Larry Crabb has written a new book for both men and women entitled “Fully Alive.” The subtitle is entitled, “A biblical vision of gender that frees men and women to live beyond stereotypes.” I like the book. I appreciate his use of masculine and feminine in his discussion about gender. Genesis 1:27 tells us that when God made humans in his image he made then Male and female. The question becomes, “How do woman reflect something of the nature of God, as well as men?”
I want to quote from an interview he gave to Christianity Today. My purpose is to highlight the gender role of masculine. Crabb points out that the word for female (neqebah) means one who is open to receive, having an invitational style of relating. The word for male (zakar) means one who remembers something important and then does it.
Regarding the feminine this is what Crabb had to say, “Femininity is a relational style – an invitational way of relating to other people that says, ‘I invite you to come to me. I’m not here to control you. If you move toward me in godly movement, you’ll find an inviting and nourishing and supportive, wise woman who’s going to be there with you in all the godly movement that you make.” Regarding the masculine Crabb observes, “Masculinity is a relational style of seeing a situation that needs to be dealt with. Rather than passively letting someone else deal with it or aggressively taking over and bossing everyone around, masculinity moves gently and meaningfully into the situation.’
While women express the invitational nature of God, men express the movement of God into relationships. This is seen in the relationship of the Trinity, points out Crabb. God, the Father, first moves towards and into the Son and give all he is to the Son (relational movement), while the Son invites and receives all that the Father gives him (relational invitation). Then the Son moves right back to the Father (relational movement).
As men while we are also responsible for expressing the invitational nature of relationships, our primary task is to express relational movement. Men, I don’t know about you, but taking the initiative to move into intimate relationship with my wife and others can be very difficult at times. I would rather run from such challenges. Others would prefer to fight. What I can certainly gain from Crabb’s description of the masculine is this. We are meant to move into relationships in a loving and humble manner. For example, don’t expect your wife to take the first step. We are to set the tone of deepening and enhancing our relationship with our wife. along with others who are close to us. Remember the masculine means movement. This means taking the initiative in relationships. If it is hard, ask God for the grace to move forward with humility and love.