Feminism and egalitarianism has done major damage to the American culture. Primarily, it has skewed the image of how men are supposed to behave and their roles within a society. Although not every single tenant of feminism and egalitarianism should be viewed with overt hostility, we should, however, be cautious in allowing ourselves to submit to any system’s premise that is unbiblical. For the most part, almost all proponents of modern feminism and egalitarianism seeks to undermine the authority of men, feminize the male persona, elevate the homosexual agenda, and bring the law in subjection to sexual immorality and unattainable equality for all. Nevertheless, even with all that said (now that I have some head nods from males and perhaps some females), men need to be cautious and just as aware in defaulting to the knee jerk reaction against feministic attitudes – machoism.
Also called machismo, machoism may vary its form depending on the culture, generation, business, religion, peer relationship, and home. Generally speaking, machoism presents itself in a way that that is dominating, assertive, or aggressive simply because the person is a man, or feels that they have the right to be so because they are a man. This can be done sexually, physically, or socially. The definition may change depending on who is talking and the research or experience they have had, and the standard of identifying any instance of machoism is pretty subjective, but, nevertheless, machoism is a real problem and a sinful response to any perceived usurping of the authority of the male figure.
The kind of machoism that I have seen within Christendom can sometimes be borderline Islamic. Anywhere from a man stating in front of his wife’s friends, “Submit woman!” to irritability that manifests itself in harsh tones or overbearing gestures, some men treat their wives in such a way that is enough to cause heads to turn. Thankfully I have never witnessed any physical threats, but machoism can also lead to forms of spousal abuse or rape. However it may manifest itself, this kind of thinking is usually rooted in the idea that a women “has her place” and that any form of perceived disrespect is grounds for disciplinary measures (whatever that may be).
Please do not misunderstand my previous statements. The Bible is clear that men and women both have their role in society and marriage. However, what tends to happen is that a feminist (or a feministic attitude) will accuse men of machoism when they don’t get their way, and likewise a machoist will respond the same. One of the reasons why men viscerally react the way they do toward women that are perceived as not being in submission to God’s (or their own) will is because we tend to do what women do – react from emotion. Men are just as easily susceptible to emotional responses as women. In essence what I am trying to say is that, as men, we need to realize that our ego can lift up our hearts in pride, and sometimes it is because of our family, friends, favorite Bible teacher, or experience that has taught us to react with a degree of machismo toward women, especially our wives.
In the book of 1 Peter, the apostle makes some very important statements that I think is a one of the remedies to dissolve machoism. Whenever we think irritably toward our wives, and speak to them in a fashion that is not amicable or gentle, we need to think of what Peter states concerning our “dwelling with them with understanding” (ch3 v7). Depending on the commentator, you may receive a nuanced application of how that should look. But the general consensus is that the gnosin (γνῶσιν), or knowledge/understanding, that Peter speaks of here is pointing to a mind that seeks to grasp the wisdom in how to dwell with one’s wife. We should actively pursue knowledge on how to live with them as “heirs together of the grace of life.” And I guarantee you, machoism is not on the menu.
There are at least 4 points based off of Scripture that will make it easy for us men to remember how to prevent machoism in our response toward wives who act in a feministic fashion.
- Give honor to the wife.
- Give yourself over to her.
- Love her like you would love yourself.
- Do not be bitter towards her.
As Peter mentions in verse 7 of chapter 3, we are to dwell with our wives in knowledge and understanding, and actively give honor to the wife. It is really hard to be aggressive and overly dominate to the one you honor and uplift. Sure, you will have your days where she may get on your last nerve, but so will she! Her lack of submission or bad attitude should never be a justifiable excuse why macho-mode should kick in. As Peter states, she is the “weaker vessel.” Now I know that may not seem that way for some of our marriages. Some women can be downright nasty and mean! But once again, so can the men. We don’t overcome evil with evil, but overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21). When we take the time to actively honor our wives in our marriages, this may be the ingredient that is needed in order for your wife to be humbled. And even if it is not, our motivation is not to get them to submit or conform to us, but so that “our prayers may not be hindered” and so that we conform to the image of Christ. This is being a true macho.
In our second point, Ephesians 5:22-23 gives men a lot more than the two points to prevent a machoistic attitude, but these are the ones that have helped me. First, give yourself to her (v 25). The Greek word that is used to state how Christ “gave Himself for her (the church)” is not like a Christmas present or birthday gift. The word often depicts a delivering up to court, judgment, or betraying of someone and giving them over. Christ did this willingly for us – His bride! In turn, we need to do the same. You know what that means? Sometimes we need to be longsuffering, patient, and gracefully resistant to the attitude and misconduct of our wives. If Christ delivered Himself up to sinners who spat on Him, verbally abused Him, and still committed Himself to dying on cross just to redeem His bride, surely anything short of life threatening or physically abusive behavior we can overlook. We can place our machoism aside and respond with grace and understanding despite how she may be acting at the moment. Trust me men. This isn’t easy. But it is the manly thing to respond to your wife with grace despite how she may be behaving at the moment. And you will need all the grace that God can supply, because we can be prone to respond in a very sinful way. Furthermore, it will be pretty hard to be macho toward her when you consider what you have done to Christ and how He has given you grace in return. Therefore, love her as Christ loves the church!
