Is masculinity harmful to men and boys? Should masculinity be pathologized? According to new guidelines released this month by the American Psychological Association (APA), the answer seems to be yes.
In a recent report on the APA’s new guidelines on masculinity, WORLD correspondent Sarah Schweinsberg interviewed CBMW president Dr. Denny Burk about manhood and the APA’s pathologization of masculinity.
You can listen to the WORLD report here, or read Dr. Burk’s comments below:
“So what do we do about men and boys who are confused about what it means to be masculine?
Denny Burk is president of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.
BURK: I would argue that it’s the absence of Biblical masculine virtues that leads to so many of the social pathologies that we’re seeing. It’s not that we’ve emphasized them too much. It’s that we’re not attending to them at all.
Burk says, first, we must recognize there are God-ordained, biological differences between men and women. Then, understand what Biblical masculinity entails.
BURK: At the heart of mature masculinity is a sense of benevolent responsibility to lead, to provide for and protect women in ways appropriate to a man’s differing relationships.
Of course Biblical masculinity has distortions, Burk says that’s called sin. But those distortions can’t be recognized unless families and the church are modeling healthy masculinity.
For dads, Burk says that means spending intentional time with sons roughhousing, playing a game, or talking. And for moms that means encouraging dads to spend time with their sons.
BURK: A father who is there, who is attentive to his children at home and who is taking an interest in his son. There’s hardly anything more important than just simply that.
Burk says the church can create a place where men and boys feel welcome by encouraging men to get involved in peer-to-peer mentorship or in mentoring a younger boy. Churches can also create opportunities for boys to connect with their dads and for boys without dads to find strong male role models.
BURK: Just this last year, we started a program for young boys which involves their fathers. We have a time of Biblical teaching where we teach boys Biblical masculine virtues. And then we just have times of activity where we play, we teach them to build, we teach them to, you know, just do things outside.
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