This post has become very popular with people "googling" for answers to The Roles of The Sexes. Thank you for choosing this site to answer your question. I realize you are probably in a rush to answer some burning question and I believe this post will answer it. However, I would like to make you aware this post is part of a Series that covers the roles of both men and women according to the world, the definitions used in the Bible, and God's non-contradictory explanation. Please mark this post and take time to come back and look at the following links to get a bigger understanding:
Definitions of the words for "Man" that are used in the Bible
Definition of "Man" according to the World (This post)
Definition of "Man" according to God's Word
Definitions of the words for "Woman" that are used in the Bible
Definition of "Woman" according to the World
Definition of "Woman" according to God's Word
Also, if you are looking for an explanation of how to become a man, here is a link to the beginning of a Series from February 2011: HOW to become a man.
This month we are looking at the two Universal Strongholds that are hindering our ability to fix the church.
Last week we looked at the first Universal Stronghold: Leadership.
Remember, a stronghold is a source of ammunition and resources for the enemy within our brains that ultimately leads to us being Unprofitable. When I speak of Universal Strongholds, I'm stating that EVERYTHING about this topic is Unprofitably filed away in our brains. For instance, when people speak of "Leadership" it is Unprofitable in the Long Term because they ACTUALLY describe attributes that are the OPPOSITE of what would make ALL of us Profitable.
This week, we began looking at the second Universal Stronghold: the roles of the sexes.
This week we are covering the males. Next week (and for the rest of the month), we will cover the females. By the end of this month, we will see that both of these Universal Strongholds (Leadership and The Roles of The Sexes) are forming a contradictory loop in the thought processes of our culture's "brain".
In a previous post, I asked for your definitions of "man" and "boy". The guidelines were that the definition ought to be stated in terms of a cause and Jesus ought to be the Ultimate example of the definition.
Please reread this previous post for more background on the guidelines for determining your definition.
In the previous post, we saw the Biblical definition for "masculinity" is putting the interests of others ahead of your own short-term interests.
I believe these two Universal Strongholds (Leadership and The Role of The Sexes) make the Word and Will of God of NONE EFFECT. These strongholds from the enemy make Church and Marriage unable to generate the value to bring about God's Will on earth as it is in Heaven.
I believe God's definition of Leader results in people becoming MORE able to do God's Will over time. In fact, I believe the man-made contradictory traditional definition of Leader (BOSS) actually results in us getting increasingly further away from accomplishing God's Will!
Think about the traditional definition of "Leader"...It is NOT possible for all of us to facilitate our own Purpose and Progress at the expense of others.
Leaders operate according to causality...they provide the cause in order to get the desired effect.
Bosses operate opposite of causality...they attempt to get the effect without providing a reason or a cause.
The Biblical definition of "masculinity" is a cause. You can intentionally put the interest of others ahead of your own short-term interests. This is EXACTLY what a Leader would do...and we all seem to be quick to state that God made MEN the Leaders.
However, what would your definition of "woman" be if this was your definition of "man"? Would it be someone who gets their Purpose and Progress facilitated?
Actually, the Biblical definition of "woman" is MORE specific. THAT OUGHT to tell us that our definition of "man" needs to be MORE specific.
Notice, this Biblical definition of "masculinity" is ALSO an effect of ANOTHER cause. It is a cause that is even MORE specific and will lead us to the Ultimate definition of "man" and "boy" and "woman".
So, if you stated your definition of "man" as one who is about the interest of others AND/OR one who facilitates the Purpose and Progress of others, you have done very well...but you are actually on the second rung of The Ladder of Abstraction. There is one more rung you can get to and it will be the definition of "man" and eventually help us determine the Biblical definition of "woman".
Today, we will look at the world's definition of "man"...
MAN ACCORDING TO THE WORLD
The world's definition of "man" is Right-Wrong. It has a Right WHAT with a Wrong WHY/HOW. I have also referred to this difference as OUGHT vs. IS.
The world's definition correctly states WHAT a "man" NATURALLY IS...
Men are visual. Men are single-tracked...deal with one issue at a time. Men are Physically focused. Men are not verbal. Men are logical. However, when Men are stressed, they are quick to respond to a situation with emotions and force. In short, men are naturally focused on effects. In fact, men naturally make PERFECT BOSSES.
The issue becomes: OUGHT men to act this way.
After all, we saw that this world is in desperate need of Leaders...yet the majority of people act as BOSSES...naturally. Is this RIGHT?
