Making Sure We are not a “Feminist” Bride of Christ

Yeah, I know some guys are like “bah don’t feminize me!1!!11!” with this kind of language. Except it’s the language of the Bible. 😉 It’s exactly the reason why submissive women can be such a powerful ministry to men, because they can model to men how we are similarly submissive to God (1 Peter 3).

So on that note . . . I mean to write to the audience of men who are on guard. 1 Corinthians 11:3 begins describing the hierarchy of God to Christ to man and to woman. In that model, Paul says “he is the image of God, but woman is the glory of man. Man was not made for woman, but woman for man.” This is an important thing to remember with so much language used today which really inverts this stuff–of course men need to be considerate and minister to their wives in love, but a lot of language used to describe marriages starts to sound an awful lot more like an attitude of men being made for women as much or more than vice-versa, even in the “biblical gender roles” circles.

Back to 1 Peter 3, however, we can see how wives minister to their husbands not by preaching, but by being the model of Christ’s submissive bride to her husband. But for men who are on guard to protect themselves in the post-feminist world, let’s make sure we’re not feminists toward God, as a matter of opportunity for meditation.

 

*Do we truly understand that God was not “made for us,” just existing for the sole purpose of being useful to us for what we want? Or do we realize that we submit to Him in everything, that we were made FOR Him and not the other way around?

*Do we realize that life is all about being molded to God’s lead, to be conformed constantly to His purposes?

*Do we realize that we are not “independent” or “strong” or “like a boss” before God just as women are not to be so before men? Or can we learn to embrace our fundamental need for Him for every aspect of our provision and protection, quiet and listening (James 1:19), and vulnerable?

*Do we serve God because we are trying to “earn” or “prove” something, or is it out of love and obedience to Him, and in humble gratitude for all He’s done for us?

Hm . . . it’s sad to think of how scarily similar the attitudes of men and women both towards God can look to the way feminists treat men. Feminism is a fundamental rebellion, of course, and many recognize the fact; but I believe it makes for a useful meditation for searching our hearts and removing any pollution. 😉

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A Man Does Not Need a Woman to be “Accomplished” or “Good Enough.”

How many have heard something of an axiom that women love confidence in a man? I have known a number of men who have been desperate to get a girlfriend and that kind of man always seems like one who has the hardest time actually getting one!

I talk a lot about women being treated like prizes for a man. Part of that includes women who eagerly get out the hoops for other men to jump through for her sake–a power game. Likewise–and even out of women’s own mouths I’ve heard this–even wives will use sex with their husbands like rewards for them, as well as withholding themselves as punishment.

The scene is horrible and sinful, but I just want to call attention again to men’s “need” for women as an affirmation that he should already have; a godly woman is attracted to a “man on a mission” and be a helper in every way. The man who is exciting and downright unpredictable, maybe even introducing some dangers, can utterly inspire a corresponding adventuresome spirit in a woman. And the adventure–the man’s true hunt–is for God, who enlightens, fulfills, protects, and brings men to life in His love.

Here is the central point I want to make at the moment: whether you want a wife or girlfriend or no woman at all, there is a major need to attack this notion that a woman is an indicator of a man being “good enough.” The unfortunate fact is that many married men receive only a severely tainted and polluted love from their wives–love that is very conditional or half-hearted, fundamentally not considering a man intrinsically worth as much as themselves (equally unfortunate is a married woman who is unloved). We have a MAJOR weak point if a woman’s love, happiness, and/or approval is tied to our sense of worth, and it’s opened the door for many women to get on a judgmental high-horse as far as men are concerned and many other forms of exploitation.

 

God gave Eve to Adam for a reason, and it wasn’t for this hoop-jumping nonsense. She is responsive, nurturing, encouraging, and just plain works hard just like a man does in the joint-effort of the daily grind. Spiritually, they are also to be eager participants to the fullest of their abilities in the Body of Christ. The feminine woman offers an atmosphere of total safety–NOT a challenge on behalf of some evil “prove your worth” scheme.

