I took some heat on Twitter when I said “emotions should be subordinate to your will, especially when you have the responsibility to care for someone else.” We do not need more men who are “in touch with their emotions.” We need men to embrace the responsibility given to them by God to care for and protect women and children. My pastor has said many times that “the essence of manhood is responsibility,” and that is the message that unemployed men who live with their parents playing video games all day most need to hear.
Even when God commands us to love (for example to love our wives) it is a duty, not a sentimental feeling. We love our wives by being responsible: Holding down a job, caring for our children, and laying our lives down for her. Love is never separate from action in Scripture. Love leads to action.
Responsibility and duty is woven throughout scripture. It is, in fact, a creation ordinance that existed before sin entered the world. When God put man over the Garden of Eden, man was to keep and cultivate the land. Man named the animals and was given dominion over all nature. Hardship in labor was a curse of the fall, but labor itself was part of God’s perfect creation.
Toxic masculinity is when responsibility is taken out of masculinity. When masculinity is not given a focus and a purpose, men become self-centered and develop and entitlement mentality. Their masculinity is toxic. A man who violently forces a woman to have sex with him is too lazy and too much of a coward to do the hard work of winning the heart of a woman and risking the pain of rejection in the process. Biblical masculinity honors and protects women. Toxic masculinity is all about the self.
Does this mean men must be totally stoic and suppress their emotions? Does this mean women do not have responsibility? No and no. Coming up with those “arguments” demonstrates you are intentionally missing the point. Can we please grow up and not raise silly objections to obvious truths?
We used to understand the inherent responsibility of manhood as a culture. There was a reason that the Puritans and others throughout history have spoken of the Christian work ethic. In His parable, Jesus praised the servants who took risks and earned money for their employer, and condemned the servant who refused to do anything with what he was given. When we do our work well, we honor God. We stick out because are are not always looking out for number one.