People have rationalized the way males are by saying, "God made men this way."
I would agree that God made males to NATURALLY focus on effects and be BOSSES. The issue is WHY?
Is it possible that God did this so that REAL MEN could express their will to ignore their NATURE (flesh) and take direction from God so that they can be Leaders?
Which WHY do you believe?
If you believe the world's WHY, then males should keep acting like BOSSES. But this is NOT just the world...the church is saying that males should act like BOSSES. At the beginning of this year, a person from Chicago gave me a card that states:
"The Definition of a... R-E-A-L MAN
Expects a Greater Reward, God's Reward
Next to "Accepts Responsibility" is: (a will to obey, a work to do, a woman to love)
Next to "Leads Courageously" is: (set direction, provide protection, make provision)
ALL of this "definition" consists of EFFECTS!!!!
In fact, given what we have learned about expectations, Reward, Responsibility, Leading, etc., I can say that none of this is supported by the Bible. We will look at this list (especially the thought that it is a "responsibility" to love a woman) next month. For now, let's get a better understanding of OUGHT vs. IS...
It is vital that you are able to keep these two concepts separate in your brain and able to access both at the same time when looking at these two Universal Strongholds.
This first excerpt comes from Modeling God's Wills.
Today, we see Christian books and sermons reinforcing IS! There are numerous examples. One of the examples (that will come up in more detail in Part II) is in “Wild at Heart” by John Eldridge.
Mr. Eldridge says that every man has three desires:
1. Go on an adventure
2. Fight a battle
3. Save a beauty
When one looks at the “male” section of the video rental store, it is hard to argue with this conclusion. It seems every one of those movies fulfills each area. It certainly seems every male has these desires. Where did these desires come from?
Mr. Eldridge says that God made every man with these desires. Again, this would certainly be hard to argue with since it appears that every male has these desires and he doesn’t have to learn to have them…however, the next question is the key: Is it right?
Mr. Eldridge says men were made for these three purposes and we shouldn’t fight God. However, I believe I was made for eternity. What battle will I be fighting in eternity? This is a clear example of OUGHT vs. IS. Eternity is OUGHT. What we have today is IS. Are we supposed to strive for OUGHT or reinforce IS?
I have written Mr. Eldridge a couple of times and asked him if he ever considered whether God made us males with these fleshly desires (IS) so that choosing not to do them would be an objective expression of our will to follow God (OUGHT) and not our flesh. I did not receive an answer.
There are a lot of things males desire…does this mean God wants us to act on them? Males desire to have intercourse with women…some males have a desire to have sex with every woman. Before you think I’m being ridiculous, look at what historian Jacques Barzun says about Martin Luther in his book “From Dawn to Decadence”:
“But Luther was no prude; his common sense shines in his repeated references to sexuality. He knew its power: as a monk he had tortured himself to fight desire, slept on stones, and found this treatment only making it worse. As he said, it is thoughts of “rosy cheeks and white legs” that drive young men to get engaged. “Early love is fervid and drunken, blinds us and leads us on.” So it is cruelty to young people to bind them to celibacy as priests, monks, or nuns. Even in marriage it is hard to be chaste. No fierce penalty ought to be visited on those who yield to a force of nature divinely ordained for the begetting of children.”
Five hundred years ago, Martin Luther decided that husbands have a God given desire that leads to affairs and they ought not to be punished fiercely because they are fighting a “nature divinely ordained”. Luther is saying, this is the way it IS and the only response is to focus on the penalty.
Actually the battle between OUGHT and IS involves the most critical core beliefs. The objective of Part I is to address three of them:
1. What is the Nature of God?
2. What is God’s Will?
3. How does God’s Will occur?
Alexander Pope summed up this IS mentality hundreds of years ago in a poem with the line: “Whatever is, is right.”
IS wants to believe God made us a certain way and there is nothing we can do about it. Even though we know God’s Will is something that is completely right, we think the only response is to reinforce and respond to IS. While this can lead to things getting “better”, this mentality is short-term. It is meant to rationalize our guilt over not doing God’s Will (what we OUGHT to do) when it leads to things getting “better”. The objective is to lessen our workload. This mentality doesn’t produce a result that benefits everyone.
