The Crisis of Masculinity
Sunday, June 20
There’s a massive conversation in our culture around masculinity: what does it mean to be manly? How are we raising boys to become “good” men? What role(s) should men play in our society? Are some forms of masculinity as we’ve traditionally defined them actually harmful? And if I define myself as a follower of Jesus, what does my allegiance to Christ have to say about manhood?
The biblical book of Genesis 1:26-28 tells us that God created humans in his image and therefore created them male and female. How have you seen the unique perspectives that men and women bring to the table be helpful in your family, your business, or your church?
Josh discussed some of the changes in our society over the last 60+ years that have led to what some are now calling a “crisis of masculinity.” How have you seen our culture shift in its expectations of men and women over these last several decades? What have been some positive and some negative results of that shift?
Read Ephesians 5:21-33. Paul seems to assume, as do most cultures, that there are significant differences between men and women; differences that go far beyond mere biological and reproductive function. Their relations and roles must therefore be mutually complementary, rather than identical. As you read this passage nearly 2,000 years after it was written, what do you find helpful about it? What do you find challenging about it? What do you think it has to say to our 21st century culture about the way that men and women can support one another?
Jesus set the ultimate example in his willingness to sacrifice for others. Josh reframed the “crisis of masculinity” as an unwillingness to accept responsibility for oneself and for others in many Western men today. There are multiple reasons that this has become a growing problem. What are ways that the church can invest in our boys and our young men so that they ultimately choose to follow after the self-sacrificial path of Jesus?
Men are not all the same: they’ll parent differently, work differently, worship differently. How have some male cultural stereotypes discouraged some men from living out their faith in the unique ways that they were created? How can we celebrate the diversity of personality and character traits on display in different men?
Take some time to pray for the men, the fathers, and the boys in our church. Pray thanksgiving for them and pray that they will be drawn to live the kinds of lives that are pleasing to Jesus. Pray that they will invest in others and become pillars of their communities. Pray for our church and our families: that God would give us wisdom as we invest in future generations of men and women.