By Gloria Furman
I live in a culture that admires a man’s earning power, and his fertility, and his ability to rule his domain with an iron fist.
While Scripture certainly calls for a Christ-like masculinity that provides for and protects his family, the Bible takes a wrecking ball to the culture-based ideals of masculinity that are celebrated around the world.
By God’s grace, I enjoy the fruits of living with a man who demonstrates biblical masculinity. This is the kind of masculinity that emerges from the gospel, points back to the gospel, and celebrates the gospel in my home.
The masculinity I appreciate as a wife is of far greater value than wealth-earning power. It’s a masculinity that is unashamed of the gospel which is the power of God (Romans 1:16).
The unashamed masculinity I enjoy in my home leaves a legacy that is more enduring than prolific fertility. It’s masculinity that fervently loves others from a heart that has been born again, born not of seed which is perishable, but imperishable. True masculinity is reborn through the living and abiding word of God.
The unashamed masculinity I love to follow in my home is far more impressive than macho pride. It’s masculinity that is willing to take the painful shrapnel in the battle against his own sin, rather than run from sin and hide in the comfort of silence. It is a masculinity that willingly exposes its life to the iron-sharpening-iron of open and honest male accountability relationships.
The unashamed masculinity that guards the hearts in my home puts away rash, cutting words that pierce like a sword. My husband’s Christ-honoring masculinity understands the power of words, and he uses words to bring healing to me and our children.
The unashamed masculinity I cherish in my home is such that fixes its eyes on Jesus and turns its eyes away from all the vain things of this world that hold a potent charm over other men. My husband’s Christ-honoring masculinity flees from promises whispered by a hiss.
The unashamed masculinity I need in my home is concerned that others find their delight in God. Nothing quite says, “I love you” to me than when my husband is willing to humbly stand up to the things I pursue that obstruct my everlasting joy in God. His loving masculinity reassures me of Christ’s atonement made on my behalf, and of the privilege I have to boldly approach the throne of grace.
Unashamed masculinity has less to do with how many horses a man owns, or how fast he can run. Unashamed masculinity is about what a man does with the gospel.
Where can you see this unashamed masculinity? You see it whenever a man has peered into the empty tomb and found new motivation to lay down his own life to spread the gospel into the souqs of Casablanca, into the office spaces in Dallas, into the cafes in Geneva, into the shantytowns of Mumbai, into the barrios of Sao Paulo, and into the universities of Toronto.
My dear, godly, husband once explained to someone that he wasn’t able to shake hands because of the nerve disease in his arms. This person said, “That’s awful! Everyone can tell a real man by the firm grip of his handshake.”
I just smiled to myself.
I’ve watched my husband find his strength in the joy of the Lord. He has a firm grip on grace. And I can testify that he is “a real man” by his unashamed passion for the gospel.
When he cares for our family, our church, and our city with the gospel, he grabs hold of the gates of hell and shakes them without fear and without shame.
That is the kind of gospel-centered masculinity that I thank God for, and it’s the masculinity that I want to celebrate.
*This post first appeared at DesiringGod.org.
Gloria Furman (@gloriafurman) lives in Dubai with her husband Dave, a pastor. They are raising four young kids. Gloria is the author of Glimpses of Grace: Treasuring the Gospel in Your Home (2013) and Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full: Gospel Meditations for Busy Moms (2014) and she blogs at gloriafurman.com.
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