Does the Bible define what it means to be a man? I think most people would say it does not. However, I recently read a book that argues otherwise, Men We Need: God’s Purpose for the Manly Man, the Avid Indoorsman, or Any Man Willing to Show Up, by Brant Hansen. Is Hansen right? The Bible does define marriage, and it talks about the roles of men and women in marriage. In fact, Hansen argues that the differences between men and women first comes up in Genesis. Hansen points to this verse in particular.
Before God made the first woman, Eve, God gave the first man, Adam, a job. God gave Adam the job the task of serving and guarding (another way of translating Genesis 2:15) the Garden of Eden.
What task did God give Eve? Consider.
What is a helper? Here are several references.
- ezer is the Hebrew word that “helper” is used to translate. In some verses in the Old Testament, God is spoken of as a help. We need lots of help, apparently.
- Helper: defining the EZER woman speaks of a helper as an ally or rescuer, even a hero.
- HELP addresses the definition of the word azar, “to help,” Hebrew.
The point is that being a helper does not make someone an inferior. God apparently intended Adam and Eve to be equals. In fact, Adam immediately recognized Eve as someone precious to him (see Genesis 2:21-25), but how does Genesis distinguish the male and female roles? If she is a helper, doesn’t woman have to do the same things as a man? That thought left me a bit confused, wondering whether Hansen was right or wrong.
How important is this issue? Probably less than we think. In the resurrection Jesus says our sex will not matter. Consider how He answered some Sadducees (who said there is no resurrection) when they question Him.
Still, God charges us to be fruitful and multiply (Genesis 1:28), and there is this biological imperative that women have to have children (Genesis 3:16). Therefore, God made woman precious to man, and we learn from each other how to love and care for another person. A woman gives her man the motivation he needs to tend and keep a family, their family.
With that in mind read the following. Observe that the Apostle Paul calls upon a man to serve and protect his wife, loving her as much as he loves himself.
So, what defines Biblical masculinity? A man is someone who has learned to love others as Christ loved us. A man serves and protects those around him.
Interesting issue to discern in our contemporary times in which women are marching around for their Rights and protesting laws made by men that affect their Rights.
Your ending statement…. “So, what defines Biblical masculinity? A man is someone who has learned to love others as Christ loved us. A man serves and protects those around him.’
It requires a wise man and/or women to recognize how their vanities create roadblocks to love others as Christ loved us, and/or to serve and protect according to Christ’s teachings.
Regards and goodwill blogging.