In writing The Other Virgin Diaries, I talked a lot about relationships and sexuality. But there’s a variable in all these posts that is only addressed by my husband’s once-in-a-blue-moon post appearances.
That variable is the men.
Our culture has a lovely habit of blasting information long and loud enough for us to start believing it. One thing they’ve trumpeted since I was old enough to notice is the ‘necessary evil’ of male humans. It seems men are great for Cosmo covers, bedrooms, parties, and taking out the trash. But they’re terrible at marriage, post-marital sex, and general intelligence.
I’m really sick of this stupidity. That’s right: stupidity. You can’t fight a battle for equality when you marginalize the very people you need on your side.
I’ll bet some of these ‘myths’ have been ground into your mind without your knowledge or consent, and we’re going to debunk them. When God created people, He created man AND woman in His image (Gen. 1:27). They are equal in God’s eyes, though He has equipped them for different roles, a fact evidenced by the distinction between our anatomies (‘equality’ does not mean ‘same’ or ‘interchangeable’). If you have questions about the biblical definition of marriage and roles, read this post.
This post is going to make some people mad. So before you respond, get some back up for your responses. Provide Scripture. Get the facts.
These ‘myths’ are beliefs that may be unspoken, but have been generally accepted by many Christian women. Some of them are half-truths that have been unfairly applied to very diverse portion of our society. There are always exceptions. But exceptions are not the rule for a whole gender, and that’s what we are going to debunk.
1. Men just want sex all the time.
For some men, this “myth” is actually true. But it is not true for all men, and we need to stop acting like it is.
If you are a secular feminist who believes man is simply an evolved animal, I can understand why you’d think human males operate on the level of an overgrown chimpanzee. But men are created in God’s image – just as women are. Sex was designed for mutual enjoyment by both men AND women – which I thoroughly addressed in the Other Virgin Diaries series. Cosmopolitan and Elle might make it seem like all men think about is consuming food and sex. But men – specifically God’s men – are so much more than this.
Our culture cheapens sex on every level, and their treatment of men is a case study in this. If you can make men seem like rabid animals, with one-track brains possessing no self-control, grace, or lasting love, you can persuade women to feed into that animalistic desire. You can persuade them to use their bodies as currency of their value. And then you can train men to be those consumers – but not committed lovers.
Men don’t want sex all the time. They are created with a desire for it, yes: a desire that can be more frequent (depending on the individual), but men are as capable of intelligence, kindness, creativity and passion as are women. To say men just ‘want sex all the time’ is demeaning. It’s a form of objectification, and it’s wrong.
A godly man will desire sex with his wife not just because he has a biological drive to do so. He’ll want intimacy with his wife because he loves her. Sex, to a man, is a way for him to express his love. It’s his way of affirming his wife’s beauty. But just because they appreciate beauty, and our culture makes beauty second-hand and wholesale, doesn’t mean men are thinking about sex all the time. Men are emotional, physical, mental and spiritual beings. Women didn’t get a monopoly on intelligence. Give men some credit for diversity of thought.
2. Men lust after women, then blame the women for dressing immodestly.
That’s right, I’m going to bat for men on this. It’s what I’m known for.
Men were created to appreciate beauty. Our culture really likes that, actually. Cosmo says, “10 Ways to Knock His Socks Off!” and Elle says “Look Hot On Your First Date” and Self says “Make Him Drool Over These LBDs!” Our fashion industry of short skirts, belly shirts, leggings and plunging tops is a neon sign that says “MEN: AFFIRM MY BEAUTY”.
“TELL ME I LOOK HOT”
And in small print below that: But respect me for who I am, not for my boobs and my butt, regardless of how visible they are right now.
It doesn’t work that way.
Men are 100% responsible for how they treat women. Godly men have the even greater responsibility of maintaining pure hearts, minds, and eyes. Most godly men – I’d even say ALL truly godly men – don’t want to lust. But they are designed to appreciate beauty, and in marriage, that’s awesome. But in the every-day, men fight a battle from the moment they get up until the moment they go to bed. They battle pop-ups and advertisements. They battle the girls on the street and on the billboards. They battle office mates, movies, TV shows, and websites.
But the moment they ask a Christian woman to consider their battle, and help them in that struggle by ‘covering up more’ or ‘changing’ – we try to burn them at the stake.
People say by dressing modestly we objectify our bodies further. Well sure, if you make it about your body. How about making this about holiness – like God intended? How about making it NOT about you and instead about your brother and the intrinsic value of your soul?
Men aren’t blaming women for their ‘lust problem’. Christian men are making a plea for help. If you want to read more about this, I’ve covered it in detail:
3. Men marginalize women to make themselves look better.
There are men, like Ray Rice and Doug Phillips, who are selfish and abusive. These kinds of men use and hurt women. They put them down, demean them, and fall short of God’s intentions in every possible way.
