Facts and figures about violence in women is heartbreaking. Globally, about 70% of women in their lifetime have experienced physical or sexual violence, ironically, from their husbands or partners. In the United States alone, 1/3 of women murdered each year are killed by intimate partners. Of the estimated 800,000 people trafficked annually, 80% are girls and women, and majority of them (79%) have been sexually exploited. These are just a few facts cited by Saynotoviolence.org. It is a glaring but painful truth. The men who are supposed to take care of women have become their oppressors.
Failure of men to protect and promote the well-being of women contributes largely to the rise of feminism. Women are asserting equality with men, and they are winning the battle. Our society, through the years, has learned to submit to gender equality, or else get the ire of the feminist groups.
Men can’t be blamed entirely for the abuse of their roles. Our society failed to provide good role models.Prominent personalities in our society (sports, politics, media) are known for their abuses of women. Most men are also ignorant of the biblical mandate on how they should regard women. Probably what they know is simply – that women are the weaker sex.
It is clear in the Bible that man and woman are equal in the eyes of God. Both are image-bearers of God and have equal spiritual standing before God. Admittedly, they have different roles, yet they complement each other.
What is Biblical Masculinity?
According to Grudem, masculinity, in biblical standpoint is for a man to take the benevolent responsibility to lead, to provide, and protect women in various relational context with her. Benevolent means that the man is concerned for the good of women. He was given the mandate to lead, with gentle and utmost concern for them.
In the home it is the primary duty of the man to lead the wife with an attitude of servanthood. It is to provide an atmosphere for the wife where she can grow as a person, and be brought closer to God by his kind of leadership. As the head of the family, he is expected to provide well for his family. While the wife can help, the burden rests more on the husband. The husband must likewise be ready to protect his wife and family; to even risk his life for their safety. These are tall orders. He should take his roles seriously, fully aware that he will give an account of his leadership to God.
But women plays a great part in upholding and encouraging men in these divine-appointed roles, particularly in a marriage relationship. As commanded by the Scripture, the woman’s role is to submit to the loving leadership of the man. She is to support and nurture man’s leadership. This role does not undermine a woman, nor relegate her to a lower status, but in reality suits her physical and emotional make-up. Life would be a lot happier for a woman if she will choose to yield to God’s design. This is the ideal and yet apart from God’s grace, “who is sufficient for these things?” But we can ask for grace, and abundant supply will be given through the Lord Jesus Christ.
Men are supposed to take care of women. But obviously, rampant abuses are happening in our time. Is chivalry dead? Not really. As long as there are men who are ready to take on to themselves the divine mandate of leading, providing and protecting women, chivalry is not dead. Like a candle in the dark, these godly men can lead the way on how to become real men.
Based on the Sunday School Lesson of Pastor Rodel Lasco on Biblical Masculinity
Saynotoviolence.org/issue/facts-and-figures. Accessed May 6, 2013