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Meyer’s Musings – MANHOOD and MASCULINITY

Manhood and Masculinity

REV. PHILIP MEYER, PASTOR EMERITUS

Masculinity has been on the ropes in our “woke” society, but some recent studies have shown that women are more attracted to men with beards than men without them. The University of Queensland in Australia recently published such a study. It found that women are more attracted to men with beards because it makes them appear more dominant, thus, masculine.

It’s important to distinguish between dominant and domineering. They’re not the same. A domineering man is one who wants to control everything. A dominant man is one who is strong, confident, and tries to achieve. We’ve seen domineering women, too, so it’s not an exclusively masculine trait.

The day I read this news story, the lady who does some light cleaning for me volunteered that she might need to make some changes in her work routine. Some of her clients are going to be dropped because she has a medical condition that is making it increasingly difficult for her to keep up with all her clients. She assured me that she would keep me since I use her services less than others. What was interesting to me was that she said that her husband has come to the rescue. He has always deferred to her and she, as a Christian, has always found this difficult. He’s not a Christian and so he has no real knowledge of what headship is. He stepped up and put forth a six month plan for how they will make the transition. He will change jobs and go back to one he had previously where he can earn more money. She said that she was so relieved that he did this because he’s never taken the lead in anything. She said, “I’ve prayed that he would be the kind of husband that the Bible says he should be. Maybe this is a first step in him coming to Christ.”

I was dumbfounded for a few minutes because we’ve never really talked about her family. For a long time she’s prayed that he would take the lead, i.e., be the dominant head of the household. And because of her illness, it might happen. She’s actually finding joy in her illness!

The un-masculine man isn’t wanted by most women. Suzanne Venker, the author of the article said that “women are biologically wired to want a dominant man.” Beta males are never going to fill the job description. They might be good friends [we have lots of sit-coms where the men are only that!], but never good husband material. Women complain that there just aren’t any “good ones left.” They are looking for strong, confident, ambitious men, but our woke society has pretty much castrated such men.

Thus, the link about men growing beards. On the surface of things men who grow beards are making a statement: “Hey, I’m not a woman! I’m a man!” Columnist Dennis Prager wrote:

“Many, many young men don’t know what it means to be masculine because feminism and the Left have crapped on masculinity. Sorry for the language, but I can’t think of any verb that does it justice. That’s what they have done. In fact, toxic masculinity for the Left is redundant. All masculinity is toxic. So I think a certain number of men, young men, have only one way of saying, ‘Hello, I’m not a female,’ and that is to grow a beard.”

These are interesting observations but they serve to underscore the roles the sexes have. In many societies men are required to grow beards. Islam practices it. Orthodox Judaism practices it. The Amish practice it. And it seems that many American men are practicing it, perhaps without really knowing the science behind it but certainly observing that having a beard marks you as a man. It certainly squares up with the biblical witness about the distinction between the sexes and that fact that they are complementary.

22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. (Ephesians 5:22–33).

Venker concludes her article with this:

“Looking masculine is great. But being masculine? That’s a home run.”

I’m thinking that I might have to grow a beard again. But, it tends to make me look like Gabby Hayes! [For those who aren’t of my generation, you’ll have to Google that one!]

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