The Wonders of Femininity

As a disclaimer up front, this is not much of a discussion on the marriage relationship, but on the individual.

Everybody is a sinner in need of grace. As sinners, we are corrupted forms of who we really are, and the wonderful, perfect design of God lies underneath it, ready to be restored and brought to life by the power of Christ.

 
I have no doubt that God made no mistakes when He designed men. And I have no doubt that He made no mistakes when He designed women. Among its innumerable flaws, Christian culture tends to describe masculinity and femininity–and especially, the interaction between the two–almost entirely in terms of marriage, although there’s so much more than that, for the simple reason that 99+% of Scripture is written equally toward male and female, describes the Body of Christ’s interactions without a pervasive addressing of gender; there are a couple, such as the issue of female authority, which actually helps imply that many other male/female interactions are to be expected. In fact:
 
1 Timothy 5:1-2
 

“Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, 

older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.”
 
Jesus hung out with his family!
 
Matthew 12:46-50
While he was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his lbrothers stood outside, asking to speak to him.1 48 But he replied to the man who told him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49 And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
 
And promised that we could, too:
 
Matthew 10:29-30
 
“Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields–along with persecutions–and in the age to come eternal life.

 

(The same promise is found in Matthew 19:29 and Luke 18:29-30)
 
Whereas, unfortunately, part of our horrific culture imparted to men includes a perception of women as prizes: another notch on the belt of James Bond or some other aspiring alpha male as part of our fight against one another to see who is the greatest. On women’s end–and this is another thing to beware–a man is often portrayed as a “Superman” who puts an end to all of a woman’s problems, whereas in reality any leader figure may well lead his wife/followers/family on a journey that may include new dangers, not unlike our journey in following the leadership of Christ. The reality is that men’s interactions with women, in every way, can be powerful and a vital element of the family of God, an excellent team within the Body of Christ, playing to the strength of God’s wonderful design for masculinity and femininity.
 
I have a tough time nailing down definitions beyond the fundamental differences between masculinity and femininity. The fundamental differences are derived from the directives of 1 Corinthians 11:3-14). But here is my simplistic, two-pronged description of the benefits of femininity within community–trite as can be! 😉
 
The cheerleader: She sees the good in others, and desires to amplify those good qualities. Her desire for the success in others is absolutely sincere, and loves to study intensely the unique path of success per individual–the unique strength, and the unique path that that person must conquer in whatever form. The expert cheerleader can see the strengths of others even as those strengths are but seeds, not yet even developed. In all that she does, she stimulates the desire in others to be useful, and the recipient of her blessings cannot wait to apply himself/herself and put his/her strengths to use for maximum effect in the world. The good cheerleader is not a coward who simply seeks out those who look the strongest to tag along but takes the side of the team who is truly in the right.
 
The nurse: She sees the flaws in others. The elements of a person that are weak, hurt, even sinful, but responds every time with a heart of gentle mercy, out of a desire to achieve healing on every single level. While the cheerleader brings out the beauty and effectiveness of an individual after seeking out the good, the nurse seeks out the flaws and the damage. She is a healing messenger that assures that all who hurt are worth healing. The nurse may not be quite like the surgeon and take on the more massive issues that afflict a person, but she is determined to care for every scratch, every bruise, and every source of discomfort–a HUGE number of details she studies to seek bringing those she blesses to a state of absolute comfort, whereupon the cheerleader dovetails with this healing and restores them to full effectiveness.
 
On the masculine end, benefits abound. Apart from the obvious, oftentimes what we find is that we, as men, are required for our strength at the same time–it can be such a tremendous blessing to get our minds off of ourselves and be a service to women; chances are, the cheerleader and nurse is not without her own needs.
 
I actually believe that the biggest problem with modern Western marriages (with all the trouble it has had) comes from expecting too much out of one person, versus the support of a larger community. In a marriage, two become one for the full daily grind, but we don’t stop being men and women as we mingle within communities and with all the potential good that can take place between us. Scripture puts the occasional parameters on male/female interactions, such as the issue of female authority (1 Timothy 2:12-14) which Paul understood from a quite logical standpoint with regards to male/female design.
 
(What we tend to get more from women in culture is the dark side of the nurse and the cheerleader; our strengths are downplayed, and our weaknesses, real or imagined, are amplified and discussed with anything but constructive intent. Feminine women are diamonds in the rough. To be sure, there’s no doubt that men put them to the test with our flaws and undeveloped strengths.)
 
