The Apple Of God's Eye

December 11, 2009

What Is True Masculinity?

Some rules below that define true masculine traits and attitudes:

The strength, life and health of the Church depends largely on how men fulfill their roles as spiritual leaders.

•  The success of homes and marriages depends greatly on the quality of spiritual lives.

•  God has assigned and delegated profound and sobering responsibility.

•  If Christians fail in their roles as spiritual leaders, families will suffer and so will the character of the Church.

As we shall prove, God created man first and made him to be the head.

•  Under God’s rule, he has been made responsible.

•  Whether or not he succeeds, depends on how well he discharges his calling and duty.

•  NOTE: When a marriage crumbles, first and foremost  God holds the man accountable.

How do we define the meaning of true masculinity?

•  To describe the role that God intended for man to play.

•  To outline the job, calling and duties of a “real masculine leader.”

•  To disclose the awesome responsibility God envisioned for man when He created Adam.

Let’s first look at our mixed-up world today.

•  Newspapers, magazines, TV & the movies picture men as henpecked dolts, dominated and ruled over by women.

•  They are weak in moral, mental and physical character.

•  By abdicating their roles, they have forced women into unnatural leadership positions, producing frustration, resentment and shame.

This sad state of affairs was prophesied centuries ago.

A. Isa. 3:1-3 — “For behold, the Lord…doth take away… the mighty man, and the man of war, the judge…the captain of fifty, and the honorable man….”

•  The marginal reference for “the honorable man” renders this phrase as a man eminent in countenance.

•  This phrase indicates that .there would be a lack of men commanding respect (Soncino).

•  This has occurred today.

B. Isa. 3:4-5,12 — “As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them.”

•  These verses again show men to be unqualified for true leadership or rule.

•  They are as unqualified as children to rule, and are effeminate like women. (JFB.)

•  The fact that children can exalt themselves illustrates the appalling lack of true masculine leadership.

C. Isa. 3:16-17 — “Moreover the Lord saith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes… Therefore the Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion.

•  These verses depict the state of mind of modern-day women.

•  Have they not become this way because men have relinquished their roles as leaders — a point so clearly emphasized throughout this chapter?

Clearly, in today’s world the majority of men have lost their spiritual fiber and courage and have taken on the soft, weak and effeminate characteristics of women.

A. I Cor. 6:9-10 — “Know ye not that the unrighteous… nor EFFEMINATE… shall inherit the Kingdom of God.”

B. How vital it is that men in God’s Church recapture the value and meaning of true masculinity.

Modern-day misconceptions of masculinity.

A. Before discussing the characteristics of a true masculine leader, let’s examine some false ideas and notions commonly held today.

B. What real masculinity is not:

•  A swaggering, super-confident macho type, like “The Fonz” on Happy Days.

•  A Schwarzenegger physique.

•  A strong and tough hero like Tarzan, Baretta, James Bond or Superman.

•  A suave, sophisticated playboy and modern-day swinger.

•  A crude and coarse pot-bellied drinker who swears and uses vulgar language.

•  The loud, boisterous, braggart who’s forever extolling his virtues and advertising himself.

•  One who is arrogant and fiercely competitive and feels that he must win at all costs.

•  The know-it-all who enjoys intimidating others.

•  The man who’s power hungry and who likes to control and order people around.

•  One who lays down the law and domineers, and rules his wife and children with an iron hand.

C. In general, the type who’s selfish, arrogant and vain and who likes to impress others with his knowledge, exploits and skills.

A profile of true masculinity.

A. True masculinity is playing the role that God intended.

Man was physically designed and created to be the head and leader.

•  He has broad shoulders, strong muscles, a sturdy build and is heavier.

•  He is generally taller than the woman so that she has to look up to him.

•  He is virile, rugged and robust, and was designed for action and hard work — to be the protector and provider.

•  He has a deeper voice.

•  He has coarse and hairy skin.

God gave him a masculine mentality to match his physical frame.

•  He likes a challenge.

•  He’s a planner with daring, aggressive and bold ambitions.

•  He’s a deep thinker who likes to tackle and conquer problems.

•  He enjoys rough and rugged activities that test his agility and strength.

•  In short, he is equipped both mentally and physically to be the dominate figure and to lead the woman.

By contrast, the woman was designed both physically  and mentally to assist the man.

•  She has a softer, more fragile and delicate body.

•  She is smaller in stature and in aptly described as the weaker vessel (I Peter 3:7).

•  Her natural interests (unless perverted) center around her home, family and general domestic duties.

•  She was created to be the man’s helpmeet and companion.