Second, love her like you love yourself (v 33). This is akin to giving honor to her. When you love your wife like you love yourself, and when you are conscious of how you treat her, you should be less prone to a machoistic attitude because, chances are, you would not treat yourself like that. And if you think you need to be talked to, dealt with, or handled in a machoistic fashion because you are man and a tough guy, good for you! That doesn’t give you permission to treat your weaker vessel that way! It says that we are to nourish and cherish our wives like we do our own bodies (v 29). Moreover, even if your woman is tough, rugged, and wants a man to handle her with leather gloves, you should be already learning how to “dwell with her with understanding” so that your machoism doesn’t get in the way of loving her, honoring her, and giving yourself to her in a Christ-like fashion. Just because a woman desires to be related to a certain way, doesn’t mean it is always right. Some women have been physically and sexually abused. Others prefer a certain kind of sinful attribute in man and place un-Christ-like expectations on us as we do them. Whatever the case, be like Christ in how you treat your wife, and women in general, and watch the machoism fade away.
In my final point (which I saved for last on purpose), it is important that we realize that Scripture explicitly states that we are not be “bitter” towards our wives (Col. 3:19). Whether it is acting bitterly toward them, or by being irritated by them, to which you respond aggressively, rudely, or dominantly, it is this imperative from God’s word that we should take strong heed to. Think about it. Being irritated by someone is just a fact of life. It will happen. A co-worker, a friend, a family member, or stranger will eventually take their turn at bringing you angst. If you magnify those possibilities by the fact that this person will live with you for the rest of your days. you can be sure the bitterness will need to be guarded against. And it is this reality of acting irritably toward your spouse where machoism gains its power.
Now when people think of bitterness, they automatically think that it has to be some dramatic emotional response, or yelling of some kind. This may be the case, but in many other cases, it is not. Bitterness can take root when your wife talks over you, says something in public about you, responds disrespectfully, chews you out, is disappointed in you, doesn’t gratify you sexually, wants to be alone, and the list goes on! Every situation may be different, but many times the machoism is the same. And a bitter attitude toward your spouse will be the exasperating force behind the machoistic attitude that will make you believe you are entitled to some respect around here! Or even the “enough is enough” attitude that is rooted in your own exalted opinion about yourself. Either way, God warned us through His word about it because it is a fact that it happens.
In saying all this, I do not want the slightly feministic and egalitarian women to drool over this article thinking that I am wanting to feminize men and make them more sensitive like a woman, and that I am for equality in the same fashion as many of the humanistic politicians are. But I do want men to learn how to be gracious toward their wives. I believe men should be tough, with broad shoulders, ready to handle what the world throws at them. But always gentle to their woman. Emotionally stable, but intimate; a leader, but also a servant. Men who are patient, nourishing, cherishing, and honoring toward their bride. Men who will cast machoism aside, and all the false glories that the world, or even their favorite Bible teacher and denomination, have molded it to be.
Men, let’s not let machoism be the sinful response to feministic attitudes toward us. If our spouses sin against us, let us address it with them with a sense of humility, and not entitlement. Modern feminism and egalitarianism is humanistic in nature, and fuel many of the conflicts men face with women today. But let’s move past the “submit woman” and “every woman has their place” mantra, and address unbiblical behavior with our spouses with a biblical attitude.
This article has some really good points for us single men as well as married men to consider and apply to our lives. On the most part it sounds reasonable. However, the issue I have with the article is that as well intentioned as it appears to be. It does really come across as feminizing men. The author knowing this, makes this counter statement to his readers who think that. Particularly to his egalitarian feminist women. He writes:
“In saying all this, I do not want the slightly feministic and egalitarian women to drool over this article thinking that I am wanting to feminize men and make them more sensitive like a woman, and that I am for equality in the same fashion as many of the humanistic politicians are.”
The author may not intend that, but that’s how he comes across after reading his whole article. I am a man, and I think that. I’m sure egalitarian feminists will think the same as well. Yes, husbands should give honor unto the weaker vessel, his wife. He should seek to be loving, patient, understanding, and gentle with his wife in being an example to her, since his responsibility is to lead her and their children. The thing is evangelical, egalitarian feminism does not allow men to be the leaders they need to be in the home. It actually underminds the man’s authority in the name of supposed “equality.” The egalitarian view fails to take into account that men and women are different.
I really have an issue with the author referring to his female readers as just “slightly feministic and egalitarian women.” perhaps some are, however, most are not. Many are actually quite militant in their agenda. Many good men, yes, Christian men who take their wedding vows and responsibilities to their families seriously have lost their families, homes, and material possessions because of listening to such advice that the above article gives. Does not the author know what it means to be a man? Women do not respect a man who is wimpy, indecisive, passive, and always catering to her whims in a needy manner.
