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  • Jonathan Shumate

Masculinity: what is it good for?



There is a world of difference between hating the essence of a thing and hating the perversion of that thing.


There are those—like myself, my husband, the good men and women around me—who hate the perversion of manhood. They hate it because they love God’s original design for manhood in how it brings life to women, children, and men.


And there are those who simply hate God and therefore hate anything he ordained, including right manhood. Their cry echoes from the Garden: You shouldn’t have power because… I want it.


What’s clear is that these two groups are not on the same side. They don’t want the same thing.


There is great reason to be concerned about sinful cultural expressions of masculinity, throughout history and today. Because of our rebellion against God, we are broken in every degree. Many men have used their greater physical strength and social position to subjugate women.


But God created man distinct from woman, and he called his creation very good. A man who strives after God’s intent for him, fully glad to be a man, is an asset to the world. I know many men like this.


I also know what perversion of manhood looks like; I spent every day of my first eighteen years of life under its claw. I have the profoundest empathy for women and children who have suffered from ungodly men. God hates it even more than you or I. He has nothing but judgment and woe for people who abuse their position or power to perpetrate injustice. He shuns the prayers and offerings of those who claim him in name but spit on him in reality. You can’t possibly overtake God in zeal for what is right.


We don’t banish the perversion of manhood by embracing new perversions, either of manhood or womanhood. And we cannot allow ourselves to be enticed by subtly disguised bids for power that have nothing to do with raising up God-fearing men.


True manhood is a joy to experience as a wife, parent, child, sibling, and friend. We need more of it, not less.

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