God made us male and female. So how do we become fully alive in our masculinity or femininity? This was a question that Dr. Larry Crabb was pondering on which sparked the beginning of his new book, "Fully Alive". He concluded that what the bible say about masculinity and femininity is completely different from what our culture is teaching us.
Dr. Crabb was pretty competent in athletics in his younger days. He was always decent in sports, decent enough to make him feel good about himself. As he moved into adulthood, he became fairly successful as a writer and had a good marriage.
Due to his success in life, he started worshipping a counterfeit definition of masculinity. Dr. Crabb felt good about himself because he is successful, athletic, and able to buy a car for his wife a car. It was his very false definition of masculinity. It was the false definition of masculinity that is very common in our culture - success, talent etc.
Yet it all add up to a big fat zero for his wife's appreciation of him.
After 20 years of marriage, she said to him, "I'm not looking forward to growing old with you." That was a kick in the gut for him.
However, he saw that she wasn't being mean in that statement. She was actually hurting. And he didn't know why.
It pushed him to seek out the answer to this question: What does it mean for him, as a man, to touch his wife's soul and to live as a masculine man?
Dr. Crabb realizes that the god he was revealing to his wife, was the god of this world, and not the one from the bible. Her soul was invisible to him. And that is the scariest thing for a woman. He was too busy being a "man", by cultural standards.
Relational masculinity is revealed in a man, who remembers God's story, and moves to advance the plot. Many times man don't advance the story because they don't know what the story is!
The Trinity of God reveals the relational aspect of God. The Father, Son and the Holy Spirit are not a task oriented God. God is a relational God. It is due to that relational nature, He moved into the chaos and the mess of that we make of our lives, through the incarnation of Jesus. That is the story of God.
Similarly, when a man is faced with a difficult situation, he has two options. One is to back into his own sphere of competence. The other is to move into the sphere of chaos and depend on God to show him the way, with the purpose of telling the story of God. The degree to which a man can move into the chaos of a woman's mind and heart, is the degree to which he can enjoy the fast that he is indeed a God-revealing man. That is Masculinity.
This is an irony of it all. In order for a man to be a man, he needs to live in such a way that requires the Grace and the Mercy of God. If a man doesn't know if he trusts God well enough for that, he wants to move into spheres in which God is not necessary needed. As a result, he has failed in his calling to be a man.
The strength of God helps us to move into our Godly masculinity and femininity. That is how we can be Fully Alive.
Dr. Larry Crabb's book is now available at our Crossroads eStore. It is definitely a good read and helps us to dive into our Godly gender roles.