‘IF A MAN DIES HAVING NO CHILDREN, HIS BROTHER AS NEXT OF KIN SHALL MARRY HIS WIFE, AND RAISE UP CHILDREN FOR HIS BROTHER.’ 25“Now there were seven brothers with us; and the first married and died, and having no children left his wife to his brother; 26so also the second, and the third, down to the seventh. 27“Last of all, the woman died. 28“In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all had married her.”
29But Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God. 30“For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.
What is foundational though, is that in our new roles of the fallen Adam and Eve, Christ does give us an order of authority in our homes in which to abide, until we once again partake of an even better Garden of Eden- that being eternal life.
Misconceptions and false beliefs have crept into the masculine hemisphere. To lead is to step on women’s toes. To open a door out of respect is to impart devaluation for the woman. To help a lady with heavy or hard to reach objects is to contradict Irena Dunn who said that “ a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle”. To ask for sex automatically associates men with the sex-hungry canine sniffing out his next victim of impregnation that results in unwanted life.
What has resulted is the confusion of where men stand in society. Men are fighting a disorganized enemy called the Feminist movement. This disorganization has left some women desiring gentlemen with shared equality, some women desiring remodeled men to become their girlfriends for life, and some of the more masculine women desiring no part of anything a man has to offer. On a good day, a feminist woman will desire the man to lead, but will belittle, demean, and criticize his performance to the point of him quitting before he succeeds. What has resulted is men giving up leadership entirely. Men are scared to initiate spiritual leadership, they’re afraid they’ll fail at the family finances, they aren’t sure how to convey masculinity to their sons, they are intimidated to ask for sex, and they pander to every wish and whim to keep the peace.
Adam out of Order :
1 Corinthian 14: 33
“for God is not a God of confusion but of peace,…”
It is my goal in writing this to show the qualities of leadership, not begin a guide on the nuts and bolts of being a son, husband, father, grandfather etc. People such as Dr. James Dobson have spent lifetimes writing such books, and I need not write another.
However, there are areas to be addressed within the family unit that a man needs to recalibrate his thinking on leadership.
“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you.”
All growing up, I understood this to mean that one would live a long life if he honored his father and mother. While the Ephesians 6 gives credit to this, my understanding missed the depths of this Old Testament command, as it was first intended for the Jews in their Exodus journey from Egypt to the Holy Land. Moses pointed out that if children follow the teachings and traditions of their elders, they would retain their morality as a social whole and not be exiled, as they ultimately experienced.
“Remember the law of Moses My servant, even the statutes and ordinances which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel. “Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD. “He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.”
In Paul’s letter to Timothy, he exhorts him to rely on and gain courage by his spiritual heritage.
2 Timothy 1:
2To Timothy, my beloved son: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 3I thank God, whom I serve with a clear conscience the way my forefathers did, as I constantly remember you in my prayers night and day, 4longing to see you, even as I recall your tears, so that I may be filled with joy. 5For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well. 6For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.
While we must hold to the safeguards of tradition taught by our parents or elders, we must not assume their salvation, however. Holding to the traditions of wicked or misaligned elders only digs one’s grave deeper, so we must examine our elders faith, hold to what is safe, and dismiss what is wrong.
2 Corinthians 13:5
"Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves!”
Since the beginning, man were designed to honor the statutes and traditions of his fathers, but was also given full authority and autonomy over his own social nuclei upon marriage and the procreation of his family. The honor bestowed to a groom’s father never fully regresses, as we see the social order of modern orthodox Jews still retains that the eldest living father of a multigenerational family tree retains some leadership oversight until his death.
Exodus 19: 4-8
“So Jehoshaphat lived in Jerusalem and went out again among the people from Beersheba to the hill country of Ephraim and brought them back to the LORD, the God of their fathers.
… In Jerusalem also Jehoshaphat appointed some of the Levites and priests, and some of the heads of the fathers’ households of Israel, for the judgment of the LORD and to judge disputes among the inhabitants of Jerusalem”
However, we are also called as men to marry and lead independent families.