1 Corinthians 11:9
“Man is not made for woman, but woman for man.” 
 
Now, of course, getting the image of Adam and Eve, we might simply get the image of God giving Adam a wife. But I believe God’s design for femininity stems, in principle, as a responder to people. Moreso than men, I find it clear that women require and seek out human leadership–oftentimes frustrated and embittered when the leadership available fails, and once again, this is not limited to marriage, but also other figures such as pastors who meet the needs of communities. Moreover, women can impart their feminine blessing to other women and men. Among the stories of godly people in the Bible, men who sought God without the guidance of human leadership far outnumbers women in my observation. Men and women both respond to leadership, to be sure, but God’s design of woman wove this deeply into Eve’s design to find her fulfillment in response to people. I do not see this as an “inferiority,” although it is potentially a distinct vulnerability. A married woman responds to her husband’s leadership for the daily grind as his helper, as the marriage is a fleshly, earthly covenant, but not necessarily for the spiritual–it is possible that he’s an unbeliever, after all–and ideally they are both disciples of Christ capable of responding to human leadership. Fundamentally, masculine and feminine amounts to the relationship of lead and follow.

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Christian MGTOW? Some of My Reactions . . . 

My writing here, on this blog, represents getting a lot of my thoughts down on the matter of men’s personal fulfillment. Christian mainstream culture is darkly polluted with misandry: a constant railing against men for their duties and responsibilities without an element of compassion with regard to the actual situations of men. Men are human, and that means two things for the sake of the discussion: we have the same innate value as women, and we can’t function without being taken care of as such (whether we do so on our own or with help).

 
To answer the question of the article’s title, I would say “almost.” Defining MGTOW is something of a paradox, because it has no definition except that a man MAKES his own definition for the course of his life, after identifying a misandric culture which means to use and exploit him. That said, there are a number of tendencies that I feel can be addressed.
 
First, I’ll speak about my disagreements with the MGTOW approach, if they are in fact real disagreements. The end goal of a man should include a give-and-take relationship with the Body of Christ which currently makes a habit of ignoring men’s issues, and is thus simply not a viable option for a man currently; my advice is to keep that at a safe distance and keep your guard up. “Christian” culture must get the message, in my opinion, that wanting things from men is fine–in fact, complaining about men is fine–but not without some serious legwork on the part of those who want to reap from men, that “love your neighbor as yourself” stuff.
 
In terms of men, they sow with their effort sparingly, and fail to realize that they ought to expect to reap sparingly. (2 Corinthians 9:6) But all they know how to do, for the most part, is to keep on complaining about what men do or don’t do, slog on the “duty” and “responsibility.” Such entities deserve nothing from men and can expect not to receive anything, not because men ought to outright spite others–do not hear me wrong–but because we need to take care of ourselves so as to be capable of having something to offer. The Body of Christ was meant to interact with and take care of itself, or it cannot expect its members to function.
 
So I agree with the necessity of MGTOW. We are called to be free, to be loved, and to give generously. Another phrase going around out there is “men on strike,” which I also feel is misleading, because in all reality, it’s the mainstream society that went on strike on men first. The proposed scenarios–not the least of which being the unacceptable legal/societal/cultural conditions for marriage–for men are simply no longer even doable. But again, my end goal is to see a restored, healthy interaction between people. Perhaps other MGTOWs believe similarly, but I am not so clear on this point.
 
Another matter is the MGTOW approach to women. Where I agree is that men must–absolutely must–know how to preserve themselves from women in a world fixated on protecting women from men but has very little interest on protecting men from women; in today’s society it is simply too easy for a man to become an abandoned victim of a woman (investigate Men’s Rights resources for a LONG run-down of how that happens). Effectively, we have men white-knighting Jezebels and slaughtering one another, among other problems. This matter is the doing of the mainstream–that is to say, men and women both–but I believe the exceptionally rare case of a woman who demonstrates fully capable of recognizing a man’s equal personhood ought to be recognized and SUPPORTED by men. A woman who is demonstrably on the same side as men? Precious–and no, for the ignorant, being married to a man is not automatic proof. But I believe if the MGTOW movement wants to be thoroughly credible, part of its modus operandi ought to be supporting such women. Men must make room for them, rare as they may be, in the discussion with full appreciation.
 