Being masculine is what men are suppose to be in their demeanor. They are supposed to be authoritative, dominate, assertive, and leaders in their homes. Not in a machoistic manner, but with balance and integrity as what is right and proper before the Lord and his wife. The husband is called to “love” his wife and the wife is to “respect” her husband (see Ephesians 5:33). Feminizing men’s responses to cater to their wives bad behavior only causes her to further disrespect and abuse her husband (or her boyfriend for that matter). Instead of resolving the problem, it only serves to compound it. A wife who disrespect her husband, especially if he is faithfully loving her and serving the Lord, is not submitting to the authority of her husband. She is sinning both against the Lord and against him. Again, Paul in his letter to the Ephesians clearly instructs wives to submit to the authority and leadership of the husband, just as he is to submit himself to the authority and leadership of Christ (see Ephesians 5:22-24).
We are presently living in a pretty misandric society that demeans, abuses, and spreads hatred against men. I feel it, and many men, both Christian and non Christian feel it as well. Men are viewed as potential predators, while women are viewed as innocent victims. I’m glad the author admits that some women can be down right mean and nasty. They will even abuse the law to devastate and destroy men’s lives. I’ve both seen this and experienced this myself at the hands of such malicious women. ( Fortunately, I never had to deal with a woman in court). When Christian men are confronted with such women, they need to deal graciously, authoritatively, and with godly wisdom and tact according to the gravity of the situation. Being wishy-washy, passive, patient, loving, and hoping the problem will blow over will not work in a lot of cases in today’s feminist driven society. Now that’s not to say some women can’t be won by a man’s godly behavior. I’m sure some have. God is well able to deal with such women. However, God expects Christian men to be men and stand up to the plate and deal with such difficult wives in an authoritative, humble, and gracious manner. Men sitting idly by and allowing such bad behavior from their wives or other women in their lives to continue only further encourages bad behavior.
George Alvarado’s article was good, but it could have been much better. I hope this feed back helps for future articles. Thanks.
Because of Christ:
Oh, one more thing, a lot of women will walk over such men who do not exercise their masculine, God given authority as leaders in their homes. I’ve experienced this, I’ve read about this, both men and women have even told me about this. It’s a fact.
Sadly, due to the feminization of men in today’s society, both inside and outside the Church through the negative influences of feminism, don’t really know how to be leaders, let alone know how to exercise their natural masculine authority they have as men. This is why some men mistake machoism as the true masculine way to handle women. Unfortunately usurping power, control, and dominance in a relationship, especially in a negative and selfish manner is always wrong. So being Macho is definitely not the answer.
Perhaps future articles addressing this issue that men face would be helpful to your readers. Thanks.
Because of Christ:
Jerry, many thanks for stopping by and making intelligent comments. I haven’t read the whole article, but I violently agree the points you make 🙂
Reblogged this on Truth2Freedom's Blog.
Wow. I am shocked. I am not sure you read the article thoughtfully. Here are some comments on some of the thoughts you made.
“It (article) does really come across as feminizing men”
– How and in what way?
“Many good men, yes, Christian men who take their wedding vows and responsibilities to their families seriously have lost their families, homes, and material possessions because of listening to such advice that the above article gives. Does not the author know what it means to be a man? Women do not respect a man who is wimpy, indecisive, passive, and always catering to her whims in a needy manner. ”
– How do you intepret the advice in the article as producing the kind man you propose it does? And how do you intend to prove who has lost what based off the Scriptural principles I gave?
“Being masculine is what men are suppose to be in their demeanor. They are supposed to be authoritative, dominate, assertive, and leaders in their homes. Not in a machoistic manner, but with balance and integrity as what is right and proper before the Lord and his wife. ”
– This is an interesting statement seeing that is what I said in so many ways in the article. I further elaborate in the article, but, once again, I feel that maybe you did not thoughtfully consider it.
“Feminizing men’s responses to cater to their wives bad behavior only causes her to further disrespect and abuse her husband…”
– Once again, how does this relate to the article? In what way am I doing this? Please be specific.
“When Christian men are confronted with such women, they need to deal graciously, authoritatively, and with godly wisdom and tact according to the gravity of the situation. Being wishy-washy, passive, patient, loving, and hoping the problem will blow over will not work in a lot of cases in today’s feminist driven society.”
– As with the previous quesitons, where do I even hint at passivity? And how does patient and loving constitute passivity?
I agree that men are under attack and there are men that need to be men and stand up against feminism and egalitarianism. The problem is the knee jerk reaction to machoism. That is a sinful response. The issue is, what does a man look like biblically? To be authoritative, assertive, and agressive is not sinful, but if is grounded as an emotional response to feminism (as I state in the article), it is wrong.
If you could please (not being sarcastic or caustic in saying this) take the time to re-read carefully what I wrote, you will see I have said nothing different than what the Bible prescribes how men should act toward women.
My dear brother George, I assure you that I have read your entire article thoughtfully. My response was my assessment and reflections on your article. But hey, I don’t profess to be perfect in my review of your above article. So I will take your advice and reread your article again. One can never be too careful. Also, I want to make absolutely certain I am not “misunderstanding you” in my previous responses to you.
As soon as I get the chance, I will reread it, and get back to you with another response.
All the best to you my brother.
Because of Christ:
Good post. We must not swing the other side to another error when we “overcompensate”
Indeed Jim. Thanks for the post.