“For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.”
As the finger points to Adam’s failed leadership, it is the husband’s role to take his training and apply his leadership, goals, and morals for the betterment of his wife and family. In the culture we live in today, many men only embrace leadership when it’s permissible by their wives. Sadly, this partly derives from a lack of fatherly involvement in their sons’ lives and the voided experience of full masculinity. In the fathers’ steads, manhood’s lack of leadership comes from the mother-hen tendency of mothers, where young men are patted on the head for their good behavior but not encouraged to explore leadership at a young age by their natural design. This has become a generational reoccurrence to the point that women now take on a mixture of feminism and the mother-hen attitude, patting their husband on the heads when they behave properly, and not allowing him to explore masculine leadership.
We see this in all shapes of a married couples lives, from which church they choose to attend, to the upbringing of their kids, right down to where they want to eat dinner on date nights.
Man: “Where do you want to eat dinner tonight?”
Wife: “I don’t care you pick.”
Man: “What about Burger-Attack?”
Wife: “No, it’s too greasy and too expensive.”
Man: “Well, what about Pizza-Giant?”
Wife: “No, that doesn’t sound good tonight… you pick, though.”
This is the preverbal source of anguish and humor in a common, American marriage. It is also an initiation killer for the man who feels that every decision has to be drawn out into an hour long discussion. However, a manly leader approaches taking his wife out for a break from the mundane in a different manner.
Manly-man: “Hey, honey! I’m taking you out dinner tonight at 6 o’clock. Looking forward to spending some romantic alone time with you! I’m picking the place, all you have to do is get ready!”
Done deal. It may take the wife some getting used to, but deep down a true woman appreciates the initiation of leadership. While this takes a more alpha approach to decision making, it alleviates the wife from unnecessary decisions of which she, nor Eve, was created to have to make. A true man, however, yields to consider his wife’s input if she so volunteers… if the food at Burger-Attack makes her nauseous, he’s not “providing for his own” very well by demanding they eat there.
In essence, a manly leader with an attitude of humility takes all the unnecessary and unwanted decisions from his wife’s schedule. This relieves his wife and instills leadership in his masculinity.
On more important topics, such as faith or finances, the husband scopes out their options, makes a rough draft of what he considers to be the family’s best options, and then “invites” his wife’s opinion. The President of the United States picks his cabinet members and invites their counsel, however, those cabinet members do not share the burden of responsibility with the President. So, too, the manly-leader invites and profits from the counsel of his wife, but in the end, the final decisions are up to him. This allows the wife to feel valued and secure, but still not bear a burden that was designed for Adam.
As the author, John Eldridge, once pointed out, Adam was commissioned with his goals and decisions before Eve arrived. Once she did arrive, he didn’t begin wringing his hands, worried and feeling helpless, asking her what he should do next on his agenda.
In all honesty, Eve wouldn’t have been attracted to that kind of an Adam. Eve was attracted to a man who had a relationship with God, knew his goals, had a dependable job, was rather knowledgable in horticulture, and was the world’s foremost authority on binomial nomenclature. He was already headed somewhere… she didn’t have to pressure or nag him to go or do anything. She liked that and wanted to fulfill her designed role of helping and fulfilling him in his role, not dictating. In fact, the first time she nagged Adam… the whole world fell apart.
By witness of tradition, the writings of Solomon, and the continued patriarchal concepts still practiced by many Arabs, it is found that a mother raised her child in ancient Jewish history before the father stepped in to teach them weightier matters of spiritual aspects, exampled manhood, protected his daughters, and oversaw his children’s marriages.
Before we give a sigh of relief to not have to change the 100th dirty diaper, let it also be stated that a newborn can differentiate between the father and mother by 8 weeks, as well as determine the caring mannerisms between the two. Therefore, as a father feels a lack of connection with an immobile, uncontainable baby, he must realize that his relationship with his child begins at this early age and will partly set the course of their relationship early on.
