In this video, Dr. Alastair Roberts reflects with Brad Belschner on how misguided many modern Christian approaches to masculinity are, urging us to put on or perform manliness in a way that encourages stereotypes. Rather, we discover what it means to be manly (or womanly) in the course of fulfilling the duties God has called us to. Watch it below:
00:28 – What is Masculinity?
00:50 – Commonly Attributed to Manliness.
01:15 – God creates us as either male or female. He doesn’t simply call us to be those things well.
01:40 – Because of insecurities we seek to be men by portraying manliness and pursuing it directly.
02:10 – When we pursue merely the appearance of men, we will push against a mere stereotype.
02:30 – But don’t we need to perform manliness at least in avoiding things like effeminacy?
02:43 – There is certainly a duty to be men well, but it’s not grounded in something that we whip up for ourselves, but in the fact that we simply are men.
03:00 – Helpful tip: think of the godly examples in our communities, men who are fathers, brothers, sons &c. in ways that are glorifying to God and in ways that fulfill their calling as men.
03:42 – You say gender is an inherent part of our being, but how is this different from when a Liberal says he is a wimp and obsessed with interior design, but that he’s a man.
04:12 – Such people often manifest disregard for being men more generally, and that is where the concern lies. Not in an interest in something like interior design.
04:30 – We need to be concerned to be the men God has created it to be. Doesn’t mean living up to stereotypes and it allows more latitude than we often think.
04:40 – For example, the great heroes of the Bible. David had a deep emotional life, he made music, he was passionate, engaged in the world in a way we may not consider as stereotypically masculine. But he is clearly a man, responsible in his duties, yet has intimate firendships, is artistic, etc.
05:16 – These are things that we often put off-limits because we are more concerned with the appearance of manliness rather than the substance.
05:26 – Though isn’t it more helpful to have a more concrete list of attributes, like assertiveness, confidence, be a good leader &c.? How do I use what you’re saying to “be a man”?
05:48 – Instead of the list that creates a stereotype, we need a more concrete list. E.g. for the duties of a father, of a son, of a good worker. THESE are the contexts where you will find manliness. It is in your relationship as a father, as a son, in how you relate to your wife and your children.
06:24 – So this list is more concrete than stereotypes. More helpful for each man, because it has to do with real roles and duties that a man has.