Nowadays, the patriarchy gets talked-down, stomped-down, and generally oppressed wherever you go.
But that’s not the picture we see in the Bible.
Me? I think I’m pro-patriarchy. But before you start screaming about The Handmaid’s Tale and grabbing your pitchforks, listen to what I mean by that and why I think it’s important.
And then, maybe we can take a look at God’s word and see what He says about whether Men should be in charge of the world!
First—A Look at the Problem
The patriarchy gets lots of hate now-a-days.
Dr. Albert Mohler interviewed Helen Smith for the podcast Thinking in Public, and their discussion really stuck with me because they were talking about all the ways the culture attacks men.
Why aren’t men going to college or getting married as much? Because the costs outweigh the benefits.When a couple gets divorced, odds are high the mother will get custody of the kids, and the husband will be stuck paying alimony and child support.
What about college? All through school, boys have been told to sit quietly, walk quietly, stop rough-housing, speak sensitively, empathize with others’ emotions… And all kinds of other things that girls do more naturally. Not only are classrooms geared more towards women’s learning styles, but guys have to worry about sexual assault charges (where the woman’s story will probably get more weight).
When they try to figure out what it means to be a Real Man by playing video games or sports, we complain about the video games and regulate the sports to make them “safer”.
No wonder guys wouldn’t want to go through that in college, too.
People will talk about getting women into management, into politics, into the halls of fame. But if you try to talk about the men already there…uh oh.
Fight or flight
Men are wired to be the protectors, the providers, the kings and priests. When they see a dangerous situation, they say, “Do I vanquish this? Or is discretion the better part of valor?”
They look around, and see Girl Power confronting them. But a gentleman can’t hit a girl, can he? So what’s he to do?
He retreats to the Man Cave, channels his manliness into pretending he’s Gordon Freeman, and the world grows a little poorer than it could be.
Men are wired to soak up punishment, and not gripe. They’re built (and trained) to “suck it up, buttercup” and keep on slogging. So no wonder they don’t fight back.
Or rather, the ones who do fight back do it wrongly.
This is not to say that women are horrible people, or should be second-class citizens, or are doing a bad job in the world. This is to say that the substitute teacher is not the teacher, and the teacher is not the parent. The principal is not the parent, and the senator, president, and police officer are not the parent.
We Need Men To Protect
Pastor Voddie Baucaham calls husbands the “prophet, priest, protector, and provider” of their families. It didn’t originate with him, though, as Dennis Rainey of Family Life Today and George Whitfield (famous preacher of the Great Awakening) echo the same thought.
Probably because they’re all getting the idea from the Bible.
God doesn’t pull punches in His word: the world we live in is seriously messed up. We are lost and broken, like the cursed princess trapped in her tower, dreading the step of the monster as he approaches to eat her…
That’s why we need the Prince to ride up with his armor and sword, and shed His own blood to kill the monster and make us His bride!
What, did I lose you? Did you really think whoever wrote the first fairy-tale was being original?
Women are meant to be treasured.
Some will get their noses all bent because the princess is “passive” or “subjugated” or some buzzword like that. They fail to realize that Cinderella’s strength was her strength of character, not her ability to kick butt. She was the treasure to be rescued and treated with the reverence she deserved…and it was the prince’s role to do just that.
Just take a look at the Bible: God tells guys to “love your wife as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her” (Eph. 5:25). Love like that is hard. It’s draining. It’s sacrificial.
You’ll notice God never orders women to pour their lives out in service to their husband and children (unless you count how all Christians are supposed to live in service to all others, especially fellow Christians). That’s because it comes easy to us giving gals. (What doesn‘t come easy is to submit, respect, keep our big mouths shut, and listen quietly to someone else. Probably why God took the trouble to tell us that.)
But God doesn’t leave the guys off the hook, and that’s because it’s super important for Men to use their strength to serve, guard, and protect — which is why God gave them that strength in the first place.
Men are meant to be mighty rescuers.
And let’s face it…men are stronger than women. People are trying to deny this now-a-days, but it’s a basic, verifiable, scientifically-bound fact: Men and women are different.
We’re different biologically, and one of the ways we see that is the physical strength of men. Check out this article from WORLD Magazine (May 2016) that lays out the physical degradation women’s bodies take in combat roles vs. men’s bodies. A lady’s bones, muscles, and joints weren’t engineered to take the punishment a guy’s were!
It doesn’t just apply to the military, either. Feminists will complain about the lack of women in management positions, higher learning, or scientific disciplines. But what about the low percentage of women in mining, carpentry, A/C repair, and factory work? There are women there, but in much lower numbers…because their bodies aren’t physically designed to operate in the same way, with the same endurance.
Live Strong says the same: yes, women can pump iron and an individual woman can be stronger than some individual men. But on average, status quo, a woman only has two-thirds of the muscle mass of a man.