But we can’t apply the evil of some to an entire population. That’s like saying Adam Lanza, the shooter at Sandy Hook, is a representation for all the sons of school teachers nationwide. It’s not fair, nor is it logical.
Godly, good men cannot claim Christ and simultaneously marginalize women: they would be living contrary to God’s commands. The two greatest commandments, according to Jesus Himself, were to “love God… and love your neighbor” (Matt. 22:36-40).
If a man loves God, he will automatically love what God loves – and God values women.
If a man loves his neighbor, he will automatically love the women God has placed in his life.
Christian husbands – the kinds we want to marry – are commanded to love their wives as Christ loved the Church:
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,…” (Eph. 5:25-26)
Do you know what a high calling this is?
Christian men are called to lay their lives on the line in honor of their wives. They are called to give up their comforts, their desires, their interests to reflect Christ in their marriages. Men are sinners and will fail at this sometimes, but that is God’s expectation for men. And godly men will pursue that calling for all they are worth.
4. Men aren’t affected by emotional pain.
It’s an assumption we gathered from How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and Sex and the City: guys can be in and out of relationships with no heartbreak. They can have sex without a connection. In other words, they draw the ace from every deck of cards in life, and women get to stand there holding the joker.
I’d like you to look at some of the men in Scripture as proof that this is a lie.
David: “… I am weary with my sighing; Every night I make my bed swim, I dissolve my couch with my tears.” (Psalm 6:6)
Job: “I have sewed sackcloth over my skin And thrust my horn in the dust. My face is flushed from weeping, And deep darkness is on my eyelids…” (Job 15:15-16)
Peter: “Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.” (Matt. 26:75)
Jesus: “and said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to Him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus wept. So the Jews were saying, “See how He loved him!”… (John 11:34-36)
Our culture glorifies the macho man as the one women should desire. He’s tough, sexy, and ripped: after all, you need a man with hot blood to make anything happen in the bedroom.
But perish the day that man bring his ‘patriarchal’ testosterone anywhere near our non-sexual lives. No: in the kitchen and living room we want a sensitive man, one who doesn’t challenge us – one who would sooner die than impose his masculine opinion on a woman in any way. But he’s equal, of course.
This isn’t God’s design. God’s man has a heart, ladies. He has emotions. But God’s men live in a culture with immense pressure to look, be and perform up to par. Good men want to please – they want to be respected. They want to hear “Well done!” Just as we fight the image of culture that tells us to be skinnier, prettier, and sexier, men fight a culture that tells them to both withhold emotion for manhood’s sake and pour out emotion for feminism’s sake.
My husband cried when he confessed his past to me. My husband raises his hands in worshipful joy when he sings in church. He feels the full gamut of emotions.
Other men will express themselves differently; some will feel and express emotion more than others. That’s okay. But don’t believe the lie that all men are emotional Spocks with no ability to feel pain from a break up.
5. All the good men are married, ugly, or dead.
I grew up at the top of the lower peninsula of Michigan. I was surrounded by water on three sides, and it took five hours to get out of the state entirely.
There were good men in my town of 5,000. Really good, godly men.
I talk about this extensively in my post A Few Good Men. If you’re a Christian woman saying, “There are no men in the world!”, let me challenge you: make this an issue of faith. That’s what this is. You have to believe when God says He has a plan for your life, and if that plan includes a godly man, He will see to it that you meet him. Sometimes you have to be open to ALL the ways God could use for you to have that ‘meeting’. Yes, that means leaving the front porch. It may mean going on a (friend endorsed) blind date. It may mean being ‘set up’ by that grandma at the church. Maybe you meet someone online. God’s not limited by the boxes we create.
The good men aren’t all married, ugly, or dead (not that ugly should matter: read Why Attraction Isn’t Necessary and Why I Didn’t Marry My Type). They just aren’t under your nose right now! God is drawing you to Himself in this season of trust. Treat it as a testing season.
So don’t go looking for knights in garbage dumps, because they don’t hang out there. By the measure you use for a man, meet that standard in your own character! Have faith, enjoy your life, and don’t settle for less than what you deserve as God’s woman. Know your value – because a good man will know it, too.
Strong women can work beside strong men, if they are both committed to respect and love. So Christian men and women should be the very best at making relationships work, because we are called to mutual respect and love. To make progress, we have to stop believing lies about the opposite sex. We have to show grace. We have to provide an example of maturity and kindness, extend a hand of genuine understanding, and support the kind of godliness we want to see.
We have to take a risk of faith: faith that there are good men, faith in the good men we know, and faith in God, who is our justifier, protector, provider, and wisdom in every relationship.