When I first started this blog over nine years ago, I began using the word “masculine” in a very intentional manner. I have been influenced greatly by Leanne Payne and her cry for the healing of the masculine soul. Back in 1985 she wrote a book, entitled “Crisis in Masculinity.” It brought healing and peace to my masculine soul. I came to rest in who I was as a man created uniquely by my heavenly Father. In my opinion, she was prophetic in her insights about the condition of the masculine soul and the future of our society.
“The major crisis today,” she wrote “is with men. When men are healed, the healing of women will naturally follow. There is an important reason for this. It is the father who affirms sons and daughters in their sexual identity and therefore – because gender identity is a vital part of personhood itself – as persons. Masculinity…is finally not a thing to be learned, but rather a quality to be tasted or experienced. The masculine within is called forth and blessed by the masculine without.” The “calling forth” of the masculine is at the heart of what the Wildman journey is all about.
Leanne further observed, “A crisis in masculinity is always a crisis in truth. It is a crisis in powerlessness of the feminine virtues: the good, the beautiful and the just, in a culture and in an individual. A culture will never become decadent in the face of a healthy, balanced masculinity. When a nation or an entire Western culture backslides, it is the masculine which is first to decline.” This is a prophetic insight that we see unfolding before our very eyes.
The recent report from the American Psychological Association should be awake up call for the need of Christian men to be affirmed in their masculinity. In the APA’s new guidelines called “Psychological Practice with Boys and Men,” the guidelines claim “traditional masculinity” is psychologically harmful to boys and men. Traditional masculinity is defined as “anti-femininity, achievement, eschewal of the appearance of weakness, and adventure, risk and violence.” It is marked by “stoicism, competitiveness, dominance and aggression.”
Traditional masculinity is to be considered a social construct. Real gender is “non-binary.” Even trying to identify male sex with masculine gender reveals “heteronormative assumptions.” In other words masculinity has no objective existence. It is whatever we want to make it to be. The report actually says, “Psychologists should help boys and men create their own concepts of what it means to be male.”
In these guidelines the real plight of boys and men coincides with our culture’s rejection of traditional masculinity. The intent is to deconstruct masculinity. The solution is not to reject masculinity as a disorder. Rather we need to re-discover and embrace the true masculine, which God declared to be “very good.” As John Stonestreet observed, “the trait and roles of real masculinity aren’t socially constructed. They’re innate – created by God as an expression of His image complemented by and working in concert with femininity.”
Again, my cry is that men will turn their hearts toward home. This means coming in our confusion, insecurity and brokenness into our heavenly Father’s presence and hearing in the depths of our heart, “You are my beloved.” Only the compassionate and loving embrace of our heavenly Father can heal our wounds as men. To this I am committed. I pray God will give me the wisdom and compassion to write these blogs to this end. I ask for your prayers, that together we might bring men back home to the Father.