In his book, Manliness, Harvard professor Harvey Mansfield makes a compelling case that our society should stop looking at manliness as a curse and start embracing it as a virtue. It did not take long for the liberal media to begin howling at this rising moon with a clamor of protest. According to Mansfield, manliness "seeks and welcomes drama, and prefers times of war, conflict and risk." Manliness asserts itself, craves adventure, loves action and power in a distinctively different way than women. Manliness desires the heart of a woman and seeks to protect and provide for her. It is this manliness that benefits and protects our culture especially in times of danger and war.
The Wall Street Journal last week reported that schools, parks and clubs across the nation that are removing diving boards from pools, and children are stopped from playing the game of tag. Why? The fear of someone getting hurt and filing lawsuits. This may be what therapists call a presenting problem. In fact, the culture is growing increasingly weary and suspicious of manliness. Boys are full of recklessness on
playgrounds and this frightens leaders in our litigious environment.
Where will the lack of manliness lead us? My guess is that it leads to a growing insecurity among males who find it confusing to even define “maleness” much less “manliness.” It leads to extreme expressions by males who have no role models of responsible masculinity. All too many males are acting in violence and predatory sexual nature both in reality television and reality. It leads to a timidity in leadership and a willingness to place an increasing burden on women to provide and protect themselves.
The ultimate expression of masculinity is Jesus Christ. He refused to be passive, accepted responsibility and awaited a greater reward. For the men who followed him, Jesus modeled what a man was to do in the face of violent opposition, and how a man was to stand firm in the face of overwhelming opposition. He elevated and honored women like no man in history. Jesus was and is the ultimate model of manliness for what He did when He died a shameful death in my place. You can trust him as your Savior, and you can also trust him to show you how to be genuinely manly.