Wither the Abdication and Subjugation of Western Manhood.
by Lien of Oz
Stimulated by various aspects of the feminist movement over the last two decades, women in general have, with increased awareness of their personal competence, been more effectively affirming themselves in their secular work place, in business and in politics. In the church we have also seen the rising tide of feminist camaraderie, highlighted publicly by the pursuit for Anglican denominational ordination to the office of Priest.
This is public testimony of what some would address as an assertive expression of feminism in the visible church. However, in the invisible "spiritual church" another quiet revolution of a different order is continuing throughout the "body". This revolution of feminine strength, though not in anyway in partnership with the feminist, is expressing itself in spiritual confidence, competence and capability. Godly leadership from men, in addition to those in organisational dominance, is being challenged. This strength in womanhood has not in any sense arisen because of competitive desires but to fill a void in their inner being as they search for a headship to which they might respond. Meanwhile, men of the church appear either oblivious to the spiritual zeal that captivates their wives and daughters or have surrendered in fear of the women's initiative. Maybe because all too often it clearly reminds him of his lack.
A woman may either find her identity and strength in her husband and thus, complete him or she may insubordinately desire to control her husband and find that he will still rule. Today many women, in disillusionment, find that men have capitulated. Meanwhile, other women in their struggle for personal female autonomy, seeking to be free from male dominance, discover that the liberty they were looking for is not to be found in affirmative action or through male/female rivalry. Rather, what they really seek, is Godly, selfless headship in men. Men to whom they could respond in wedded complementary help and yes, even in submissiveness, respectfully earned. But so few men measure up. Only when men are healed from their introverted masculine decadence will the healing and desired responsiveness of women follow.
The concept of male headship is often construed by many woman as a threat and men, called to lead, now fear a woman's initiative for, all too often, this reminds him of his lack. From whence comes this fear of female initiative and his lack of innate manliness.
Where is manhood lagging? Where is it lacking?
The role of women in the home, the community and the workforce has radically changed in the western world in little over one generation. In the 1950ís most women were still prepared to accept a status of powerlessness and passively endured. They merely concluded that this was the price they had to pay for having been born female. A few men recognised the inequities but even less endeavoured to appreciate the strengths of woman-hood and modify their role of domination. Daughters of the 90ís have now entered a new world where opportunities for equal employment and equal pay are offered. Great numbers of men have not been able to cope or adjust to this revolution. Many have capitulated and have abdicated their masculine role altogether. Others have tried to redouble their efforts, mostly out of fear and emotional weakness, to keep women in their place, by ridicule, contempt and in some cases mindless violence. A sad consequence of this situation being that many women have now learned and are enabled to separate from such men. However, thousands of children have now become the unfortunate debris of transient relationships; a fatherless generation. A generation parented by single mothers whose lives have been scared by aggressive or helpless males.
The apparent spiritual aimlessness, weakness, lethargy and nervousness in men is a major issue which cannot be laid at the feet of insurgent feminism. Women against their will have been sucked into the vacuum created by weakened male leadership, in the church, the community and more particularly in the home. Confusion, self pity and just plain laziness are enveloping men in self-protective "cocoons" of defensive silence. This malaise is one of the most besetting sins infesting the church and Christian homes in western nations. In the face of weakened male leadership the spiritual vision and strength of woman is endorsed as a major virtue. Meanwhile Satan is masterminding this insurgency by suggestively implying that any desire for masculine leadership stems from pride and arrogance when in fact pride is that very sin which inhibits true spiritual leadership. True spiritual leadership stems from the servant-hood, the ability to carry the burdens of home and family and in the church and to care for each saint and sinner alike.
God's given order is for leadership by spiritual men. While there are many who might suggest other, or even better ways, to mobilise men and women for the mission of the church men must take primary responsibility. Men with moral vision for their families. Men with a zeal for God, for His House and Kingdom. Men with tender-hearted compassion and a tenacity to make it real. Spiritual men committed to the Word of God. Then the voice of womanhood will rejoice and enter joyful partnership to uphold the pattern and union of mature manhood and womanhood capable of reflecting the glory of God; imaging Him.
God still intends to mobilise the church through a company of spiritual men who will take primary responsibility to lead their wives, to love, encourage and strengthen their children and minister in the church. When men begin to undertake this primary role all other ministries will fit into place. God is calling all men to restore their masculine souls through prayer, repentance, forgiveness and humble obedience and so serve God, their families and each other in THE Church.
Turning again the hearts of the fathers to the children and the children to the fathers. Thence the disobedient to the wisdom of the just.