Over the years people have asked me what I think the difference is between a masculine Christian man and an effeminate one. Some assume that when I talk about the need for men to fully embrace their god-given manhood that I am advocating that men become (1) chauvinistic pricks or (2) demeaning towards other men who do not embrace their inherently god-given male characteristics.
Simply put, I believe men are created to be different than women. And yes, I believe that a person’s gender is god-given and not culturally ascribed. Genesis 1:27 says “…male and female he created them.”
Men become effeminate when they reject their specific gender differences. Not in the sense that they become “fags” (or whatever hateful and slanderous name you pick). And definitely not in the sense of being more sensitive or emotional. But effeminate in the sense of embracing what is unnatural to their god-given male gender.
Here are 7 uncommon characteristics of masculine Christian men…
1. Masculine men don’t have sex with other men.
One would think this would be self-explanatory, but not in today’s culture. I don’t care how tall, well-built, tough acting and great looking a guy is. If he has sex with another man, he is performing an act reserved only for women. In the truest sense, only effeminate men have sex with other men.
2. Masculine men are comfortable being the “head” of their wives.
Ephesians 5:23 says, “The husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.” The word “head” in Greek (kephale) is used to describe an anatomical head, but also to describe the point of a spear, the top of a wall, and the front of a ship. The context of Ephesians 5:23 tells us that just as Christ went ahead of the church to save it as its Savior (dying on the cross), the husband goes ahead of his wife and protects her (and as an indirect result his family). Masculine men lead their wives in the sense that they sacrifice for them, protect them, and keep them from experiencing undue stress, exhaustion, pain and hardship. Only effeminate men push their wives to go ahead of them and experience what they as husbands should experience.
3. Masculine men treat their wives with tenderness.
1 Peter 3:7 tells us that husbands should treat their wives with respect “as the weaker partner.” In the Greek it literally says “weaker vessel,” referring to a woman’s smaller physical stature. Masculine men are both strong and tender at the same time. Effeminate men treat their wives as physical equals, verbally fighting (and sometimes physically fighting) under the assumption that “she is just as strong as I am and can handle it.”
4. Masculine men lead well and submit well.
Ephesians 5:21 tells us to “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Masculine men feel very comfortable leading their wives, but at the same time feel just as comfortable submitting to their wives, just as scripture teaches.
5. Masculine men model for their children what a woman doesn’t look like.
Early childhood developmental psychologists call this “triadic family relationships.” Little girls learn how a woman acts not only by observing her mother, but by contrasting her with her father. The father demonstrates how a man acts and how a woman doesn’t act. Masculine men don’t dress like women. They don’t act like women. They don’t wear dresses and makeup. Of course there are common characteristics shared by both parents, but both go to great lengths to model what each specific gender looks like for their children. And unlike what our culture teaches us, that’s a good thing. As a proud father of three girls who routinely crush boys their age in soccer and lacrosse, I want them to also know there are things they shouldn’t do as young women.
6. Masculine men are comfortable around other men.
Effeminate men were allowed at an early age to coddle whatever male-to-male relationship insecurities they had and spend more time among girls than boys. Rather than acknowledging what John Eldridge calls the “Father wound” in many men (lack of bonding with the father) and challenging men to bond with other men, church cultures often perpetuate a lack of authentic male relationship building opportunities (the very thing that can heal a father wound). Simply put, effeminate men spend most of their time with women or other effeminate men.
7. Masculine men speak the truth in love.
Effeminate men are afraid of confrontation. They gossip, slander and besmirch people, especially other men. Masculine men aren’t afraid to confront sin, call on people to change, and speak prophetically into people’s lives. Effeminate men only focus on feeling accepted and being inclusive. Masculine men aren’t afraid to speak the truth in love.
What do you think are the main God-given differences between men and women? What did I miss? Get wrong?