Men today hear a lot of conflicting messages about what it means to be a man. On the one hand, culture tells them to man up, excel in sports, have ripped abs and consume porn. On the other hand culture tells them being a manly man is a sin (aka toxic masculinity) and they should develop present as androgynous an affect as possible.
Recently, Gillette released an ad which shows men leering, sexually harassing people, bullying and tormenting those smaller than themselves, and being otherwise obnoxious. To be clear, there is no “boys will be boys” justification for any of those behaviors. They are not befitting a man of God. They do not honor God. They do not build up anyone. The kinds of behavior highlighted by Gillette have always been eschewed by real men of valor, men of dignity, men being men after God’s own heart.
But the world speaks out of the other side of its mouth as well – encouraging men to reject all forms of manliness in an attempt to make sure women get their due. Asking men to be less than fully men is just as wrong as asking women to be less than fully women. Surely there’s a way for men to be real men without leaving women feeling somehow less than fully women?
Into this confusion steps David Murray, author and professor at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary. He is passionate about helping to raise a new generation of Christ-like men.
In this interview we talked about masculinity – what it is and what it is not. David noted that the truly masculine man is the man who is like Christ. A man of strength and gentleness. A man who is able to speak to power with an authority that silenced many and yet a man who communicated with the kindness and compassion of a great counselor. It wasn’t that Jesus balanced the masculine and the feminine, he was a fully man in the fullest sense of the word. Which is the calling of those who would be his disciples today.
That is not to say that women cannot be like Christ. We can! But this conversation is about the desperate need for men in our culture – many who are raised without godly dads and with too few godly role models – to come to know what it means to be a man created, redeemed, conformed, called and sent by God.
David Murray’s Christian Man Academy is totally free and video based. David and I discussed the fact that LOTS of guys don’t read and the short videos are designed to set a hook in the man’s mind upon which he can hang a series or set of practices. The goal, over time, is to cultivate a view of oneself as a man of God, a man after God’s own heart, and a man following God’s will in every part of life.
I’m sure there’s a need for a Christian Woman Academy as well, but today let’s celebrate the advent of this resource for men!
Here’s my conversation with David Murray:Combating toxic masculinity