Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Return of the Man!

I love the film Pride and Prejudice!



But I wondered why are Jane Austin’s novels so popular today? They have stood the test of time and are more popular than ever! But what has equally made me wonder is why, if the modern woman really is independent, strong, able to hold her own then why would she love such a film as Pride and Prejudice? Granted, Miss Elizabeth Bennet is a force to be reckoned with, and has a side women today can relate to. She is not afraid to speak her mind, refuse not one but two marriage proposals (practically unheard of then I’m sure) and in a society where women weren’t allowed to work and all inheritance goes to the male she wasn’t interested in marrying for the money. The answer, I believe, is the attraction seen in the conduct and fulfilment of the role of the man.

I’m certainly no expert but I do know that the women in that era were squashed and they weren’t always treated with the respect due from men. But in characters such as Mr. Darcy we see the masculine instincts being lavishly and appropriately being shown on the woman. We also see that the strengths of both Mr Darcy and Miss Bennet strengthen any weaknesses in one another. They complement each other, as how it should be in marriages. It is beautiful to see these roles being fulfilled while both the man and woman are in their rightful order, God’s created order.

Quite simply women (generally speaking) love Mr Darcy because he represents what has been lost in recent history. But if we want our Mr Darcy’s back we women must recover our own true femininity. However, In looking at the masculine man this month it has been easy to blame the women’s movement for the loss of true masculinity and femininity. But as John Piper so clearly put it:

If I were to put my finger on one devastating sin today, it would not be the so-called women’s movement, but the lack of spiritual leadership by men at home and in the church. Satan has achieved an amazing tactical victory by disseminating the notion that the summons for male leadership is born of pride and fallen ness, when in fact pride is precisely what prevents spiritual leadership. The spiritual aimlessness and weakness and lethargy and loss of nerve among men is the major issue, not the upsurge of interest in women’s ministries.

Pride and self-pity and fear and laziness and confusion are luring many men into self-protecting, self-exalting cocoons of silence. And to the degree that this makes room for women to take more leadership it is sometimes even endorsed as a virtue. But I believe that deep down the men-and the women-know better.

Where are the men with a moral vision for their families, a zeal for the house of the
Lord, a magnificent commitment to the advancement of the kingdom, an articulate dream for the mission of the church and a tender-hearted tenacity to make it real?


Where are the men indeed! Isn’t this what we so often hear women ask today? Yet unwittingly they are unaware of the fact they are hindering the return of the man they lost. But on the other side we need the men to rise up regardless! Men who do have a "moral vision for their families, a zeal for the house of the Lord, a magnificent commitment to the advancement of the kingdom, an articulate dream for the mission of the church and a tender-hearted tenacity to make it real."

In fighting for what they deemed as freedom (which as we will later see was not true freedom), they got what they wanted yet in the process they gradually lost not only true freedom but something else at the same time. Could it be women are having regrets and second thoughts, questioning whether it was all worth it and is it too late? No, not if true Godly men and women prayerfully seek to recover biblical man and womanhood. Ladies, our Mr. Darcy's may have been in front of our very eyes all along!

7 comments:

Wretched said...

"Pride and self-pity and fear and laziness and confusion are luring many men into self-protecting, self-exalting cocoons of silence."
But I enjoy my cocoon of silence!
Seriously though, while I do desire and strive to be a man of G-d, I also have little to no desire to be in a relationship. Regardless the reason behind it, the desire isn't there. I can't make myself want something I either want it or I don't. Do I struggle with pride? Oh yeah. Self-pity? I don't think so. I don't feel sorry for myself as I've chosen to be single and enjoy it immensely but my ability to see that in myself may be skewed.
Am I fearful of a relationship? Absolutely. I'd lose my singleness and that thought scares me in that it doesn't seem appealing at all. Lazy? Check! I'd throw selfish in there with the mix as well.
I don't think being single is a bad thing. I don't see it as superior to marriage but for me it's the better option, at least for now. G-d's working on me in a number of ways. Where I see the problem is that I'm not using my blessed singleness to further His kingdom as I should be. Which means I really need to go downtown Friday night to witness.

Zoe said...

Hmm, very interesting! Just yesterday I was reading Voddie Bauchams book 'Family driven faith', further on in the first chapter he says-"As I travel across the country, I am amazed at the number of inteligent, Jesus loving, Bible toting, ministry-minded young men who absolutely refuse to grow up and take a wife! It is as though there was a new book of the Bible discovered(I call it 2 Hesitations) that reads,"Thou shalt not marry prior to graduate school, or at least until you have a middle class income and a 401(k)." The only thing worse is looking into the eyes of the scores of young women who ask me what they have to do to get these guys to man up and marry them." Wow was my reaction! Also he tells us how Proverbs 18:22 reads- "He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favour from the LORD" Amen

Geraldine said...

Amen wretched, being single is certainly not a bad thing. It really is a gift from God.
The mature manhood that is being focused on in this post (and others) is certainly not dependant on being married. As Piper put it:

"We are persuaded from scripture that masculinity and femininity are rooted in who we are by nature. They are not simply reflexes of a marriage relationship. Man does not become man by getting married. Woman does not become woman by getting married."

You are blessed in not being restricted as far as witnessing is concerned. Being married, before i can go out witnessing i know there are things that must be done in the home first. Although saying that i can witness other ways while out, say, shopping (leave tracts, cd's on the bus).

Jennifer said...

Geraldine, this statement of Piper's is excellent: "Satan has achieved an amazing tactical victory by disseminating the notion that the summons for male leadership is born of pride and fallen ness, when in fact pride is precisely what prevents spiritual leadership."

Satan is a deceiver. He loves to prevent people from living out their God-given calling. Years ago, I used to sing in a church, and a woman who was very jealous once told me that I was singing to show off, not to glorify God. That was ten years ago. I have only sung publicly twice since that time.

I think it is fair to say that God has created everything that is good, and when God declares something good, we should have no fear when it comes to performing that function. We need to encourage men to take on a leadership role, lest they fear that doing so would actually be "sin." Great post!

Jennifer said...

To Wretched: I'll add to what Geraldine said -- it's not about singleness or marriage; it's about masculinity. There is nothing wrong with being single, but there is something wrong with not using one's masculinity to serve God. A single person can be just as selfish in his singleness as the married man who neglects his family to go do other things under the guise of "serving the Lord." We just have to make sure we are not using singleness as an excuse to neglect the call to serve a family.

LisaM said...

I really like the thoughts you present here, and in the preceding article. Keep up the Good work! :)

Jennifer said...

Zoe, I did not respond earlier because I wanted to find a clip of John Piper talking about this, but I couldn't find it. But basically, he was talking about how singleness is a gift from God, then he said, "But if you think I'm saying that being gifted with singleness means you stay up all night and play video games when you're 35, and act like a teenager, you haven't heard a word I said!" Oh it's such a great clip!