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IBC Women’s Blog August 2, 2019

IBC Women’s Blog August 2, 2019

A War on Manhood By Jodie Montgomery

You typically don’t wake up and say “hey, good day to write a blog on the war on manhood”, you have to get prompted by something. For me, watching my son struggle with the world’s influences through the years and an email from the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC) reminded me of the importance of defining Biblical Manhood. I’ve spent many hours considering Biblical Womanhood with a hope of helping women find joy in their femininity and freedom from myths associated with identity. Yet I haven’t thought a lot about manhood, I feel I’ve slighted the men in my life. There is a war on manhood that is as confusing as the attacks on womanhood and our brothers, sons, families are suffering.

How do we define healthy masculinity today? Is the definition as fluid as most propose regarding any gender related theme? The American Psychological Association (APA) has guidelines for those providing talk therapy to boys and men and has published the APA attempts to define masculinity for psychologists working with these specific populations. Reading through the guidelines gives you a sense of the complexity of supporting psychological practices that address masculinity. To repair situations, you must identify what needs repairing. Counseling is full of moral/value system judgments in a culture that is hesitant to “judge”.

APA Guideline 5, “psychologists strive to encourage positive father involvement and healthy family relationships” sounds encouraging to me. I value family and frequently see the good in positive father involvement. But, when you read through the guideline you hear the struggle of the therapist to apply practical standards to healthy family relationships. The authors of the guidelines seem to want to overcome stereotypes and biases without offending. How do we identify a healthy home?

As believers, the Scriptures do provide insight on biblical masculinity. Men are key in implementing God’s will through the ages. Husbands are called to love their wives and to not frustrate their children. They are expected to be faithful to their families. Abdicating responsibilities as husbands and fathers is identified as sin. Leadership does not mean tyranny or domineering behavior. Christ is our picture of servant leadership and sacrificial care.

I have no quick solutions for a population where men are still committing suicide and going to prison at much higher rates than women. We need to continue to pray for one another. I do think the Bible is our guide as He is eternal and a good, good Father Who directs His family with truth and love. The Bible speaks to all: 1 Peter 3:7-12 You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered. To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. For, “The one who desires life, to love and see good days, must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit. He must turn away from evil and do good; He must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous, and His ears attend to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”