Can I just then add CT that while all men are male, not all males are men.
Not quite sure though if the defining factor in manhood is determined by how a man treats a woman, as good as that idea is.
I think of the baptist, John, a man’s man, one not suited for life in the kings soft palace, but a man nonetheless, being sold out for a mission, and willing to defer to One greater, to borrow your words: ‘greater love hath no man than this,’ so it appears he did lay his life down for his friends, although not to put away sin, which of course He could not do. (he laid down his life by speaking the truth at all cost to himself) (continued here)
It is a curious thing. John The Baptist was the last prophet, but unlike the rest he did nothing that looked miraculous. He only announced the coming of the Messiah. In fact, he identified Him. Then, before any called himself a Christian, before the Day of Pentecost, John The Baptist died as Jesus’ herald. Mark 6:14-27 provides an account.
John spoke boldly. If John had been married, he would have found it more difficult to have spoken so boldly.
There is at least one place in the Bible that God tells a man not to take a wife.
Jeremiah 16:1-4 New King James Version (NKJV)
16 The word of the Lord also came to me, saying, 2 “You shall not take a wife, nor shall you have sons or daughters in this place.” 3 For thus says the Lord concerning the sons and daughters who are born in this place, and concerning their mothers who bore them and their fathers who begot them in this land: 4 “They shall die gruesome deaths; they shall not be lamented nor shall they be buried, but they shall be like refuse on the face of the earth. They shall be consumed by the sword and by famine, and their corpses shall be meat for the birds of heaven and for the beasts of the earth.”
Knowing what was coming, then seeing it happen, the prophet Jeremiah cried over the suffering of his people. Can you imagine his pain if he had had to watch his own wife and children partake of Jerusalem’s fate?
Perhaps the oddest thing in the Bible is what God told the Prophet Hosea to do.
Hosea 1:2-3 New King James Version (NKJV)
2 When the Lord began to speak by Hosea, the Lord said to Hosea:
“Go, take yourself a wife of harlotry
And children of harlotry,
For the land has committed great harlotry
By departing from the Lord.”
3 So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.
Hosea did have a wife, and he did have children, but why did God direct Hosea marry Gomer? We don’t exactly know. What we do know is that God used Hosea’s devotion to his adulterous wife to illustrate God’s devotion to Israel — and to us. In spite of her sin and the way it hurt him, Hosea resolutely sought to bring his straying wife home.
So what defines the word “masculine”? Even when a man does not have a woman or when his woman behaves poorly what makes a man “masculine”? Perhaps it has to do with how a man treats a woman or anyone in need of his protection.
- Because he cared, John the Baptist cried out the need for repentance. He cried out boldly, even though his boldness cost him his life.
- Because he cared, Jeremiah cried out the need for repentance. He cared enough to speak out even though his own people punished and derided him. He cared enough weep even when Jerusalem would not repent.
- Because he cared, Hosea married Gomer, and he raised a family with her. He cared enough to forgive and suffer the shame of bringing her back home when she strayed.
God is our Father. He is the head of our family, and He cares about us. He forgives us, and He keeps after us even when we disobediently sin. Men who would be good men must strive to follow His example.