Live Science says the same thing:
The fastest woman in the world, Florence Griffith Joyner, ran the 100-meter dash in just 10.49 seconds in 1988, and that record remains unbroken. Yet her fastest time wouldn’t have even qualified her for the men’s 2016 Olympic competition, which requires competitors to finish the 100-meter sprint in 10.16 seconds or less.
To all my gaming peeps out there: her stats are lower than his. Feature of the rule-system.
How does this apply to patriarchy?
With great power comes great responsibility. Guys do hard things ’cause it’s what guys do.
There’s a reason we send our young men off to war. Because someone has to defend this thing we call “liberty”, and men are the ones built to sit-down-shut-up, to “Sir, yes, sir!”, to charge into the teeth of death and kick butt and get ‘er done.
If a 300-pound corporate A/C unit is about to tip off the edge of the roof, a guy grabs it and hauls it back. Sure, he might ache all over the next day, but he’s going to get ‘er done.
If a girl tries that, nine times out of ten she’s going over the edge with it…or ripping her arm off. Muscle density and ligament attachments. Not anything you’re going to “fix” with work-outs.
Yes, girls are important!
I myself am a girl, and was birthed from a verifiable girl. But there are plenty of people out there telling girls they’re important, so I don’t need to add my voice to the clamor.
Guys are also important. Deathly important. Vitally important.
They’re important because sometimes you just gotta punch Evil right in the teeth, and guys are much better at it than gals.
We Need Men To Lead
I love love love the WORLD article that says, “Men, in general, drive a culture; women, in general, stabilize it.” (So, thanks Janie B. Cheaney; you’re the best!)
What does this mean? It means that while men go out and shape the world, invent things, create political systems, and write philosophies, women stand behind them, keep the garden going, and nod meaningfully while their husband talks about this amazing new idea he’s got.
I can see your hackles rising already. “What about Marie Curie, who discovered radium (with her husband)? What about all the amazing women in the world who –?”
But think for a moment why we feel the need to hunt down and trumpet examples of publicly-accomplished women? (I was going to say “remarkable”, but you don’t have to invent something to be worthy.) We hold up people like Harriet Tubman and Agatha Christie because they succeeded in areas where we’re used to seeing men.
But what about all the stuff men have done?
Invent iPhones? (Steve Jobs, who – with the help of Steve Wozniak – also built Apple)
Write literature? (two names: William Shakespeare and J.R.R. Tolkien)
Fight terrorism? (picture Winston Churchill leading the free world, facing down Adolf Hitler)
Protect women? (How about when Moses was running away from a murder charge in his homeland; he stopped at an oasis, and saw some shepherds “oppressing” some sisters so the girls couldn’t water their flocks; so Moses chased off the mean shepherds and drew water for the girls’ sheep. Ex. 2: 16-17)
Build a spaceship and fly into space?
Yeah. Men did all of that.
In the words of Mrs. Cheaney’s article, “women tend to be less careerist, more risk-averse, less violent, and more relational than men.” We need that. We need people who will skip work because the daughter has a tummy ache, who will strike a compromise between two opposing combatants, and who will think to put seat belts in cars so we can all drive around a little safer! (I really have no idea who thought of that.)
But we need guys who will say, “Let’s walk on the railing!” And when they fall off, they don’t need someone to run up and baby-talk them and give them a band-aid.
Real men suck it up. Real men forge on. Yep – real men don’t cry in front of their friends; they climb back up on that rail.
I recently stumbled across this article from Motherly, talking about all the things we do for our kids that we think will keep them safer, but really probably cause them more problems. Specifically “Avoiding Risky Play”.
I remember laying out behind our garage by the alley, after the streetlight had come on, playing in the snow (and probably eating it). I survived.
Boys are more likely to try crazy stuff. When they donk their heads, it’s called “natural consequences.” But donking their heads as kids teaches them what can and cannot be done, and when they turn into Men they say things like:
“I think I’ll write a computer operating system and start my own company in my garage.”
Or, “The king of England really has no right to tax us without representation. Methinks I’ll write up a new governmental system and see if my friends want to join me.”
Then they put their feet where their mouths are, apply a little hustle, and do it.
That’s the patriarchy. See it, live it, love it.
What does God say about it?
He tells Man to “have dominion over” all the animals, birds, swimming things, etc. (Gen. 1:28).
When our first parents disobeyed God for the first time, God asked the Man, “What’s going on?” (because the Man – Adam – is “the man”) (Gen. 3:9-12). Adam, instead of owning up and wearing the pants, clutched his fig-leaf loincloth and said, “Nah, it was the woman’s fault — totally!” #fail
Again and again in the Bible, men do what their wives want, because they’d rather abdicate and capitulate than show some spine, put their foot down, and deal with the whining and nit-picking.