The discussion could also arise as to how early should a father should step in and start guiding a child spiritually, following Deuteronomy 6:
1“Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the judgments which the LORD your God has commanded me to teach you, that you might do them in the land where you are going over to possess it, 2so that you and your son and your grandson might fear the LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged. …
4“Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! 5“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6“These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. 7“You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. 8“You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. 9“You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates…. otherwise the anger of the LORD your God will be kindled against you, and He will wipe you off the face of the earth.
Dr. Dobson, an expert on child psychiatry, a leading expert in Judeo-Christian social values in America, as well as a spiritual advisor to President Reagan, both Bush’s, and President Trump, explains that a small boy begins his separation from his mother’s crib and begins following the path to manhood by the age of three, provided he has a father figure to pattern from.
Dr. Dobson also sites Dr. Bronfenbrenner, in a 2017 article for fathers entitled, “Be There”.
According to Dr. Bronfenbrenner, this rat race is particularly incompatible with fatherly responsibilities, as illustrated by a recent investigation which yielded startling results. A team of researchers wanted to learn how much time middle-class fathers spend playing and interacting with their small children. First, they asked a group of fathers to estimate the time spent with their one-year-old youngsters each day, and received an average reply of fifteen to twenty minutes. To verify these claims, the investigators attached microphones to the shirts of small children for the purpose of recording actual parental verbalization. The results of this study are shocking: The average amount of time spent by these middle-class fathers with their small children was thirty-seven seconds per day! Their direct interaction was limited to 2.7 encounters daily, lasting ten to fifteen seconds each! That, so it seems, represents the contribution of fatherhood for millions of America's children.
Let's compare the thirty-seven-second interchanges between fathers and small children with another statistic. The average preschool child watches between 30 and 50 hours of television per week (the figures vary from one study to another). What an incredible picture is painted by those two statistics. During the formative years of life, when children are so vulnerable to their experiences, they're receiving thirty-seven seconds a day from their fathers and thirty or more hours a week from commercial television! Need we ask where our kids are getting their values?
Someone observed, "Values are not taught to our children; they are caught by them." It is true.
In light of the horrifying statistics and regarding the question we posed earlier, “How early should a father step in and start guiding a child spiritually?”, the answer is clear! As soon as morality is contagious to a child, whether good or bad behavior, a father’s role is imperative to the child’s moral compass.
Hitler is know for saying, “Give me a child when he’s 7 and he’s mine forever.” St. Ignatiues of Loyala, the founder of the Jesuits said, is believed to have said “Give me the child for seven years, and I will give you the man”.
This is the stark comparison, one a father a should consider wisely. There are many conventional and unconventional schooling options out there, and it is the role of the father to guide his children’s education… to be clear, 37 seconds per day won’t cut it.
1 Timothy 5:8
“But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
For most men, this is the easiest concept of manhood to embrace. Unfortunately, however, what we do has become our identity. For men retiring from the workforce, they feel a loss of “who” they are because they have so long associated themselves with their own business success.
While Paul commands us to provide for our families, James checks to what extremes we prepare:
13Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” 14Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. 15Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.”
What James is trying to convey is that our lives are just vapors, and our successes don’t matter in the grand scheme of eternity. An eternally minded man doesn’t build wealth on earth for wealth’s sake, for that is the distraction for which Jesus referred to in Matthew chapter 6.
19“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20“But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
22“The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. 23“But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
24“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.
25“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26“Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27“And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? 28“And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30“But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! 31“Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32“For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
34“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
To take 1 Timothy purposely out of context, it could be argued that a man who provides well for his family financially, yet fails to meet their spiritual, social, discipline, or emotional needs could also qualify as worse than an unbeliever. There are hard working men who struggle to make ends meet, but are known as excellent fathers and leaders.
Men, Porn, and Sex:
Why would chastity be so critical to the conversation of leadership? The answer is this: If a man is taught that he should overcome something he was not designed to win, he will give up trying. As difficult as it is to write, we must discuss men’s relation to masturbation, porn, and sex.
