Starting with The Old Spice Guy, Metrosexuals, and the Man-card, we interrupted our Living Like a King series to do a reality check and take a look at what God, as laid out in the Bible, expects from us as men.
Real men cherish. They don’t chauvinistically condescend. They don’t use women and children to boost their egos or satisfy their sexual appetites. They cherish the things that they have been given to protect. Peter says it this way:
Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers [that is, your prayers together] may not be hindered. (1Pe 3:7)
When Peter says that the woman is a “weaker vessel” he does not mean that she is somehow less valuable or less capable than the man. The key is in the words that come before the “weaker vessel” phrase that we are too quick to forget: “showing honor…” So the woman is the weaker vessel, but only in the sense that a priceless Ming vase is more fragile than a Tupperware container. Both have value, but both are intended for different purposes and both need to be stored differently. In the same way, our wives are not less valuable than we are – but they are more fragile.
While predatory women certainly do exist and are a growing problem (a fact which I attribute to the general decline of our society), most sexual predators are men and their targets are almost always women and children. In pornography, women are victimized, abused, and shamed for the demented pleasure of a largely male audience. Pornography hurts women. It degrades them and objectifies them. And that’s normal.
Don’t think for a moment that I get any great joy from writing about this, or from the video that’s about to follow. The truth is, I’ve seen the damage of pornography firsthand. I know how it destroys relationships. I know how it steals your desire for all things holy. I know how it quenches the spirit. I know how it warps the way you look at and think about women. If you’re telling yourself anything else, you’re a fool. You’re lying to yourself.
Here’s what Mark Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, had to say in his recent sermon The Porn Path. Whatever else you want to say about Driscoll (and like all men in leadership, he’s less than perfect), he is one of the few national voices speaking out against this rapidly-growing industry.As men, God calls us to protect, cherish, and honor not only our own wives, but women in general. If you’re a man and especially if you’re married, I would submit the following questions for your consideration:
- Do you view women/your wife as an engine for your personal gratification or as a soul to be cherished and served?
- If you gave me the church answer to that last one, follow up question: in your entertainment (because isn’t that really where we get to be ourselves?), how are women treated? I’m not even talking about the porn, here. Dozens of movies every year, from PG-13 to R ratings, push buxom, sexually liberated, sexually-aggressive women into our consciousness. Does your entertainment cherish womanhood in all of its beauty, or does it tear it down or make a caricature of it?
- What’s your ideal woman like? If we’re honest, very often even the spiritual-sounding things we say resonate deeply of selfishness. For instance, a very good church answer I often hear is “she should motivated me more to grow in Christ.” And while that’s a fine thing (and any good woman will), the focus is still on self. Are you looking for someone to serve God with, or someone to serve you?