Eric Metaxas is one of my favorite Christian authors. He has written a new book entitled “7 Men and the Secret of Their Greatness.” In an interview he observed that, “There’s a crisis of manhood in the culture and it is at the heart of many of our problems.” He is critical of the notion that men and women are in a “battle of the sexes” for jobs and social leadership. The culture views strength as a selfish tool “to aggrandize myself and to keep others down, which, of course, is the opposite of God’s plan,” he observed. The cultural mindset sees strength as negative, especially for men. Thus there is the focus on greater equalization in which women should be stronger and men weaker
But “when you have a biblical view of men’s strength,” observes Metaxas, “you know that God only give us anything good to be used for his purposes and mainly to serve others. ” Strength is not bad. It is the misuse of strength that is harmful. The seven men in Metaxas’ book all had great strength, but they used it for good. “The thing that holds all of them together is that every one of them made some noble sacrifice. They had some great strength and they sacrificed it for other – for a larger purpose.”
My personal sense is that many men today feel intimidated by the use of masculine strength. They are confused regarding their deepest motivations to make a difference. It is the nature of the masculine to initiate, with a desire to succeed. Leanne Payne has observed that the masculine principle is one “of orientation, direction, order and responsibility.” We read in Genesis 2:15, “The Lord took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” Adam was to initiate and take responsibility to take care of garden. But after the fall Adam’s masculine ability to initiate was taxed to the fullest. God said to him, “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life” (Gen 3:17). The fall brought about the abuse of masculine strength.
My exhortation to the men reading this blog, is not to be intimidated by the voices that are rightly critical of all the evidence of male abuse in our culture. It is only going to get worse, when men feel trapped like a caged lion in a pen constructed by social engineers who have no idea of what it means to be a man from God’s perspective. Remember we are to use our God give strength to be loving, humble servants for the greater good. This begins right at home with your wife and children. It is here that we can “field test” our strength displayed with humility and compassion. It will not always be easy. But this is where we learn.
Jesus makes this very clear in Mark 10:41-45 ( Message). “You’ve observed how godless rulers throw their weight around and when people get a little power how quickly it goes to their heads. It’s not going to be that way with you. Whoever wants to be great must become a servant. Whoever wants to be first along you must be your slave. That is what the Son of Man has done: He came to serve, not to be served – and then to give away his life in exchange for many who are held hostage.”