It is believed that the “church” did not teach against masturbation until the 4th or 5th century (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_views_on_masturbation). However, it was Clement of Alexandria, who died early in the third century, who made one of the first remarks on the subject.
“Because of its divine institution for the propagation of man, the seed is not to be vainly ejaculated, nor is it to be damaged, nor is it to be wasted.”
What we must also take into consideration is that this was during the cultivating era of what would formally become the Catholic Church, proven by the reverence from today’s Catholic Church for Clement of Alexandria.
It was during this same time period that Origen stepped over his authority, claiming that the serpent seduced Eve sexually, concluding that all things sexual are indisputably wrong. St. Augustine taught that celibacy within marriage created a holier marriage, while developed and modern Catholicism embraces an anti-biblical teaching that Christ’s mother, Mary, remained a virgin within her marriage to Joseph (leaving much explaining to do about the scriptural references of Christ’s siblings). The prevailing view then has been handed down by generations from the Catholic Church, implying that any sort of sexual involvements are for the weak, and that anything sexual is branded as unholy.
Besides the extra-biblical rules imposed by the Catholic Church, there are few theological arguments that claim to hold merit. Onan is of primary concern in Genesis 38. It is a skewed misinterpretation that he was punished by God for spilling his seed on the ground, rather than refusing to dutifully give offspring to his sister-in-law in his deceased brother’s stead. While the chastity argument holds that his punishment was for masturbation, a deeper look into Genesis 38 reveals that God was upset for him disobeying his duty as a brother-in-law.
A second argument arises, using the statement that “he wasted his seed on the ground in order not to give offspring to his brother.” This view holds a pre-scientific myth that life comes from sperm, not the conjugation of sperm and egg. If this were so, night-time emissions of sperm which both boys and men have in their sleep would be considered accidental murder. Clearly invalid.
During the Victorian era, it was largely believed that masturbation caused blindness, was immoral, and a multitude of psychiatric disorders and diseases. All efforts to stop masturbation were used:
Since masturbation was thought to be so dangerous, many “cures” were developed to eliminate its practice. Men of the time were encouraged to wear straightjacket pajamas or erection alerts to discourage handling of the penis… Others wore a spermatorrhea ring. Available from the Sears catalogue, these rings fit along the base of the penis with spikes on its inner lining to prevent erection. As a last resort, some chronic masturbators [were punished in gruesome ways]. In the nineteenth century, John Kellogg invented cornflakes as one part of a diet that he felt would lessen the sex drive and diminish the practice of masturbation, which he called a "crime doubly abominable.”
James Dobson cited a study in an article concerning masturbation. He writes, “Despite terrifying warnings given to young people historically, it does not cause blindness, weakness, mental retardation, or any other physical problem. If it did, the entire male population and about half of females would be blind, weak, simpleminded, and sick. Between 95 and 98 percent of all boys engage in this practice — and the rest have been known to lie. It is as close to being a universal behavior as is likely to occur. A lesser but still significant percentage of girls also engage in what was once called “self-gratification.”
Therefore, the question prevails - without sound theological basis, and with past generations clearly trying and failing by absurd and sometimes cruel methods to stop masturbation and stifle the morning boner, why do we still consider masturbation as a sin?
Satan, is a mastermind. He is the author of calling evil good, and good evil (Isaiah 5:20). He has effectively underwritten the law of Moses that seemingly advocates masturbation aside from normal conjugal laws.
16‘Now if a man has a seminal emission, he shall bathe all his body in water and be unclean until evening. 17‘As for any garment or any leather on which there is seminal emission, it shall be washed with water and be unclean until evening. 18‘If a man lies with a woman so that there is a seminal emission, they shall both bathe in water and be unclean until evening.
