Letting Guys be Guys

Letting Guys be Guys

Making Room for Strong Masculinity

by Leslie Ludy | January 1, 2012

“I brake the jaws of the wicked, and plucked the spoil out of his teeth.”  Job 29:17 KJV

At a recent women’s conference I was speaking at, I asked my husband Eric to come along and share during some of my sessions. Eric shared at the conclusion of my message – and spoke Truth with passion and authority. His words were delivered with love and compassion, but also with power and strength, and many of the women were greatly impacted. But there were also some women who were greatly offended; not by the Truth that Eric spoke, but because he spoke it with such volume and force. Simply put, it was because he was a little too masculine in his delivery. Granted, the setting was a women’s conference, so they probably were not expecting something so “manly.” But as a woman, I personally find it encouraging and inspiring to see a man who is willing to speak the Gospel in a strong, authoritative way. Many modern women, however, do not share this view. They prefer a soft-spoken and wishy-washy man over one with true backbone and grit.

It’s ironic, if you think about it. Women long for men to rise up and become valiant, heroic men worthy of honor and respect. But often, when we as women encounter a truly masculine man, our feminine sensibilities are offended. Why? Because our feminine sensibilities have been groomed by a culture that says it is not socially acceptable for a man to truly be a man.

The media, the fashion industry, the gay community, and the majority of womankind have joined forces to cleanse the “dirt and grit” from modern guys. The result is a counterfeit version of masculinity, something commonly referred to as Metro Manhood.

What exactly is Metro Manhood?

Metro males are guys who act a bit more like women than men. While the popular belief is that women applaud a soft-spoken, super-sensitive, socially groomed rendition of manhood, in reality, the Metro version of masculinity falls far short of what women really desire. When you take the “manly stuff” out of masculinity, as one young man told me, you are left with “weak men and unprotected women.” Every young girl (until she is brainwashed by our culture’s feminist agenda) dreams of a heroic knight who will slay the evil dragon on her behalf and sweep her away to his castle. Metro men are too concerned about maintaining the cleanliness of their designer jeans and the perfect position of their spiked hair to actually get their hands dirty protecting a woman.

Don’t get me wrong; I am not against men smelling sweeter, dressing nicer, or gaining a bit more dignity to their table manners. In fact, Eric has written for years about “warrior-poet” manhood, contending that guys are meant to showcase the strength and sensitivity of Jesus Christ. Christ-built manhood is not just sweat, blood, and battle cries. It’s also compassion, tenderness, nobility, and dignity. But Metro Manhood is a twisted counterfeit of the “poet” side of masculinity.

For one thing, Metro Manhood emphasizes only a man’s soft side, completely disregarding the strength that men were created to exude. Secondly, it looks to the fashion industry and pop culture – rather than the example of Christ – to define the kind of sensitivity, nobility, and dignity God created men to display. The result is a watered-down, mediocre version of masculinity that gives guys an excuse to be self-indulgent, lazy, wimpy, and jarringly feminine.

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Our culture says that a man’s intrinsic desire to sound a war cry and charge into battle is unsavory, undesirable, and socially incorrect. Our culture looks down upon a man who takes a firm stand for Truth and is strong in his beliefs. As a result, we are hard-pressed to find any men who actually fight battles or stand for anything. Instead, they sit on their couches playing Halo and watching action movies while this dying world perishes for lack of real-life, valiant warriors. Our marriages languish because men aren’t standing up and actually being men.

Christian “Metros” have allowed the culture to define their masculinity. They have conveniently morphed Scripture to be a bit more accommodating to modern times. They overlook the stunning displays of God-infused manly strength presented all throughout Scripture, like David killing a lion and bear with his bare hands, Jashobeam single- handedly defeating 800 Philistines, Samson annihilating entire armies with the jawbone of a donkey, Josiah ruthlessly grinding to dust all the idols of false gods, or Elijah calling down fire from heaven and slaying 350 false prophets until the brook Kishon overflowed with their blood. (Somehow I can’t imagine these mighty men of God doing such valiant exploits in women’s pants and lip gloss, or using quiet, dignified voices as they charged into battle.)

And then there is the example of Christ. Yes, He displayed incredible tenderness, humility, and compassion – healing the sick, embracing children, and referring to Himself as the Good Shepherd. But He also exuded super-human strength and power – calming winds and waves, walking on water, driving out the temple money changers with a whip, walking through the midst of an angry mob that was trying to cast Him off a cliff, and conquering sin and death by bearing the guilt of the entire world in His own body and rising from the grave on the third day. Not to mention the awe-inspiring description of our Lord in the book of Revelation:

Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS (Rev. 19:11-16).

This is our Jesus – the ultimate man; the ultimate King. He is greater, mightier, stronger, and more powerful than anything our minds can comprehend. In the face of such spectacular majesty, how can we possibly think, “Jesus was a softie, therefore we should be too”? Christ was the ultimate blend of strength and sensitivity. He rules the nations with a rod of iron, and yet He is the Prince of Peace. He fiercely commands the winds and waves to obey Him, and yet little children find sweet refuge in His arms. He is the ultimate Warrior-Poet. And, as it says in 1 Peter 2:21, He left an example that we should follow in His steps. This applies to masculinity. It is the example of Christ – not the culture – that men are to follow. Jesus was anything but a Metro male. And it’s time we start calling men up to the standard of our King.

This doesn’t mean that when we see a “burpin’, scratchin’, only-interested-in-one-thing” kind of man we should applaud. The selfish, animalistic guys of our day are merely counterfeits of the true warriors God created them to be. Rather, it’s time we gain God’s vision of masculinity – a blend between Christ-like strength and Christ-like sensitivity. A man who will protect purity, not conquer it. A man who will stand for Truth, not cave to the social sensibilities of modern times. A man who puts Jesus Christ above his own reputation and selfish desires.

When we see glimmers of this kind of masculinity emerging in today’s men, we should not complain about the fact that it is not feminine enough. We should not become offended because of its manly tone. Let’s remember that God has not designed men to be women – but to be men! It’s time we made room for guys to rise up and answer the war cry of God’s Spirit.

Men must be allowed to stand firm for Truth, speak their convictions with boldness, and fight God’s battles with all the masculine strength He intends them to have. Ladies, let us not get in the way of God’s plan for raising up strong men in this day.

Pop culture can keep its feminized, spineless, delicate masculinity that offends no one and pleases everyone. Give me a Job 29 man any day – a man with backbone, grit, strength, and a resounding battle cry. Because when men are true men, fairy tales come true. And when men are true men, the world is turned upside down for Jesus Christ.