•  Since she was made from man, God instilled in her heart a desire to assist and please him.

Thus, the male was created, both physically and mentally, to lead the woman and be her head.

•  Gen. 2:18, 21-24 — “The woman was made for man.”

•  I Cor. 11:3, 8-9 — “Husband is head of the wife.”

The general characteristics of a masculine leader.

Is God-fearing and deeply converted.

•  His supreme desire is to walk with God and keep Him at the center of his life.

•  As he grows in God’s likeness, the natural qualities of true masculinity will emerge.

•  As he prays and studies, he will become more cognizant of his role and God-given responsibilities.

•  The negative traits of fear, shyness and inferiority will disappear.

•  Daily he should take on the masculine attributes of his elder Brother, Jesus Christ.

•  II. Cor. 3:18 — “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

Has inner strength, character and stability.

•  He is unshakeable, unmoveable and deeply grounded in the truth.

•  He will not compromise his principles, yield to temptation, or break under pressure.

•  When trials beset him, he trusts God to the end.

•  This type of leader is respected by all and is known far and wide.

Is self-assured and confident.

•  This kind of confidence comes from faith in God and from a track record of experience and success.

•  It’s a distinct manly trait that carries with it an air of authority.

•  Such a man knows where he’s going and what he wants out of life.

•  The opposite sex feel’s secure in the presence of a man with this brand of confidence

Has purpose, drive and initiative.

•  He has mapped out his life and has established clear-cut goals — he knows where he’s headed.

•  With tenacity and vigor, he pushes himself to overcome all obstacles.

•  He does not allow himself to become discouraged, distracted or defeated — “can’t” and “impossible” are not a part of his normal vocabulary.

•  His total outlook is positive and upbeat and you sense that you’re in the presence of a “winner” — a man with a destiny.

Is decisive.

•  He has learned how to concentrate and use his mind to it’s fullest capacity.

•  He cuts through trivia and gets down to essentials — he doesn’t procrastinate.

•  This kind of leader tackles a problem head-on and doesn’t succumb to frustration and despair.

•  He is alert to opportunity and new doors God may open.

•  He’s not afraid to step out in faith and take a calculated risk.

•  The ability to stand up under pressure and make life and death decisions is a distinct masculine trait.

Practices self-control.

•  He disciplines his body, controls his time and dictates to circumstances.

•  He is tough on himself and has his life totally in hand.

•  Self-discipline is a hallmark.

•  “No” is one of his most powerful command words.

•  He has a clear set of priorities and puts first things first.

Is emotionally mature.

•  He controls his temper, disciplines his moods and monitors his overall attitude.

•  He can roll with the punches and bounce back from defeat.

•  This type of leader doesn’t need the constant reassurance, acceptance or recognition of people.

•  He can receive criticism without it destroying him.

•  He doesn’t whine, feel sorry for himself or seek the sympathy of others when his purposes have been thwarted.

•  You will rarely hear him complain about his aches and pains or general health.

Is law abiding, conscientious and responsible.

•  He doesn’t try to outsmart the IRS or rip off his neighbor in a business deal.

•  He is upright, sincere and always tells the truth.

•  He’s dependable — his word is his bond.

•  Being a responsible citizen, he promptly submits to the laws of the land and pays his bills on time.

•  In all areas of human relations, he fears God and reflects sterling character.

Uses common sense and good judgment.

•  He possesses an inner sense of knowing when to speak and how to act in almost every situation.

•  Has an ability to size up a problem and cut through to the answer.

•  He is big-minded, thinks long range and is able to grasp the best course of action when making decisions.

•  Has developed a sense of insight, wisdom and sound-mindedness.

•  This is particularly true in the area of human relations — tactful, diplomatic and understanding.

Takes charge when necessary.

•  This does not mean he’s to usurp another’s authority.

•  It does mean he’s to have presence of mind in a difficult situation when an appointed leader is not present.

•  He feels a sense of responsibility guided by God’s Spirit to uphold the proper standards.

•  He keeps his cool and doesn’t fold in a crisis situation.

•  In dating he always takes the lead and demonstrates by his confident manner that he’s a protector and a haven of trust.

Maintains vigor, vitality and good health.

•  Keeps physically fit.

•  He watches his diet — avoids overeating and resists junk foods.

•  He has a regular program of exercise and gets sufficient sleep.

•  Knowing that stress destroys good health and peace of mind, he strives to maintain a positive mental attitude.

•  Masculinity does not mean developing big muscles, but it does involve maintaining good health.

Demonstrates self-respect.

•  Godly self-esteem is a trademark of true masculinity.