The word, “man”, here is ambiguous. It is understood in Hebrew as “ish”, which can mean anything from “man-child” to “soldier” to “husband”. It is predominately understood as a married man, however, that doesn’t prove much since just about any male of virility age since Jewish custom was to marry young, at times to the extreme early teen years, and a man was regarded as rebellious if not married by age 20. The point, however, is not whether it was a married man or single, the point is that “seminal emissions” are rarely mentioned in the Bible, and in this case, embraced equally with sexual relations with a wife… obviously, God favored procreation with Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, etc, therefore it is safe to assume masturbation would also be favored.
Boy, You Can’t Win
For Satan to twist the story of Onan, and to institute sterile lifestyles via the Catholic Church into Christendom, he has undermined Biblical leadership among men. He is sniper shooting the offensive as they exit the gate one by one. Let me explain.
In Jewish orthodoxy, when young men achieved the age of 13, they were expected to be responsible for themselves in keeping the commandments of God. Likewise, the young men of our age are beginning to take on the responsibilities of manhood while being told they are losing their first battle - the unvalidated and theologically ignored battle of masturbation. Their second battle theologically valid, but almost as hard, being the battle of the lustful eye. In an era of predominant promiscuity, this too feels like a hopeless battle. With no moral difference taught between the two, by the age of thirteen, the modern boy feels trapped, feels they have failed, and holds little hope for achieving any kind of spiritual victories.
Scientifically, self-chastity is a losing battle as well. Studies show that extended abstinence actually increases testosterone levels. Higher testosterone levels create conditions in the body apt to fast cognitive arousal of images and sensuality. However, the transverse is also believed to be true in that prolactin, a sexual arousal suppressant, immediately follows ejaculation. What results then is that we’ve deemed the antidote sinful and increased a boys anguish in a promiscuous situation.
What we, as Christians, are asking of our boys is to build up virility via chastity, be exposed to premarital sexual temptations or fantasies (sometimes unavoidable even by the most guarded parent), and lie in their beds in sleepless anguish with no rescue or antidote. The antidote to sexual arousal is ejaculatory release - as any married man will tell you in a sexual relationship. If a husband gets turned on by his wife, he has the option to masturbate (which ironically is unofficially condoned by the church if consented to by the wife) or have sex with his wife. Once prolactin has taken charge of his brain, he quickly declines from arousal into a deep slumber.
Masturbation, one might say, is directly linked to sexual fantasy. It can be, but so can immoral fantasies be a part of a marital relationship. Boys have a choice, 1. lie in their beds fighting sexual thoughts for long nights while their testosterone runs rampant and their arousal climbs to the point of no return. Or, 2. Deal with the image, put it behind them, afterwards ejaculate, and let prolactin kill their desire and put them to sleep. The image has to be dealt with in either situation.
Let’s look at how to deal with sexual imagery/stimulation.
How to Protect Our Eyes
27“You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY’; 28but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Lust in the sexual sense: Greek 1937
“properly, to show focused passion as it aptly builds on("upon") what a person truly yearns for”
Modern day Christendom has coined the phrase, “bouncing of the eyes”, in an effort to help men deal with our intensifying promiscuous culture. It is an effective way to enter a group of people, look around, but not allow oneself to “focus passionately”/lust after anyone. With practice, “bouncing the eyes” becomes a “knee-jerk” reaction when out in public. The faster a man bounces his eyes off of something, the less likely the image will stick in his mind.
Studies show that porn addicts’ brains show interesting similarities with those of alcoholics. If an alcoholic is shown a photo of an adult beverage, part of this brain “lights up” in an MRI. The same goes with a porn user who is shown a pornographic image. The second similarity is both the alcoholic and the porn user have a lower will-power and will most likely cave to the temptation the deeper they go into their addiction.
Deal With the Image:
Step 1: Bounce your eyes and move on. Don’t let the image sink in.
Step 2: If the image is burned in your mind, make a mental note that the image is just like any other, pray for God’s strength, remember that you aren’t a dog who can be tantalized with impossible, air-brush photographic meat, remind yourself that you’re obeying Christ’s command to not commit adultery with your eyes, resolve to saving your eyes for your wife, and find focus on your next priority in life.
