Man Goes Down. Woman (And Child) Goes Free.

David Burchard Christian Ethics, Writings 2 Comments

Man goes down. Woman goes free.

In a cursed world, the above is a clear and succinct summary of the Bible’s teaching on manhood. Other helpful ways of stating the same reality include John Piper’s and Douglas Wilson’s definitions.

“Mature masculinity is the sense of benevolent responsibility to lead, provide for, and protect women in ways appropriate to a man’s differing relationships.”–John Piper

“Masculinity is the glad assumption of sacrificial responsibility.”–Douglas Wilson

Wherever man goes, he is man. And for him to be a manly man means he walks with a burning zeal to die to himself for the good of others, specifically for the women and children around him. He knows God has put on his shoulders the responsibility to bleed, sweat, and toil to lead, protect, and provide. And he carries that burden with jovial gladness, for woman is his glory.

Man goes down. Woman goes free.

Adam failed. He found his wife embattled by the dragon, that ancient serpent, and instead of jumping into the fray with righteous rage that Eve might escape and the dragon be banished, Adam forfeited, rolled over in submission like a three-legged mangy dog who lets the home invaders pass in exchange for a belly rub.

The Second Adam succeeded. He is the Manliest Man of all Mandom. By his substitutionary death on the cross, he rescued his bride and vanquished the Devil. By his death, he defeated death itself so that his bride might enjoy blissful life with him forever. And he did so with fixed gaze and joy filled bowels.

Man goes down. Woman goes free.

April 15, 1912. You remember the event, right? The Titanic sank on that date’s first hours. 703 people survived. 1,523 people died. But though this sinking is tragic, it should be sung of by raucous revelers for generations to come. Why? Because on that night, a boatful of men played the man gloriously. Because of the masculine courage of most men on that ship, in the face of frigid death, one that promised no burial, but merely a tomb of millions of gallons of icy ocean, 75% of the women on board survived, and 50% of the children. Less than one in five men would live to see the 16th of April. There were not enough seats on lifeboats for everyone. The manly men knew to whom those seats belonged.

Man goes down. Woman goes free.

At any moment, in any situation, he is ready. He has gladly assumed responsibility.

Brothers, is this our ethos? Do women know we think of them this way? Do women know that we will gladly return to the dust in an effort to lead, protect, and provide?

The thought of female military service should be absurd to our sisters in view of how well we supply the armed forces with our bodies.

Our sisters should recognize that men have sacrificially taken the responsibility to meet the physical and spiritual needs of the church throughout the week. This means that men initiate and assume responsibility to ensure widows and orphans in the congregation receive care. It means that when teaching is needed, men enslaved to the Word of God jump in order to provide for the teaching of it. It means that when singing is called for, men raise their voices with fully-opened chests. It means that when prayer is called for, men earnestly labor in it. It means that men insist on giving up their seat for a sister who lacks one. It means that men come to the church’s meetings prepared to put down any threats that may arise. It means that men are so genuinely masculine that women are confident in our sacrificial good will towards them in conversation. It means that mothers know that any man in the congregation would without second thought lose his life for the preservation of their children.

Our sisters should be dumbfounded when a man doesn’t open a door, offer to walk her home, welcome her when she graces a room with her presence, walk on the road side, fill up her tank, pay for her meal, or keep his word.

Our sisters should know that we would rather fight and lose bloodily than allow the honor of a woman to be mocked in peace.

Man goes down. Woman goes free.

Brother, if you want to obey that masculine mandate in the highest of crises, submit your whole life in obedience to it.

Comments 2

  1. Let’s see if you were really paying attention: Jesus died, right? A dead body cannot sing, preach, teach, hold open doors, or do anything chivalrous. Jesus went all the way down, everyone went free. These gender teachings, it’s not about men “going down” or “dying to self”; because it’s built on order; a foundation – a hierarchy. Women hold men up, women help men run everything. It’s only when a man “goes down” dies to the need to be the “authority” do the women and children who hold him up go truly free. In Matthew 20 (and a few other places) Jesus challenges his disciples to not live according to authority / submission; he tells them that whoever wants to be first has to be last; whoever wants to be the master has to take orders like a servant. A servant is never above his master; Jesus says elsewhere; If a servant wants to eat, he must wait on his master and only afterwards will he be dismissed to eat his own meal. A servant, a Jesus-like servant-servant (no such thing as servant-headship) is the guy who washes everyone else’s feet. He cooks the food, serves the meal. If he’s to follow Jesus’ example, he listens to and respects the women in his company. It’s not about complementarianism; such an idea didn’t exist in Jesus’ time. It’s about knowing that the world says you have a ton of authority and privilege and crucifying it; choosing to not use your “rightful” authority, choosing to respect your partner as yourself, choosing to be “the help” to “your help”; it’s reversing the roles to be in Jesus’ upside-down kingdom.

  2. Pingback: Is the 2nd Amendment Christian? – Creaturely Consideration

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