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Does Manhood Equate with Leadership?

Does Manhood Equate with Leadership?

“To lead or not to lead”, is that really the question?
By Bob Edwards

There is a Christian movement today that is calling men to “step up” or “act like men” by being responsibly involved with their families and the church. This would be a good thing except that they equate this involvement with male-only leadership. Their message seems to be that if men are not leading they are not being responsibly involved.

I don’t think that framing male participation in terms of leadership is either necessary or helpful.

Can a man actively share in the responsibility for the well-being of his family without thinking that this means he has authority over his wife? Of course he can.

Can a man courageously serve God in the church without assuming that this means he must exercise authority over women? Of course he can.

“To lead or not to lead”, is that really the important question that Christian men face today? No, I don’t think it is. The gospel calls upon all Christians – male and female – to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love our neighbour as we love ourselves. Jesus explained that in following these two commands, we fulfill the entirety of God’s law.

“To love, or not to love”, I believe that is the important question facing all Christians today, men included.

Bob Edwards (MSW) is a counsellor, social worker and the author of “Let My People Go: A Call to End the Oppression of Women in the Church” and “A God I’d Like to Meet: Separating the Love of God from Harmful Traditional Beliefs”. Both books are available on Amazon here. Bob is also a contributor to The Junia Project.


Articles on Masculinity and Leadership

Paul’s Masculine and Feminine Leadership
Protecting the Weaker Sex
Leading Together in the Home
Role or Rank?
Kephalē and “Male Headship” in Paul’s Letters
“Biblical Manhood” that Overlooks and Ignores Women

Posted September 23rd, 2013 . Categories/Tags: Equality and Gender Issues, , ,

Unkind, judgemental, bizarre, and off-topic comments will be deleted.

5 comments on “Does Manhood Equate with Leadership?

  1. Heather says:

    Yes they can! My husband is a great example of this.

  2. Marg says:

    Hi Heather, I take it you’re responding to the two questions in the middle of the post with your “Yes, they can!”

    My husband is a great example of that too.

  3. Kristen says:

    I have gotten the feeling as I’ve studied this issue, that giving exclusive leadership to men is the price women must pay to induce men to participate responsibly in family and church life. But I cannot believe men as a group are really so childish. It’s like a kid on the playground saying, “If we don’t play I’m the boss, I’m not playing.”

  4. Marg says:

    Kristen, I know what you’re saying. I’ve noticed too that some men do seem to become more involved in church when they can be part of the leadership or part of some kind of inner-circle, men’s-club. But what does that say about these men? That they are only happy if they can have position, prestige or power over others? Are these the kind of people that Jesus wants serving and leading his people? I doubt it.

  5. Gary Shogren says:

    Very nicely put, biblical, kind, and succinct.

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