Blessing Or Cursing The Men In Our Lives

Driving me home from college every day, my mom would reach a particular on-ramp that indeed was dangerous. She firmly believed that one day someone would be killed there (to my knowledge, thankfully, her prediction hasn’t come true). I still remember her lips tightening in disdain as she muttered, “A man must have designed this!”

Actually, she muttered those words any time she encountered things that she deemed inconvenient or illogical, explaining to me and my sister that women would not make anything so complicated or dysfunctional. She taught us to degenerate men, as if the poor things simply didn’t possess the intellectual abilities that characterize women. Yes, men came in handy now and then, she conceded. But for the most part, women could manage just fine — and perhaps better — without them.

Definitely women would have designed that on-ramp better!

As we prepare for Father’s Day, and the many sermons pointing out the shortcomings of fathers, I find myself thinking about Mom’s disparaging remarks. Society pretty much echoes her sentiments. Television, movies and even comic strips routinely portray men as buffoons. At times, according to my husband (an authority on all things pertaining to Superman), even Clark Kent had occasional moments of ineptitude. I believe I can safely say that our current culture all but celebrates male bashing.

Ladies, I know we get frustrated with the men in our lives sometimes. But don’t you think that we frustrate them just as much as they frustrate us? Maybe more? And yet, our culture wastes no time in labeling them as misogynists if they dare say anything the least bit unflattering about us. This double standard has no place in Christian conversation!

James, the half-brother of the Lord, may not have written specifically about male bashing, but his passage on the tongue in Chapter 2 of his epistle definitely applies to the matter. Look at the passage with me as we consider what we say about our husbands, dads, brothers and male friends.

But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; 10 from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. 11 Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Nor can salt water produce fresh. ~~James 3:8-12 (NASB95)

Scripture doesn’t permit Christians to speak ill of anyone. There’s of course room to call out false teachers, even to the degree of exposing their character, but by and large we should avoid using our words to belittle others. Furthermore, belittling an entire group of people simply because of their gender only demonstrates spiritual duplicity on our part. Again, none of us would tolerate a man making demeaning comments about us. We might even turn to James 3:8-12 as evidence that such remarks violate God’s Word.

Our husbands, dads, brothers and male friends were created in the likeness of God, just as we were. Cursing them with belittling remarks while at the same time blessing God Who made them in His likeness should cause us to question, at the very least, our obedience to the Lord.

I know. I have a husband who isn’t perfect. In my decades as a single woman, a few men hurt me so deeply that I wrongly felt entitled to male bash. On Valentine’s Day I’d wear black and blue “because that’s how men leave your heart.” Please believe that I really understand why women bash men. If you’ve been hurt, or even mildly frustrated by men, I get it.

But I also get that God commands Christians to forgive, and to bless those who hurt and frustrate us. His commands trump our desires for vengeance. I didn’t know how men hurt my mom, and it’s none of my business to know. But I know that her jokes about them were jokes that I must not emulate. Instead, I must warn other women against making similar remarks, even in fun, because they fail to display qualities befitting godly women. In dishonoring our husbands, dads, brothers and male friends, we ultimately dishonor the Lord we claim to love.

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