This topic is very dear to my heart and I could not wait to share this with you. I will explain why in a later post, but earlier I shared that we are going through a crisis in masculinity. There are many reasons that we probably can think of, but I truly believe that at some point, somewhere in our lives we have been deceived.
Yes, there is a crisis, because we as men have been deceived to what masculinity actually is.
We have looked at films, TV shows, discussions amongst our peers and have used that as benchmarks to achieve masculinity.
I will be sharing scripture as well as my own experience, research and from various conversations that I have heard and engaged in. These are the few misconceptions that are prevalent or have come across and I honestly pray that this message will reach the hearts of those who are promoting the misconceptions without even knowing.
MISCONCEPTION #1 – REAL MEN HAVE BEARDS
This is one of the recent trends that I have noted. Beards do have some input in making a guy look more masculine, especially towards the females, (who are probably nodding their heads in agreement) but unfortunately, the appeal towards guys having beards often has a negative backlash when a beard has been cut or removed.
Not to mention men who have found themselves following this trend to grow a beard just to attract women and those who sadly have questioned their own masculinity because they can’t grow a beard.
MISCONCEPTION #2 – REAL MEN ARE 6ft +
During my transition from college to university years where I was reading about male and female communication, I made it my business to obtain the feminine perspective on relationships and the like. The main reason being, that I have been a victim of this point of rhetoric. In fact, I still don’t quite understand this point. Forgive me if I am wrong, but my natural thought towards this area is that women would like to look up to their male and feel protected as they look out for them, and the added height gives them the advantage. Also, the fact that a male who is shorter than an ideal height, or even shorter than her will almost make the female not want to take the male seriously. In other words, the conversation ends when 5 foot something is mentioned…
Whether that is true or not remains to be seen. However, we are all fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139: 13 -16) and made in the image of God Himself (Genesis 1: 27), in other words, males (and females) did not choose the families they were born, the neighbourhoods they grew up in, their body shape or their height.
Men, your height or beard has nothing to do with you being a man. For those who have felt some kind of way because of these misconceptions, let this be a principle to take home:
Disclaimer: My brothers. This is not a call to escape from responsibility. If you are made to feel a certain way about things that you KNOW you have the capacity to change, then you better do it – quickly! There is strength in the grace of God!
MISCONCEPTION #3 – MEN HAVE TO “MAN UP”
Lads, you have emotions. You are not called to be lead by them or be controlled by them, but your emotions are indicators of how you are feeling on the inside. It is normal to have and display emotion.
John 11: 35 – Jesus wept.
(The shortest verse in the bible; very memorable and very significant in relation to authentic masculinity.)
Us men, whenever we tend to feel overwhelmed by life, we tend to express our emotions with the one who loves us dearly, our women. It makes sense, to be open and transparent about your frustrations. However, because of our failed relationships, we are afraid to share our emotions or behave like we don’t have any, just to be seen in control from the female’s perspective and to provide ourselves inner comfort to be seen as protecting the relationship.
Of course, that is how we men rationalise it. However, the truth is, you don’t want to share your emotions with your woman because you are afraid of how she may perceive you afterwards.
Men’s number 1 fear: Being seen as weak in front of their woman and having to deal with the reality that she can choose “stronger” guys out there.
Then comes the dreaded statement we men have heard, acted upon and discovered that it had caused more harm than good.
“You need to man up!”
We need to recognise that when this sentence is being said, either from men or women, it is usually said out of frustration at the lack of manliness that is almost expected to be displayed.
However, let us be clear on this: anyone who makes you feel less than is probably because they have been led away by general or by their own misconceptions of masculinity themselves.This is where I feel compelled to share statements to both women and to men:
Ladies: Your femininity awakens masculinity. That’s why men become so excited and want to do “manly things” for you. Yes, they make mistakes but don’t make sharp statements out of your frustrations. Trust me on this, but the self-esteem of the man will crumble to a point where they will respond by doing things they think they need to do, just for the sake of doing it, but not from a place of where they actually want to.
Conclusion: The self-esteem of the man is needed to be preserved so that he can be self-confident in responding to the call of man. Attack the self-esteem and you will crumble him to be reactive, not proactive.
Men: True, authentic masculinity is bestowed. Yes, the woman can enable your fire of masculinity to burn within you, but ladies cannot bestow masculinity because they are women. Men bestow masculinity to men (That is why it is important to have a male mentor, a father figure or a good relationship with your earthly fathers). Follow the Way of the Lord, surround yourselves with like-minded men and work so can be ready to answer the call of man. How can you be a man for others when you cannot be a man for yourself?
Conclusion: Masculinity comes from within, not from what you do externally. Operate from a place of knowing and focus on being, not doing.
Have you come across any misconceptions that made you think or feel “surely, this can’t be right?” Please feel free to discuss them in the comment section below.
Thank you for reading my brothers, and remember; God created you males because He wants you to become a man through Jesus Christ.
Tunde T. Amao