•  A leader must have it if he’s to win the respect of others.

•  Self-respect is a product of living a clean and wholesome life.

•  It’s a mature and inner confidence that comes from integrity and a clear conscience.

•  He displays an air of control and authority over his life and will have little trouble mastering any situation he may encounter.

•  Thus, others will look up to him and will place credence in his character.

A woman’s view of true masculinity.

A. What makes a man “masculine” to a woman?

B. What is it that makes him a leader and a “real” man?

C .What does her nature cry out for from him?

D. Listed below are some of the qualities that women look for and desire in their male counterparts.

A woman was created to want and need a leader.

•  First and foremost she wants him to be deeply converted.

•  To put God first and remind her to do likewise.

•  She wants him to be the head — to know his role and accept it.

•  To take charge because he knows he’s innately responsible for her welfare.

•  The masculine leader then is one she can trust, respect and look up to.

•  When he relinquishes his position as head, he causes her to become independent and aggressive — a role that buries her femininity and makes her miserable.

She finds certain physical qualities masculine.

•  She wants him to look like a man.

•  His hair should not be too long — a borderline haircut shows a borderline attitude.

•  His pants should not fit too tightly, nor his shirt be half unbuttoned.

•  He should have straight shoulders, a straight back, and be physically fit.

•  His voice should be lower and stronger.

•  His body movements should be distinctly masculine — not prissy, delicate or dainty.

•  He should be careful of hygiene, body odor and personal appearance.

She wants him to be tough and rugged.

•  A fragile, weak man is unappealing.

•  She is repulsed by tender hands, manicured fingernails and a frail body.

•  The kind of man she loves doesn’t mind getting grease on his hands or splinters in his fingers.

•  He can play the role of a mechanic, carpenter, handyman, etc.

•  He doesn’t shy away from hard work or difficult tasks — but tackles them head-on with confidence and gusto.

•  He’s not to be cruel and abusive, but to be master over his life and circumstances.

•  Strength — physical, mental and spiritual — should characterize his total personality.

She admires a man with confidence and inner strength.

•  A woman cannot respect a man who whines, moans and complains about his bad breaks in life.

•  He should carry himself as a man with pride — a confidence based on God, not on vanity or ego.

•  He’s a kind of man who walks with authority and purpose.

•  He’s aggressive and forceful, yet gentle and willing to listen.

•  In a woman’s eyes, inner strength is a major ingredient of masculinity.

She wants him to be responsible and protective of her.

•  To look after her safety and welfare.

•  To do little things to let her know he cares — opens the door for her, keeps her car in good repair, does the chores without being asked.

•  He gives counsel and guidance in helping her to make right decisions.

•  To take the lead in handling such problems as bill collectors, door-to-door salesman, and serious conflicts with the children.

•  This type of man is a real gentleman and shows his love and affection in a thousand little ways.

•  NOTE: In a dating situation, a God-fearing man will never try to seduce a woman or cause her to engage in a wrestling match to fight him off.  When he gets too physical, her respect for him plummets.

She wants him to lead her toward God’s Kingdom.

•  To be a tower of strength she can lean on and example she can follow.

•  She wants him to correct her in love and to encourage her to develop her full potential.

•  She needs his support in her role as wife and mother.

•  She wants him to keep her in line and not let her frustrations get out of control.

•  The kind of man she greatly respects is one who radiates the qualities of God’s Spirit, even though she may have no romantic interest in him whatsoever.

•  In the final analysis, God holds the husband responsible for the spiritual character of his home.

A brief description from a woman.

“To be a man is a role. It is a position given by God. ‘The head of every man is Christ; and the head of every woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God’ (I Cor. 11:3). This position is given by God for a purpose and a function. When a man fills this role, he becomes masculine. The more completely he fills this role, the more masculine qualities he’ll develop. If he allows a woman to dominate him (or if he is the type who would), he loses his masculinity.

“‘Your desire shall be to your husband, and he shall rule over you’ (Gen. 3:16). A woman looks for this leadership; it’s the key to what she finds masculine.

All the traits, qualities, and definitions of true masculinity create within her a desire to respond, to be led, to be the helpmeet God designed her to be.”

What, then, is true masculinity?

It is taking on the life, nature and character of God and Jesus Christ.

August 9, 2009

Jesus Christ: A Biblical Vision Of True Masculinity

What is a true man? A cowboy? A bodybuilder? Real masculinity is…  Source: ArtToday, Inc.

What is a true man? A cowboy? A bodybuilder? Real masculinity is… Source: ArtToday, Inc.

