Two weeks ago, I wrote a letter to the women of the world. Now, it’s time for us men. Hopefully, I have a bit more authority in this area. I want to encourage you, to open your heart, and be willing to listen.
I know there’s not much out there about what a man of God should be. Most of it comes from men who are so insecure that they talk like men have to be built like cage fighters and great around the house.
And we can’t be sensitive and emotional. That’s women’s job. Apparently.
Well, guess what? It’s a lie. I’m a man. But I’m rubbish at DIY, not built anything like a cage fighter, cry at films, and am insanely sensitive.
And I’m guessing at least one of those statements is true of you as well.
Being a man isn’t about being the strongest, being a DIY expert, or even being the main breadwinner. So if you’re not any of those, then it’s no problem. You’re still a man.
Men will always be men. Physically, genetically, we’ll always be men.
The question is, what type of man do you want to be?
There is a lot I could discuss here in relation to to this. But let’s focus on one specific area – our treatment of women.
Let’s be clear. If you want to be anything like a man as God designed men to be, then you don’t abuse women. A man of God doesn’t patronise, insult, or talk down to women in any circumstances. He doesn’t treat women as any less than himself. Ever.
Instead, he empowers women – in fact, better yet, he empowers all people. A man treats women as equals because they are. He champions women and cheers for them. He doesn’t see a woman as an object but as a person with equal value and worth.
This kind of man is secure enough to let himself be led by a woman and treats women with love and respect in every area of life.
I’m tired of reading some of you men say God has a ‘masculine feel,’ that all of us men need to be able to win a fight, fix the house.
First, a man after God’s heart doesn’t get into a fight; he stops them. And second, I can’t fix my house, but I don’t consider myself any less a man.
I’m tired of hearing that the women we love, who have incredible gifts in so many areas of life, allegedly aren’t free to pursue anything involving leadership, speaking publicly, or which doesn’t involve at some point becoming a stay at home Mum who will be quiet and let us do the decision making.
When men do this, we are not only dishonouring, disrespecting, patronising, and insulting women, we are treating them as lesser beings and, above all, putting an imposed limit on their divine calling.
I’d rather not be the man who has to account to God for stopping a woman realising her calling. And I find it difficult to accept that God gave women gifts of leadership, intellect, and public speaking if they were not meant to be used.
And there is no way in the world I could ever even consider someone’s opinion as less valid than mine, simply due to their gender. Yet some do. And it’s shocking.
A lot of us men need to get beyond our insecurity and tradition-based theology. If we read those scriptures many use to justify this perspective in their historical context – rather than one which suits this perspective – if we look at how Jesus spoke to women and check out the gender of the first person to preach the gospel, it would be clear how warped this view is.
But a lot of men are afraid to do this. And this is the heart of this warped view of women. It comes largely from men too insecure to accept that women have equal value to them and that many are gifted and called to do the same jobs as them. Including being pastors, preachers, and leaders.
Men who hold this view find it hard to be truly vulnerable. They are too busy trying to ‘be a man,’ and they don’t deem women to be capable enough to deal with it – even their own wives.
All of us men, whatever we believe, need to constantly examine our view and treatment of women. All of us are capable of being prejudiced, no matter what our intentions may be. And if our perspective or theology is flawed, or we’re acting in a prejudiced way, we need to change. Right now.
Let us men have the courage to empower women. To stand up for equality. To encourage and respect the women we know in our words and actions and help them discover their true identity and calling, whatever it may be. Even if it’s to lead us.
Let us show divine love and respect for women.
In short, let’s be men of God.
James Prescott is a writer and author from Sutton, near London, UK. He blogs regularly at JamesPrescott.co.uk. He recently released his first e-book, ‘5 Steps to Encouragement: A Manifesto for Changing the World’ which can be obtained free here.