FOR THE LAST YEAR I have been researching and writing a manuscript to address the crucial subject of masculinity. The projected title is Seven Dimensions of Masculinity, How God Turns Biological Masculinity into Spiritual Masculinity and Why It Matters.
Dr. Wayne Grudem, noted theologian, writes what seems obvious to most people. “The family is the foundational building block for all of society.” By “family” he means a biological male, married for life to a biological female with whom he shares the privilege of children and parenting. You may be thinking, “What’s controversial about that? Why are you wasting time on it?” Because this definition of the family is increasingly disappearing, and if, as Grudem says, the family is society’s building block, then this failure portends social and political disaster.
Most evangelical thinkers agree with Grudem. They prove their conviction from Genesis one and two. This passage stresses the foundational nature of the family. The point is straightforward. Before sin entered the world there was only one social institution—marriage. God did not start with churches, civil governments, schools, or businesses. They are not foundational. They are the fruits of the foundation—marriage and family. God started with a man and a women, Adam and Eve, then joined them in matrimony. “A man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). God wants us to know that these other cultural institutions will flourish or wither as the spiritual health of the foundational rises or fades.
That brings me to masculinity. Unless men are willing to marry women, and father their children, family, in the biblical sense, will not exist. Instead, parenting will be done by mostly single women, courageously trying to carry a burden that God intended them to share with a husband. Tragically, this is the source of many of our current social pathologies—racism, riots, critical race theory, cultural Marxism, gender dysphoria, the drive to normalize homosexuality, and the move towards socialism. (I will cover the connection between single parenting and these problems in a later post). Since this statement may sound extreme, let me argue my case.
Increasingly, men are not willing to get married. In future essays we will examine the myriad reasons, but the first should be obvious to any impartial observer. Since the early nineteen seventies, masculinity, patriarchy, and all things male have been increasingly disparaged. The popular phrase “toxic masculinity” sums it up. In 2018 the Oxford Dictionary chose the word, “toxic,” as the word of the year—mostly in connection with the phrase “toxic masculinity.” The culture warriors, dominated by gender feminism, have divided men and women into two classes—oppressors (men) and the oppressed (women). The net result is hostility by women toward men. These attitudes have influenced the culture and evangelicals more than we care to admit.
I was asked to speak at a Christian parenting conference in Vancouver, B.C. A few weeks prior to the conference one of the organizers called. “Please don’t use the words patriarch or patriarchy in your presentation,” he pleaded.
Surprised, I responded, “This is an evangelical conference, right?”
“Yes, four evangelical churches in the area are putting it on, but many of the women, especially those with college degrees, are deeply troubled by any positive reference to patriarchs.”
“But the Bible always uses these words in a constructive context” I responded. “Why would this concern Bible-reading evangelicals?”
He had no rational argument, just a plea that I be sensitive to the animus of these females. But in the Bible patriarchs are believing men benevolently serving women and children by providing leadership, provision, and protection.
It is no secret that Western culture now blames men for most of our social pathologies. Most think of masculinity as something to avoid. For example, despite the fact that fatherlessness is the main cause of inner-city drugs, crime, and violence, a stated goal of Black Lives Matters is the elimination of the nuclear family, especially patriarchy (fatherhood). BLM blames the death of Breonna Taylor on “the violent white-supremacist-patriarchal-heteronormative-capitalism that stole Breonna’s life, along with the lives of so many of our Sisters.”
How are many men reacting? They are withdrawing. Are we surprised when men are not willing to marry a female who considers him an oppressor motivated by toxic patriarchy? In fact, male withdrawal has become a tsunami. Men are pulling back from marriage, education, paternal responsibilities, politics, and other meaningful social obligation. For example, three women graduate from college for every two men. That means 50% more women with college degrees. In 1970 it was the reverse. The problem isn’t the increasing numbers of women attending college, it is the decreasing numbers of men.
A similar phenomenon is occurring in politics. In my State (Washington), the mayors of the four largest cities are women, our two state senators are women, and my district’s representative to congress is a woman. I’m not against females in politics, but where are the men? The city council of a neighboring university town, Moscow, ID., a blue dot in a red state, is composed of six females and not one male.
This is why I am writing a book on masculinity. No culture can survive male abdication. I am writing to encourage the celebration of the distinctive attributes of masculinity. In the last twenty to thirty years neuroscientists have discovered increasing differences between the male and female brain. Besides the obvious physical differences—height, weight, and sexual organs—men and women also think differently. Not better or worse, just different. The source is biology.
These differences are God-designed. They are not a byproduct of socialization. Proof is that the primates, who are not socialized, share most of the same sex-typed differences. Therefore, God wants us to celebrate the attributes of both masculinity and femininity.
This matters greatly because God created men and women to cooperate, not compete, with each other. God did not create the male sex to oppress women. He created men to love and serve women and children by leading, protecting, and providing. It is a high calling. I am writing this book to help change the narrative from toxic masculinity to life-giving masculinity. When masculinity is disparaged, men withdraw. When they withdraw the foundation of civilization, the family, decays and fragments. No civilization can survive the rejection of masculinity. When masculinity is honored and celebrated families and cultures thrive. In the next post I will discuss the difference between biological and spiritual masculinity.
 Wayne Grudem, Christian Ethics.
 Black Lives Matter.com, October 18, 2020, “Watch and Share the Black Women Are Divine Video.” Also, read the interview in The Guardian, with Alicia Garza, a cofounder of Black Lives Matter here. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/oct/17/every-movement-been-in-infected-by-patriarchy-extract-from-alicia-garza-book