The Godly woman will love a man’s attitude of an utterly nothing-to-prove confidence, and this is pretty much common knowledge. She’ll love your fortitude that not even SHE can move you in your determination of self-preservation–to love yourself, as Christ loves you–and to follow your mission which is for the Lord, as that what PRECEDES a man’s abilities fulfill a woman’s needs: a man is to love his wife as his own flesh (which is to say, the foundation of this is that a man knows how to love and protect himself). He simultaneously does not settle with taking damage from a woman but is also patient with her with a godly patience.

But there are women with a parasite’s attitude toward a man, manipulative with emotion, treating men like he’s to have unlimited blood for her to drain. She’s totally her worst enemy for getting anything that she actually needs from a man.

There are obviously GREAT reasons for a man to want to find a wife! But it’s really important to understand situations (i.e. relationships) that can defeat the purpose of their intent.

It begins with knowing that a man is “good enough” today, inasmuch as having a wife is not the deciding factor either way. If we think (even unconsciously) we need a woman to be “good enough,” it’s immediately a sign that we need to re-examine ourselves and find our worth in Christ.

While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. The love that comes from God is one that esteems our value of the utmost preciousness BEFORE we did anything to “earn” it–while we were still POWERLESS and even sinful! Any message that says otherwise–that a man has to earn his value elsewhere–is from Satan and in conflict with God. And Satan would cook up any scheme imaginable to rob us of the surpassing love and riches of Christ.

Let’s shut this door and nail it shut so nothing can steal our value from us, married or not! 😉

Why the Manosphere Does Not Need to be Angry or Bitter

There’s no doubt about it: reading about men’s real-world issues can easily cause extreme personal frustration and upset. Of course, we’re reading about “bad news,” which in itself is no fun to dwell on, but on the other hand, truth is truth; is the Bible itself devoid of discussion about injustices and the unpleasantness of sin? No one who has the slightest knowledge of Scripture would ever claim so. The important thing is to have an answer for every thought that we get–not to end up with a thought that begets destruction to ourselves.

2 Corinthians 10:5

We are destroying sophisticated arguments and every exalted and proud thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought and purpose captive to the obedience of Christ,

What is it that’s infuriating when reading about men’s issues and facing our realities? Now of course, bad news is bad news, and the world is full of it; injustices left and right. However, to quote the comedian Bill Burr (like most comedians, he uses a crassness that I don’t condone) in a stand-up I came across: “I envy women. I’m not saying all your problems get solved, but at least they’re taken seriously!”

To me, that’s the mixed blessing about reading men’s rights stories. On the one hand, I feel like I’m in the company of people calling a spade a spade: it is unbelievable how many issues men have that are unique to us that get so little attention, so little serious energy directed at attempting to solve, and in fact, it’s a bold thing even to speak about men’s issues. While women’s problems are declared from rooftops, men’s are in parentheses in a gracious moment. The mere mention of, say, men’s well-founded concerns about the likelihood of getting divorced and destroyed in family court or the lack of domestic violence resources for men–and just so many more I could easily list–we have to worry about coming across as offensive, let alone that barely anyone puts the level of energy that goes to women’s problems. As of this writing, there is not even a single federal level department dedicated specifically to any need of men and boys with a multitude of programs and an abundance of taxpayer resources dedicated to women.

Christian culture isn’t any better and often exposes gross hypocrisies when speaking of masculine responsibilities (accurately or not) without even a word of protective or restorative sentiment to men in a culture of unprecedented and intentional attacks on masculinity from feminism. If we can’t protect men, as a culture, then we can’t protect women, because it’s men who are simply expected to do the “provide and protect” small-scale and large-scale. And if it’s confusing what I mean by “protective” and “restorative,” just check out virtually any women’s ministry!

Angry yet? 😉

I’ve burned up and cried out to God a number of times over this. Clearly there’s such a thing as righteous indignation over injustice and it’s common to see women afforded that by the boatloads (i.e. “a man shouldn’t treat you like that” messages). Men are usually utterly deprived of the same caliber of loving ministry.