That’s why God pairs Eph. 5:22 (“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord”) with Eph. 5:25 (“Husbands, love your wives…”). It takes us both doing our part.
God takes a broken world and shows His goodness.
Maybe you’re fuming right now, because you’ve had some bad leaders. Maybe the men in your life haven’t done their job right.
No surprise there — they’re not God!
We are called to be like God, though. All of us. Together.
When we do what He calls us to do (you, me, individually – not worried about what someone else should be doing) then God can bless us in a special way. Sometimes He blesses us even when we’re fighting Him, but walking through life His way opens up a special kind of beauty.
Just because her husband is abusive, stupid, or lazy isn’t an excuse for a woman to take over running the family. OBVIOUS DISCLAIMER: If he’s actually harmful/toxic to you, get your pastor and law enforcement involved. But “he never does his dishes” is not an excuse for you to gratify yourself and abuse your own God-given role. (Yes, that’s a serious example our pastor gave — happy ending: the couple counseled their way through, and stayed together.)
It’s so easy to say, “But, God, things aren’t happening the way they should! I need to ____.”
What would happen if we tried things God’s way?
We Need Men To Be Dads
God reveals Himself as a three-person entity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And He does that for a reason.
As important as mothers are (again, that’s a dead horse I don’t need to beat) dads are crucial. And our own society is seeing the consequences of discounting, marginalizing, and rejecting their role.
When kids don’t have their dad in their lives, it creates a vacuum, and many of them fill that vacuum with harmful things. According to All Pro Dad, “[S]eventy-one percent (71%) of high school dropouts come from fatherless homes”, and “71% of pregnant teens have no dad present in their life” (per the Department of Health and Human Services).
The Heritage Foundation points to studies that have found fatherless children are twice as likely to drop out of high school, and twice as likely to be obese (among other things).
How about this article about the number of juvenile murder suspects who don’t have fathers? To a suggestion that juvenile criminals need “intensive mentoring”, the author astutely asks, “[W]here will such men come from in cities where large numbers of males refuse to mentor or monitor their own children?”
True, a “stable” single-parent-home seems to be superior to a home with a rotating cast of live-in boyfriends/girlfriends. But even though a child who lost a parent to death is better off than a child who lost the parent to divorce, he or she is still at a disadvantage compared to the child in a biological mother-father home.
That’s because something’s still broken. Death, divorce, and out-of-wedlock families are not the original plan…therefore we instinctively crave something more, something better. However “well” those children turn out (even if they beat the odds and “succeed”), they’re missing out. It’s not fair.
God is the perfect father.
I could say, God is the only perfect father. He is a steady rock in a wave-tossed world. He corrects bad behavior to train His children to become better. When we cry, He comforts. And when He gives good gifts, He’s teaching us gratitude (as well as just giving presents, because who doesn’t like to give presents to their kid?).
When men act the way they’re supposed to, they’re imitating God. Whether he knows it or not – whether he believes in Him or not – when a man uses his authority to protect, nurture, and grow those in his charge…he’s being like God!
And God blesses the things that honor Him.
Dads matter. Patriarchy matters.
Our boys need their dads teaching them how to, “Sir, yes, sir!” to police officers, so they won’t get shot. They need to be taught “No, you don’t touch a girl that way unless she’s your wife!” so that they don’t get shot.
A little girl needs a dad to show her how Real Men act toward women, and to know that if anybody messes with her, Daddy will go make that person extinct.
There are bad men out there; absolutely. But strapping on a 9mm only does so much to protect you. We also need good men, Real Men, to lock up the bad guys when they deserve it…or even punch them in the face if they need that. We need Real Men to say, “Gentlemen don’t act that way, and I’m in charge, so we’re going to do it the gentlemanly way.”
We need Real Men who don’t compromise, who will look terrorists in the face and say, “Not in my town.”
Who will look their boss in the face and say, “Embezzling is wrong, and I can’t look the other way for you.”
Who have the spiritual, emotional, and physical clout to punch Evil in the face when it needs it.
Learning to walk with crutches after a leg amputation is a victory, but it’s also a defeat. You’re only doing it because something is missing…something important that you’ll never get back.
A society that refuses to let its men lead is missing its shoulders…and legs…and head.
We need the patriarchy.
What would happen if we really, honestly tried doing things God’s way? Are you brave enough to find out?
Image of Gordon Freeman is from vsbattles.wikia.com.
Image of Jim Raynor with a revolver is from games.softpedia.com.
The boy-with-water-gun picture is from Pixabay.
She currently lives with her family somewhere in the American midwest, bracing for the collapse of society by knitting, baking, writing, hobby-farming, and reading as much Twitter as possible before the web goes dark.
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