How women can inspire godly masculinity
by Eric Ludy
It seems to me that nearly every young woman with a pulse today is probably wondering if honorable men really exist, or even can exist. Are noble knights to be expected once every 700 years like one of those quixotic solar eclipses, or is it possible that the recipe for “majestic man-ness” could make a comeback in this generation?
Unfortunately, most girls today believe in heroic manhood as much as they believe Santa Claus can touch his tongue to his belly button. It seems most young women I encounter are more likely to believe in the “one-extraordinary-man-every-700-years” theory.
Young men in my generation have been shaped by a pattern of manhood that is warped and perverted. It’s no wonder that men today are so often referred to as jerks—the foundation of their manly behavior is self-serving and self-gratifying.
Being a man, I’m very well acquainted with the perversion process. It’s very insipid and subtle. You see, we as young men desire to be “normal.” Whatever our culture defines as “normal” behavior can very quickly then become our manly pursuit.
It would be misleading to say to you, a young woman, that men don’t naturally have a weakness in the area of lust, pride and self-serving attitudes. But sadly this “weakness” has become an “expectation.” A young child may have a natural inclination to steal cookies from the cookie jar, but a good parent doesn’t say, “kids will be kids” and not correct the child and expect right behavior out of them from that day forward.
Men need someone to believe in them. They need someone to tell them that they can rise above this horrendous mediocrity. They desperately need someone to tell them that they can have a lot more than “one thing” on their minds. And they need someone to raise the expectations of their manhood. Believe it or not, we as men need you, as young women, to help us find our way out of this spiritual gutter of cultural “normalcy.”
In my years of marriage to Leslie, I’ve found that I’m inspired in my pursuit of manhood more by her than any other force in my life, save the work of the Spirit of God within me. I don’t think I would be stretching it to say that Leslie’s vision of manhood for me is as important as my vision of manhood for myself. I often like to say, “The words of my princess make me a prince.” It is because Leslie has vision for me to be more than a burping and scratching male with only “one thing” on my mind that she enables me to become so much more. She has a vision to see me built into a world-changer, a man among males, a picture of her Heavenly Bridegroom, her Prince and Lover—Jesus Christ. She believes in what manhood can be, she honors the way I’m uniquely crafted, she understands masculinity through God’s perspective, and she expects me to pursue nothing short of “total and complete man-ness.” Her expectations are my inspirations.
You can have the same kind of impact on the men in your life, whether you are married or single. Here are some practical ways you can start today:
- Practice making princes out of the men in your life. If you are single, start with your dad and brother(s). If you can learn how to be a prince-maker in your relationship with them, you will be off-the-charts amazing in your potential future relationship with your groom. Go out of your way to make mention that you notice the things that they have done well (i.e. mowed the lawn, barbecued some burgers, painted the kitchen, or swished a free-throw), or the times you see them modeling a picture of manhood that you respect (being helpful, being courageous, being sensitive, or even being humble.) It’s the words of our princesses that make us princes. We need to hear from you.
- Challenge men to a higher standard. You can inspire guys toward a higher level of purity simply by living differently than the seductive femininity all around you. When they see you dress, act, and speak in a way that is marked by true purity, it makes them want to become better men. When the opportunity arises, you can also verbally proclaim a higher level of expectancy out of the men in your life. If they refer to womanhood in a derogatory fashion, be quick to gently add, “I’ve heard that the men who speak highly of femininity are the ones that end up with the most beautiful wives.” If they attempt to pressure you to sacrifice your sacred innocence, quickly leave them in the dust, and in your parting say something like, “You have the potential to be a great man. And when you are, you will be a protector rather than a conqueror of a woman’s innocence.”
- Ponder the manhood of Christ. In the Bible, read both the book of Song of Solomon and the book of Revelation. Reading those two books together, with the sole intention of seeing a picture of what Christ-like manhood looks like, is super-impacting. Song of Solomon gives a picture of Christ as a poet, a gentle encourager, and a servant-lover. Job 29 offers an incredible picture of the warrior and poet side of heroic manhood combined into one powerful, world-altering package. Revelation provides a picture of Christ as a conqueror, a hero, a Warrior of warriors, and a King of kings. As a woman, acquaint yourself with the ultimate Warrior-Poet, Jesus Christ, and then you will know better what manhood is supposed to look like.
Manhood in every culture is shaped by a variety of forces. But in every culture, one of the dominant forces that determine the quality of its masculinity is the quality of its femininity. As femininity sours in a culture, so are men soured. The great tragedy of the feminist movement is that it is has pigeonholed masculinity and has locked it in a “perverted” cellar, making it nearly impossible to escape and transform itself.
I know it’s tempting at times to complain about the absence of “extraordinary” men today, but my solemn plea to you is to stop complaining and instead start working to help shape us men for tomorrow. Maybe you should consider making it one of your goals, as a young woman, that 150 years from now, “extraordinary” Christ-like man-ness will be a far more common thing thanks to the self-sacrifice of your life.
As men, we would be eternally grateful.
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Eric and and his wife Leslie are bestselling authors and speakers, known for tackling some of the toughest issues facing the Christian culture today. Eric is the President of Ellerslie Mission Society and the lead instructor in the Ellerslie Leadership Training in Windsor, Colorado. Eric and Leslie have authored 18 books, including When God Writes Your Love Story, Authentic Beauty, and The Bravehearted Gospel. You can learn more about their ministry and writings Ellerslie.com.