Every time someone points out the deficiencies of a group of people, watch the very next thing they say. For example, if someone tells you women are multi-taskers (or emotional), while males focus (or are logical)…what is the next statement? OUGHT would tell us how to make it profitable for everyone and have the best of both worlds. OUGHT would say that men OUGHT to learn how to multi-task and women OUGHT to learn how to focus. IS would say that is the way it is and then teach you how to reinforce the IS (“don’t expect a man to multi-task”) or how to just put up with the other person.
Look around, getting “better” is good enough. We reward putting up with IS! We have given up on getting answers to achieve OUGHT.
This next section follows the previous section in Modeling God's Wills:
We are physical beings and we are spiritual beings. Only one of these beings can be valued most (“pre-eminent”). Expressing your will to be “born again” is choosing to make the spiritual self pre-eminent over the physical self. This doesn’t mean the physical self completely disappears.
There is a constant struggle over making the spiritual pre-eminent over the physical. Notice, the source of our physical focus is a destructive spiritual force. So, my use of the term “physical” is intended to be taken from the view of the individual…on what is the individual focused.
The destructive spiritual force doesn’t focus the individual on the spiritual at all; they attempt to keep the individual focused on the physical. God constantly encourages us to focus on the spiritual…to be aware of both good and evil spiritual forces. Everything we encounter is either physical or spiritual…this struggle can be summarized by IS and OUGHT.
“Remember not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it?” (Isaiah 43:18-19)
IS applies to the physical world including our flesh. The physical focuses on the past (when it was better) and the present (when it is the best it is ever going to be). Notice it is impossible to speak solely about the present because it is less than a micro-second long. By the time you finish a sentence talking about the present, it has become the past. Technically, 99.999999% of everything you think and speak about is past or future.
The physical focuses on what has been seen or can be seen. In “Modeling God” we saw that Hebrews 11:1 says faith is the belief in something that can’t be seen or something that hasn’t happened yet. IS attempts to replace faith!
Faith is proven in your actions. IS convinces you to live with what you have. IS says there is nothing to look forward to because you already have the best you are going to have: “whatever is, is right”. The flesh focuses on IS!
However, the physical runs down and is not eternal. The physical will never be perfect. The physical is ultimately Unprofitable. The best we can ever hope for from the physical…from IS…is "Not Unprofitable".
“(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.” (Romans 4:17)
OUGHT applies to the spiritual realm and can be perfection. The spiritual focuses on the future. The spiritual focuses on things we cannot see. This requires faith. The spiritual can become perfect. However, evil is also spiritual, so not everything that is spiritual is OUGHT. Whether it becomes perfect or not, the spiritual is eternal and cannot cease to exist. OUGHT is "Profitable"! God is focused on OUGHT!
“Breathren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)
There is nothing wrong with speaking or thinking about IS or OUGHT in and of themselves. The key is to be conscious of whether you are giving pre-eminence in your words, thoughts, and actions to IS or OUGHT…this is different than claiming OUGHT but having your actions follow IS.
One more thing, people don't argue over OUGHT...they actually agree. People actually argue over the IS that we should do. For example, everyone agrees that abortions OUGHT to never happen...every pregnancy OUGHT to be desired. The argument IS over what are we actually going to do. That rationalization goes something like this, "Yeah, OUGHT would be wonderful, but it is not going to happen...so what are we actually going to do?"...and this is when the argument begins. This argument is really focused on limiting “Unprofitable”. The goal is to reach “Not Unprofitable”.
With this being an election year, watch how politicians flip from OUGHT to IS...and back again. When the candidate wants to get agreement during appearances that involve everyone, the candidate speaks OUGHT or causes division by quoting their opponent's IS answer. When the candidate wants to get a partisan group to back them, the candidate speaks that group's solution...he speaks that group's IS choice.
"Man" according to the world and traditional churches is a being focused on the Physical...focused on effects.
Males are NATURALLY focused on effects.
Should we REINFORCE a male's NATURE?
My son went to another "manly man's conference" at a nationally known minister's church. I asked him if he got any handouts from the all day conference. He said, "No, BECAUSE they said men don't want handouts...men don't like to read." Most of what was stated had NOTHING to do with the Bible and EVERYTHING to do with our culture.
It is a subtle point: Are we supposed to keep people comfortable in their fleshly nature and rationalize WHY we do this by blaming it on God? ("God made us men this way and there is nothing we can or should do about it.")
The question you need to answer is: Do you think God DESIRES males to be focused on effects?
Clearly, this BELIEF results in males being BOSSES.
Tomorrow, we will look at the definition of "man" with Biblical examples...