Real Men

by Randy Blackaby

Real men are becoming a lost commodity. Men who know their role in the family, in society and the world are harder and harder to find.

The feminist movement, which has entered its second generation, has failed utterly in its mission to liberate women but has caused many men to lose their sense of masculinity and purpose in marriage and the home. Most men, it would appear, have abdicated their role as family leaders under societal pressures initiated by the feminist movement.

Today's talk shows, classrooms and workplaces repeatedly are heard to advocate the creation of unisex or androgynous human beings with no difference in functions, despite the never-greater volumes of data about the physical and emotional differences between the sexes.

The feminist goals include complete mutual decision-making and shared authority in the home, equal sharing of the role of supporting the family financially, and full sharing of home-making and child-care functions. This has been sold as a "fair" system and compared negatively with "traditional" arrangements where separate roles were identified for husbands and wives.

While these "goals" have been identified and approved by society in general, the "results" have been catastrophic.

Shared leadership concepts have resulted in no leadership because equality of authority is antithetical to the very concept of leadership.

With the majority of women insisting on sharing in the income production role that once was the male domain, larger and larger numbers of children are being surrendered to the care of modem day "orphans homes" the day care center and the public school system.

As biblical patterns for marriage roles and family life are abandoned there is emerging a rapid increase in sexual dysfunction in marriage and, sometimes, abandonment of natural sexual roles for homosexual perversions. Divorce and the broken home are now more normal in many communities than the intact family.

And, without functioning families, children are left without the environment necessary to teach love, morality and personal responsibility. Our overburdened judicial and prison systems are but another manifestation of the end results.

What is needed critically today are men who understand their purpose and roles as leaders of their families. Needed are men who carry out their God-ordained duties to wives and children.

The Bible teaches, in passages like I Corinthians 11:3 and Ephesians 5:23, that husbands are to be the "heads" of their wives and families. To people who reject the Bible outright this means nothing but to those who respect God's word it clearly asserts a husband's leadership, authority to direct and rule in the home.

By understanding the concept of "headship" one can see God's wisdom. Just as a human body with two heads would be a paralyzed monstrosity so is the home with two heads.

Men today need to re-learn what home leadership is all about. Issuing orders, receiving deference and respect may be a part of it but much, much more is involved.

God tells the man to be the "provider" for his family in I Timothy 5:8. The authority given a man also calls for him to be a primary teacher and guide to the family, both in word and example.

Unlike most typical homes today, God's ideal home has the husband and father being the principal disciplinarian responsible for training, development, and correction of his children. Passages in the Bible like Ephesians 6:4 show a man he has this responsibility. When he abdicates this job or delegates it completely to his wife, he has failed.

The real model for husband-like leadership is found in the example of Jesus himself, not in the macho-ism of the contemporary scene. Jesus led by love, sacrifice and submission of personal well-being and desires to the well-being of others.

The feminist movement is not totally responsible for the negative attitudes toward male leadership in the home today. Men who have abused or abdicated their responsibilities in the past are partially the cause.

But whatever the past failures and their causes, the crying need today is for men to re-assume their responsibilities and to lead, guide and love their wives and families through the morass of evils that today threaten our homes, nation and world.

Leadership will not be easy in our unisex society. But, then, leadership never has been easy. Real men are needed for the task.