Femininity is not the opposite of masculinity. They are complements.
The opposite of masculinity is passivity.
Passivity waits to be acted upon. Masculinity initiates.
Passivity avoids. Masculinity enters.
Passivity enables. Masculinity leads.
Passivity backs away. Masculinity stands firm.
In the garden, men and women were both giving the image of their Creator. They were created differently; they were created to be complements; they were created for oneness. (see Created In God’s Image)
Yet, in relationship, men tend toward passivity. It is the pattern of male brokenness started in the garden by Adam, who backed away to let his wife – bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh – face the temptations of the serpent alone.
He was not the bearer and handler of truth, so his wife succumbed to the lies.
It the sin of looking away from God – in fact, just looking away and choosing not to see. And God spoke to Adam’s sin first.
Passivity is not the complement of femininity. In the presence of a passive male, women are allowed (or encouraged) to live out of sync with their own design, leading to anger and resentment toward their spouse.
A friction that creates shame and thus ingrains the passive pattern more deeply.
Passivity is a manifestation of the false self. It is a covering that is apart from God.
It provides the false sense of comfort, security and protection that the false self craves to cover shame and prove “I’m OK.” (see Justifying a Diminished Masculinity)
If I don’t risk, then I cannot feel the shame of failure.
If I don’t initiate, then I cannot feel the shame of rejection.
If I avoid, then I don’t have to expose my vulnerability.
Passivity is about a lack of trust. Distrust of God as the true source of wholeness, and distrust of the spouse as one who will provide love.
Jesus enables masculinity. When a man has an identity rooted in Christ, he can be masculine without fearing a loss of value through failure, rejection or vulnerability.
In what other ways are passivity and masculinity opposites?
I work with followers of Christ to energize discipleship, improve relationships, decrease anxiety and facilitate leadership development. I am a certified coach specializing in pastoral leadership, relationships, discipleship, life transitions, and Christian identity. Also, I am the author of the forthcoming book Discovering Your Root: Developing Your Identity in Christ.
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