WHAT kind of God was it that died for you? Was He a ninety-seven-pound weakling? Is He the Little Lord Jesus away in the manger? Was He short and squat — a bare five feet, three?

What about the paintings of Christ — the sickly effeminate ones — are they representative of the real Jesus Christ? How about Mary’s little lamb? Does this nursery rhyme have any connection with Jesus Christ?

A Wrong Concept Image

For many of us a wrong concept of Christ began way back in kindergarten. The false concept, the wrong picture is partially the result of an “innocent” nursery rhyme, “Mary had a little lamb, his fleece was white as snow and everywhere that Mary went, that lamb was sure to go …” Why Mary’s little lamb — why not Betty’s or Johnny’s little lamb?

That “harmless” nursery rhyme was inspired by “the god of this world” (II Cor. 4:4). It subconsciously conditioned our young, pliable minds to think in terms of a little weak lamb (Christ).

In the rhyme the lamb caricature depends on, looks to, leans on its protector “Mary.” It’s just another way of presenting an image picture of the Madonna and child. Mary’s motherly, domineering image penetrates our subconscious mind without our realizing. A sissified mama’s boy, weak Christ is the result!

As children, many of us were taught to kneel and pray a memorized prayer to a make-believe, imaginative, nursery-rhyme god! “Now I lay me down to sleep … my soul to keep …” The deception, the perversion does not stop in kindergarten. As adults, we are given a ninety-seven-pound weakling god. One that is so sickly and effeminate as to be stripped of all power! Jesus Christ may be a Negro, Oriental, Latin, or if you are an Anglo-Saxon, He’s probably a blond, blue-eyed, white-skinned Christ. Whatever the nationality, He is always the tired, washed-out one — a disgrace to humanity!

What Is Jesus Christ Really Like?

What are the facts? Surely this is not the picture of the true God we are to worship! What is Jesus Christ really like? What kind of a man was this God when He walked this earth as flesh almost two thousand years ago?

We don’t have to guess about the answers — they are sure, they are plain! They are found in the Bible! The true Jesus Christ is all powerful, He lives! He is the Almighty, ever-powerful, omnipotent God who speaks with a voice so strong that mountains literally quake in His presence. His voice is as a sound of many waters, thunderous waters of a GIANT, ROARING WATERFALL (Rev. 1:15).

God speaks to us today in great power! His voice is in the lightning, the thunder and tornadoes (Ps. 29:1-11). He shakes this earth in giant earthquakes, just as a child would shake a rag doll. That God — the real Jesus Christ, came to this earth A man’s man!! The Jesus Christ of your Bible was no weakling, no mama’s boy.

Jesus Christ was born of His Father, the one who said, “Let us make man in our image …” (Gen. 1:26). A vibrant, Holy, merciful, compassionate, kind and loving Father gave His son the power of the universe, the power to tell the future before it happens (Isa. 41:22). The Father is an all-powerful, pulsating, omnipotent force of energy that is the absolute of masculinity; He bequeathed those same masculine characteristics to His Son.

Jesus Christ was perfect, the very image of His Father in Heaven. He grew up to be as strong as the land He created. As a child, He traveled by foot all the way from Egypt to Palestine, camping out under the stars — stars that He created in the beginning with His Father (John 1:1-3).

At night, on the trip from Egypt to Palestine, the boy, Jesus, scurried around hunting firewood to cook the evening meal. When Dad said, “Son, it is time for bed” — Jesus Christ rolled up in a sheepskin beside the campfire and slept the sleep of peace, the sleep of a youthful, energetic boy who was to grow to be the greatest man ever to walk this earth!

The Carpenter’s Son

The carpenter in Christ’s time was no ordinary person. There were no power saws, no precut timber. All work was accomplished by muscle and brawn, by men who were REAL MEN! Joseph taught his son the trade of carpentry. In this trade, Jesus Christ developed a physique that would have made most athletes a little jealous. He grew tall, evenly muscled, tanned by the sun and wind!

Joseph and his son arose very early in the morning while it was still dark. They prayed and studied. Then at the crack of dawn, they were off to the forest to fell the trees needed for building. Jesus Christ swung an axe day after day. His muscles rippled under His tunic as He labored in the great out-of-doors.

The timber, once felled, was worked by an adz until it became a beam. At evening, Christ hoisted the work of His hands to His shoulders and trudged the long walk home, often arriving after dark. Foundations were dug in the rocky hillside of Palestine. They picked and shoveled out the earth, removing great boulders from their obstructive position.

There were no trucks carrying premixed concrete to roll up and pour the foundation. That was the work of a stonemason, the carpenter Joseph and his son. Boards too had to be sawed from the rough beams. From forest to foundation, from rock quarry to roof, the house became a reality.