God’s answer to me was to the effect of: “You think YOU’RE mad?” In my cry out to God, He made very, very real to me the sheer wrath and punishment being stored up against those responsible for this scene, including “Christians”; multitudes–of women, especially–will have to answer for why they had one level of passion, one level of indignation, one level of energy unto action (be it time, money, resources, etc.) for the needs of women and a fraction at best for the needs of men. Many would claim that their love for men is evidenced in the treatment of their husbands and sons, and yet, while that is questionable, what of the world–law, culture, and society–that their male relatives, whom they “love,” have to live in?

Matthew 25:45-46

Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

So why does this thought set me free from anger? Because suddenly any notion of anger feels like going to war with a squirt gun against people who are about to be victims of a nuclear strike! It feels downright ridiculous! I know that my anger cannot generate a single degree of heat compared to what God has in store for this sin against men for whom Christ died.

Romans 12:19-20

Do not avenge yourselves, beloved, but leave room for God’s wrath. For it is written: “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”

Note the phrase “leave room for God’s wrath.” When I realize what comes to the unrepentant sinner, I’m quite genuinely moved to sympathy. What God can do to someone who harms me is so far beyond anything that any human could possibly do! (Matthew 10:28) Suddenly I’m moved to be on God’s good side more than anything, firstly, and then minister toward the good of the person after I “leave room for God’s wrath.” My own anger washes away–what’s the point? God’s wrath is comparable to millions of degrees of heat; my anger is pathetic by comparison!

Therein lies the message of God’s love: it matters when we are hurt.

1 Corinthians 3:17

If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.

That would be gender-neutral “him” folks. God will not tolerate harm women do to men any more than vice-versa, nor will He put on the kid gloves with women the way the modern West (particularly) comparatively takes women’s sin against men so much more lightly than the reverse. I’ve heard a lot of references to Jezebel over the years, and rightly so, since Revelations refers to Jezebel as something of a recurring character (Revelations 2:20). And there’s one thing notable about the story of Jezebel which I haven’t heard mentioned in all the discussion, and that’s the way that she died: killed by her eunuchs, the men she emasculated (2 Kings 9:32-33).

God cares about men, even if today’s world values men so much less. And there’s more to be said about God’s justice and the powers of our prayer, and God WILL hear those of men who cry out.

Luke 18:1-18

18 Now Jesus was telling the disciples a parable to make the point that at all times they ought to pray and not give up and lose heart, saying, “In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and had no respect for man. There was a [desperate] widow in that city and she kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice and legal protection from my adversary.’ For a time he would not; but later he said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow continues to bother me, I will give her justice and legal protection; otherwise [a]by continually coming she [will be an intolerable annoyance and she] will wear me out.’” Then the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says! And will not [our just] God defend and avenge His elect [His chosen ones]who cry out to Him day and night? Will He delay [in providing justice] on their behalf? I tell you that He will defend and avenge them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find [this kind of persistent] faith on the earth?”

I would urge considering the notion of the word “quickly” in this passage, as I have claimed it in prayer myself to great effect; it is not referring to the day of final judgment. How could it? There’s simply no way a human judge could be SLOWER than that, and Jesus is clearly comparing the speed of God’s vengeance here to the slowness of a human who doesn’t care.

Therefore, to men who are on this wavelength, pray with persistence for justice on your own behalf, while praying for souls. God loves you enough to protect you, pull-no-punches. These two notions are not in conflict.

2 Timothy 4:14

Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds.

This is a matter of confidence of God’s love for us and how much it matters to Him when we are hurt by others–in fact, that is the first step toward forgiveness, in which we release the debt that we are due for the sin committed against us.

 Ephesians 3:16-19

May He grant you out of the riches of His glory, to be strengthened and spiritually energized with power through His Spirit in your inner self, [indwelling your innermost being and personality], 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through your faith. And may you, having been [deeply] rooted and [securely] grounded in love, 18 be fully capable of comprehending with all the saints (God’s people) the width and length and height and depth of His love [fully experiencing that amazing, endless love];19 and [that you may come] to know [practically, through personal experience] the love of Christ which far surpasses [mere] knowledge [without experience], that you may be filled up [throughout your being] to all the fullness of God [so that you may have the richest experience of God’s presence in your lives, completely filled and flooded with God Himself].

Amen! God give us strength!