No matter what, a man must keep in mind that every action he performs and every image he views, is being observed by his Creator. Don’t let testosterone build and fantasize an image. If you are unmarried, push the image or thought out of your mind, and then afterwards masturbate to release any tensions and allow prolactin to remove your desire for the image. Many would argue that this encourages pornography, while it is directly opposite. Evidence is leaning in favor of the health benefits of masturbation, such as better immune systems, better sleep, less anxiety, etc, while similar evidence agrees that pornography use can derail neural wiring, sexual stimulative problems, marital commitment, and addiction. With practice, masturbation without fantasizing will become a reality. *zmescience.com/science/your-brain-on-masturbation-042333/amp/
If you are married, have a go-to image of your wife on your phone or hidden in your wallet, and as soon as possible, turn your sexual focus towards your wife. Let her enjoy the benefits of your sexuality, putting all adulterous temptations behind you as you enjoy your sexual relationship God has gifted you through her.
From the dawn of time, or rather, several days thereafter, men have been struggling to find their place in life. When God ordered the steps of Adam, he was content with his role in life, walking so innocently that he was able to walk in the Garden of Eden with our God, Yahweh, himself. It wasn’t until the distractions of life, such as women, power, and possession of what he was forbidden to take, that he fell out of the graces of God.
The roots of all sin feed upon three sources of malnutrition, “the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life”. - 1 John 2:16
Again, the purpose of writing this was not to give a single-argument knock out delivery of the definition of manhood; instead, the Lord urged me to write this for guys that needed a quick correction course in the general direction he should be looking towards in life. I studied manhood for my entire teenage years up into my twenties, and it wasn’t until my vision was opened in 2020 that I finally saw the last missing link when listening to an interview with author David Murrow… we must serve like Christ served via Submission, Strength, and Sacrifice.
We can see three general principles in the second Adam’s, being Christ, walk here on earth. He began in submission to the wills of his parents and, principally, His heavenly Father, then graduated to strength in his ministry as a Teacher, Rabbi, Lord, Savior, and Father (Isaiah 9:6). As we must all assume at some point in our lives, we must lay down our lives as He did, literally or metaphorically, for our brothers, loved ones, and sometimes strangers.
One cannot lead without experiencing the difficulties and humility of following someone else (Matt 23:12). One cannot lead until he realizes that without God, we can do nothing eternally good for humanity or his Kingdom (John 15:5). One cannot truly sacrifice, without fully understanding Christ’s sacrifice for the Church (Eph 5:25).
The pitfalls of the first Adam are our automatic destiny. The salvation of the second Adam is our choice and rescue.
“Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am, you will die in your sins.” - Christ, John 8:24
“The one who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and the one who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will reveal Myself to him.” John 14:21
“However, you are not in the flesh (as first Adam), but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Sprite of Christ (second Adam), he does not belong to Him.” Romans 8:9
“ [Paul] said to them, ‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?’ And they said to him, ‘On the contrary, we have not even heard if there is a Holy Spirit.’ And he said, ‘Into what then were you baptized?’ And they said, ‘Into John’s baptism.’ Paul said, ‘John baptized with a baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus.’ When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them and they began speaking with tongues…” Acts 19
“God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship I spirit and truth.” John 4:24
“ [Jesus] said to him, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless someone is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.’
Nicodemus said to Him, 'How can a person be born when he is old?’… Jesus answered, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless someone is born of water (baptism) and the Spirit (infilled like Acts 19), he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which has been born of flesh is flesh (first Adam), and that which has been born of the Spirit is spirit (second Adam).” John 3
As stated in Ecclesiasted 12:13, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter; Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”
We as men can theorize, speculate, and assume ourselves into doctrines that were never intended for us as Christians. What we can do, however, is learn from the mistakes of the first Adam, find the unadulterated and original salvation in the second Adam, and live a life of success by the internal guidance of Christ’s Holy Spirit once we receive it.