The Great Storm

One evening, after a long, hard, tiresome day, Jesus turned to Peter and the other disciples and said, “Let’s go over to the other side of the sea where we can find a little peace and quiet away from the crowd.” The idea was as a command. It appealed to the rugged adventurous men at his side.

Immediately they boarded a good-sized boat anchored nearby intending to leave the crowd behind. The pressing crowd had other ideas. They had no intentions of losing sight of this outstanding, dynamic leader, who told them of the good news of a future Kingdom under God. Quite a number rushed to board other small boats intending to follow Him to the other side.

Casting off, they went only a short distance before the sky began to darken. Thunder and lightning flashed and roared through the sky. The crowds became fearful. The small boats turned back. The wind lifted. Peter, James, John and the other men, glanced nervously overhead at the ominous, threatening sky as they hurriedly battened down the boat.
The storm continued to build. Great waves churned, threatening to capsize them. The storm had all the power of a typhoon. Waves soon spilled over, filling the boat with water until it was ready to sink.

Frightened half out of their wits, the experienced fishermen, Peter, James and John labored furiously with the other disciples to keep the boat afloat. It was hopeless! They were sinking! Where was Jesus Christ? James answered, “He’s asleep, He found a few boat cushions and curled up to sleep in the back of the boat.”

Disturbed, angered, and frightened, Peter rushed back followed by the other disciples to find Christ. Sure enough, there He lay, protected from the storm, sound asleep! Peter shouted to be heard above the thunderous roar of the wind and waves. “Master, don’t you care if we all drown, this ship is about to sink and you aren’t even concerned enough to help save the boat.”

Jesus Christ opened His eyes, looked up at the wet, distraught, disheveled fishermen. What a sight they were. He couldn’t help but smile. Shedding the oilskin covering, He stood up and commanded the sea, “Be quiet you wind, waves be still.”

Instantly the sea was transformed from a raging, turbulent, fierce storm into a mill pond. The moon and the stars broke through the fast dissipating dark clouds and He said, “Why are you so fearful? Why is it that you have no confidence, no faith in me?” (Mark 4:35-40 — Phillips, RSV, Moffatt).

A Masculine Man

The Jesus Christ of your Bible enjoyed being around good friends like Peter, James and John. He and His disciples were hard-driving, dedicated men with a purpose, a goal in life. There were both serious moments and times of laughter around the campfire at night. A real man’s fellowship existed between these robust men of great strength.

Jesus Christ was a man of character, of stamina, of great determination. He fasted as few men are capable of fasting. Forty days and forty nights without food or water. That’s more than a full month! There was a reason. Deep within burned a singleness of purpose — your salvation and mine BY DEATH!!

A Thundering, Dynamic Personality

Near Passover time, Jesus walked over to Jerusalem. He passed by the Temple. What He saw stopped Him short in His tracks. He couldn’t believe His eyes! There in His Father’s Temple were merchants selling cattle, sheep and doves for sacrifices. The place was in an uproar, confusion, shouting men dickering for a better price in the very Temple of God!
Angered, He carefully fashioned a scourge of small cords. The next day He strode into the temple brushing aside those who were milling around. Grasping the first table He came to, He flipped it into the air. Money flew everywhere! The money changers were stunned.

Taking the scourge, He whipped it through the air, it snapped with a crack of a pistol. Animals scattered! Men fell over one another as they retreated to the nearest exit. A thundering voice called out after them, “Get these things out of here! You who make my Father’s House a house of merchandise.” Every last one meekly obeyed!

Imagine the headlines in the Jerusalem news the next day — that is if there had been a newspaper. Bold-faced headlines would have read, “Man from Nazareth turns temple upside down! — throws out money changers — drives out beasts — men shrink in fear!!”

There were no streetcars, no trains, no horses or carriages in 30 A.D. Jesus Christ walked from village to village. The highways were dirt and gravel. They were treacherous. Thieves abounded. Only a real man dared travel the dusty roads between Jerusalem and Jericho.

Remember the man who fell among thieves on the road to Jericho? They stripped him of his clothing, beat him senseless and left him for dead (Luke 10:30).

What Did it Take to Die?

Jesus Christ died on a stake for you! What did it take to die? What kind of day was it that Christ spent — His last day before His crucifixion? It began Tuesday morning, April 24, 31 A.D., very early in the morning. It ended in the most brutal murder ever suffered by a human being — agonizing hours of suffering climaxed by a slow, torturous death on a bloodied stake!
Source: The Good News, March 1968

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