The Theology of Masculinity.
“…in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” Genesis 1:27. A fact of the incarnation of God in Christ (II Cor 5:19) is the undisputed truth that God walked the earth, robed in masculine flesh. This is significant, being that God is intentional and deliberate in his every action. Would it have mattered if God came in the likeness of a woman? The significance of the question raises the issue of God’s purpose in Christ and how manhood becomes the unique channel through which such purpose was actualized.
Speaking about the Lord Jesus, Hebrews 1:3 stated explicitly; “Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person.” II Corinthians 4:4 states; “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” There is a functional correlation between masculine mankind and God himself. The maleness of Jesus was an act of intentionality on God’s part. Nothing is impossible for God. The LORD could have caused a male to conceive, but he was INTENTIONAL about the preservation of the divine order established in creation. He caused a WOMAN to conceive and bring forth a MALE child. God has always been identified as the FATHER; which is an exclusively masculine role, and when he took on the FORM of humanity i.e., the flesh, he operated as a SON.
I must point out here that I am not relegating the theology of the “Image of God” merely to physical appearance. God opted to operate as the father of creation. Masculinity was the channel through which humanity became existent; recall that Eve was created from a rib removed from Adam (Genesis 2:21-23). In the same way that God is the progenitor to creation, so too is the MAN (in principle) the progenitor to the human race. Eve essentially came “out of” Adam. This decision by God to be manifested to humanity as a man is consistent with the purposes of God in completing the unfinished task of Adam. What was the task of Adam?
In Genesis 2:15, Adam is instructed to “dress and Keep” the garden of Eden. In the original language of the Old Testament (Hebrew), the word “dress” came from the Hebrew word “abad” which means generally “to work or serve.” Additionally, “keep” (Hebrew shamar) generally means “to exercise great care over” but in the context of Genesis 2, it speaks to “taking care of,” “guarding,” or “watching over.” Essentially, the role of Adam may be summarized as follows: Leader, Provider, Servant, Protector, Submissive to Authority.
Finally, the man was commissioned to worship in the form of obedience. In Genesis 2:17 we read; “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” The Lord God expected complete submission from Adam (omniscience does not mean that God does not have expectations of us). Adam’s failure to glorify God in the earth through OBEDIENCE and SUBMISSION, was redeemed by the Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 22:42). The Lord Jesus became an eternal template for Leadership, Provision, Protection, Service and Submission to Authority.
The Theology of Masculinity establishes the fact of a Man’s God-ordained call to exist as a competent; Leader of his family, Provider for his family, Servant to his family and Protector over the Family, while displaying Submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Masculine intuition, if nurtured according to scripture, will see a MAN (whether married or single) displaying the following fundamental traits; Willingness to Commit, Courageous, Exercise of Initiative, Instinctively Protective and Respectful, Submissive to Authority and Graciously Providing.
We will next explore “The Sociology of Masculinity.”