Just having returned from a visit to “the greatest place on earth,” my wife and I were shocked at how many men boldly acted like women. Lispy sentences, light gestures, soft mannerisms, and flamboyant jokes were everywhere to be seen on display for a park flooded with children. No hiding it. No shame. No apologizing. This perversion of masculinity warranted no commercials.
Instead, our society celebrates what Paul calls literally “soft men” (Greek malakoi), a group that will not enter the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9). And discomfort at this will-not-inherit-the-kingdom version of manliness is exactly a symptom of what the APA finds malignant in traditional manhood. But as much as the APA and LGBTQs protest it as hate speech, the effeminate shall not enter the kingdom of God, and it is unloving not to say so.
While men who brutalize and manipulate represent one form of perversion (the kind companies now put their dollars into supporting), men who sit passive, complacent, spiritually and emotionally frail, represent another. So also do men who rebel against their sex by acting like women. And too many classrooms that celebrate this perversion act as accomplices to confusing the boys (and girls) of today. Paul commands all men, “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong” (1 Corinthians 16:13), and offers them the hope of the gospel that they too might be washed, sanctified, and justified “in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11).
David Mathis rightly tells us that the strongest men are gentle. But do not hear him saying that godly men are soft, fragile, weak, or effeminate. They do not faint in the day of adversity. They dress for war every day against forces of evil. They are sacrificial initiators, not limp deferrers. Men who charge against enemy gates, leading from the front, and refusing to take cover behind their wives and children. They lead. They protect. They initiate. They love. They sacrifice. They work. They worship. They are men.