In recent days, there has been an uprising of criticism against what some people call “toxic masculinity.” Last fall the American Psychological Association issued its “first-ever guidelines for practice with men and boys” which includes guidance for helping men avoid such risky behavior like “avoiding vegetables.”* In January, Gillette produced an ad decrying the stereotypical bullying and cat-calling associated with some people’s idea of a “real man.”
All of my boyhood I was taught to be kind to others. (Ephesians 4:32). I was taught to treat women with respect and purity. (1 Timothy 5:2; 1 Peter 3:7) Has the lost world all of a sudden figured out that God’s Word was right all along and that brutish behavior and sexual conquest are terrible things?
Sadly, no. Instead of replacing “toxic masculinity” with the Biblical teaching on gender roles, our culture is continuing its push to ignore the distinctions that the Creator put between men and women. Men and women are created differently for a reason. A man is not designed to fulfill the woman’s role, and a woman is not designed to fulfill a man’s role. Satan usurped the man’s leadership when seeking to bring sin into the world (1 Timothy 2:14), and he is continuing wreak havoc by circumventing the Creator’s perfect design. As one doctor put it, “If we can change men,” he says, “we can change the world.” I believe that is absolutely true and I believe that it works both positively and negatively. Satan wants to corrupt men and the role of men to promote iniquity and wickedness. But we must commit ourselves to a Biblical Definition of Masculinity characterized by sacrificial love, selfless compassion and servant leadership.