Some rambling thoughts on the kind of man I pray I may be, in light of my recent study on gender roles.
Within my home, I am praying that God gives me the strength to be the husband and father that I should be. I want to be the kind of husband my wife looks up to. I want to give her a reason to respect me, not just expect it because she knows it’s the right thing to do. And I want to show her how much I value her, and how much I love her. I pray every day that God will teach me how to be the man He designed me to be, and that He will give me the strength, patience, and courage to be the husband I should be.
An older woman I used to know once said, “A woman, in the presence of a good man – a real man – loves being a woman.” This is something that I truly long for – to make a woman love being a woman. Naturally, I hope to make my wife feel this way in a more comprehensive way, but I know that there are men whom women love to be around just because they feel invigorated, they feel secure in their femininity, and they feel secure in the love and care that they intuitively know this man has for them. I have a cousin who is this kind of man. Men and women alike want to be around him because he is a strong, good, godly man, and people can tell just from being around him for a few minutes. That is the kind of man I want to be.
I think in this endeavor, it is vital to have examples of the sort of man you are striving to be, to look to as a role model and inspiration. Some people are road signs, just warning you about what’s ahead; but some people are road maps, showing you how to get where you need to go. We need to consistently look to those men who will show us how we need to be.
Within the church, it is very difficult to navigate the gender identity crisis and arrive safely to shore. Even within my own home church, which is a very small, very traditional church, there is a lot of tension over gender roles. I think it is paramount that the pastor, and any man in the church really, make it abundantly clear with both their words and their actions that they value and respect their sisters in Christ.
This cannot be done just as a means to a peaceful environment, however. In order for a man’s life to reflect the value and respect he holds for a woman, it must be real. He must truly value and respect women, and then his life will show that, and the women he interacts with will see it, and this, I believe, will tend to allow women to be more accepting of his authority and leadership. So, my goal within the church is to be that kind of man — the kind of man that any woman can be comfortable around because she knows she will be valued.
Within society, I pray that I can have the courage to follow in Christ’s footsteps, and be boldly respectful and caring of women. I think that the best way to know how to deal with the issue of gender in society is to imitate Christ. He ignored the culture’s warped norms and just did what was right. If someone does something completely against the norm and does something that shows incredible respect for a woman, that woman, and probably anyone else who sees, will notice something different immediately.
Even if this doesn’t open up an opportunity for sharing Christ with them, at least it will give them a glimpse of a better way to live. And frankly, not everything you do is going to, or necessarily should be expected to lead to a conversation about Christ. Sometimes… oftentimes… you just have to do it because it’s the right thing to do.