How Men Claim Their True Masculinity

“So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”-Genesis 1:27

What I love about this passage is that it is not an exclusive claim to God. It reveals that God exists both in a feminine image and a masculine image. God is not found in polarity here but in integration.

The great psychologist Carl Jung once spoke about how a man doesn’t come into psychological completion until he finds what he calls the anima. The anima, which is the term he used in reference to the soul, for a male, is feminine. Until a man comes in contact with his feminine side, the side of him that is more concerned with compassion, love, and relationships, more than being a distant, barbaric, scotch-drinking, TV watching, father and husband, he‘ll fail to find his whole and true-self. I think that this is why a woman, at least his soul mate, has such power over a man. She begins to ground him, allows him to feel not only at home with himself, but at home with her; he feels understood. (This concept applies to women as well, Jung called it the animus).

We as Christians find so much symbolism in the cross. So much so, that the apostle Paul tells men that the way they are to love their wives is not through being a distant, barbaric, scotch-drinking, TV-watching man, but a man who is willing to pick up a cross for her. The cross isn’t a sign of being militant (which is why Jesus told them he could threaten violence over them, but his kingdom was not of this world), but the cross is a symbol of radical self-sacrificing love. A symbol of compassion from a man who did not yell, “Screw every last one of you, you will all burn in hell,” but a symbol that reminds us of a man who said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”

Masculine Christianity is not found in being a tyrant, but being a servant. Masculine Christianity is not found in being chauvinistic, but in being compassionate, loving, and relational. Masculine Christianity is also not a denial of our masculine side, but it is an integration of the feminine side in which God also created human beings. Masculine Christianity leads us to the cross. It leads us to love. It leads us to the tender heart of God.

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One thought on “How Men Claim Their True Masculinity

  1. Mike, for all the blogospheric obsession around this topic over the past several weeks, this is, by far, the most beautiful commentary on the subject that I have read. I was touched by the sensitivity and tenderness of it. I so deeply appreciate your acknowledgement that “masculine strength” is far more complex than brute force.

    Beautiful. Thank you.

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