Dear MGTOWs: friendly fire upon women who actually have compassion for men as equally human is absolutely the worst. They too are precious human beings with value unto themselves, and have much to offer the world, just as men, should they so choose. To me, the institution of marriage (that is, of the 21st century) is unsafe because of the legal and cultural context, but that is not the fault of the woman who desires to be part of a solution and not part of the problem and she does NOT deserve to be a casualty of MGTOW. Negative effects on her are every bit as unacceptable as negative effects on men. Men can demonstrate support of such women and that can be a huge factor in its success in changing our greater culture.
 
Oh, and then there are the PUAs. Misguided to say the least, PUAs are the opposite of self-respecting, degrading their bodies on sexual immorality. MGTOW PUAs are of course cynical in women’s abilities to offer a loving relationship, but they go after sexuality alone. The nature of lust, people, is idolatry, which means saying “come to life” to that which does not have life on its own: if a woman does not love you, but you think her body can, then it’s only your vain imagination at work saying “come to life” to her body in your heart. If a woman truly does not love you, such as a prostitute (see Proverbs 6:26) then you REALLY degrade yourself by being reduced to a “piece of bread.” You sin against your body (1 Corinthians 6:18), by joining it with that which does not love you. Women are not “prizes,” but can potentially offer loving relationships or people involved in sexual immorality are simply reducing themselves to objects.
 
MGTOW is what we had coming. And frankly, for the most part it’s an absolutely necessary movement provided that it takes productive steps forward. Men are achieving what the mainstream does not want them to achieve: self-awareness, a recognition for their value as individuals and the futility of our current culture that wants to take from men without paying attention to their needs. Men are becoming aware and, as I titled this blog: “self-defensive.”

To the Man Who Tries: You are not a “Fraud”

As I say under “purposes,” I hate most men’s (so-called) “ministries.” They place notions of duty and expectations upon men without compassion–that is, a thorough investigation of their real, actual situations so as to offer an actually pertinent ministry.
 
I have heard that it’s supposed to be a typical male angst to wonder whether he’s either “good enough” or a “fraud.” And I’ve been horrified to see that reinforced within Christian culture.

I’ve seen ministry to men enforce this. I’ve often wondered, with all of the alarm in the world about men’s sexual struggles, why I never hear anyone quote Proverbs 6:26:For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life.

In both the first and second parts of this verse, men (and women in equivalent situations, no doubt) are essentially alerted to the illusion of one who loves you, when in reality the prostitute sees you as an object–a loaf of bread–and the wayward wife seeks to destroy you. It is an excellent motivator for men to avoid sexual immorality, along with the teaching that our bodies are sacred temples to be treated with reverence (hence Paul points out the atrocity of defiling that temple with a prostitute in 1 Corinthians 6:15).

I wonder no more: because the culture is actively TRYING to reduce men to pieces of bread; trying to convince them that men’s character is correlated to their material output.

Where was the wrath of God on Lazarus the beggar, and where was God’s approval of the rich man? (Luke 12:19-31) 
Where was God’s approval of the one who was blessed with reward for his labor and stored up what he had? (Luke 12:16-21)
Luke 12:15:”life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
1 Timothy 6:17 As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.

Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away. (James 1:9-10)

Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (1 Timothy 6:9-10)

What in Scripture tells you that you ought to feel like a fraud for a lack of success? These sorts of passages could go on for pages. In today’s world, about 50% of recent college graduates cannot find full-time work; the AVERAGE salary for a man today in the United States is $32,000. It’s a frustrating situation, a figure that absolutely ensures that a very small proportion of men could possibly be a sole-income earner for their families, whether they want the situation or not. But why not just go to the injured and lay insult upon insult? Men are just always there to be society’s punching bags.

Moreover, men must struggle against the works of feminism which strictly examine comparisons between the successes of male and female, and women (real or fabricated) performing at less than men means deliberate, manipulative, tax-payer funded efforts in schools, job quotas, and propaganda to force the results to be “equal”; as surely as feminism is funded by taxdollars, they represent the attitude of the majority: men’s success is, somehow, simultaneously demanded yet not wanted.

My conclusion, simply, is to ignore the hatred, serve the Lord who loves you. If you’re struggling to be successful, forget the complaints of those who do nothing but complain about men. And think about this: if you ARE successful, are you observing 1 Timothy 6:17, or listening to the approval of the loveless? If we serve the Lord with our whole hearts neither bank accounts or others’ opinions can make us “frauds.”