I've always been irked by references to the "feminine side" of men. I believe God created mankind "male and female" (Genesis 1:27) and very clearly delineated their roles within the church (1st Corinthians 14:34-35; 1st Timothy 2:11-12), the home (Ephesians 5:22-33; 1st Peter 3:1-7), and society in general (Deuteronomy 22:5; 1st Corinthians 11:15). Men should embrace their masculinity and women their femininity.

Even so, there are certain qualities that are decidedly masculine or feminine which must be developed by everyone.

Maternal nurturing is a definitively female attribute, yet even godly men should display this characteristic. Paul spoke in this way of his work among the brethren in Thessalonica: "But we were gentle among you, just AS A NURSING MOTHER CHERISHES HER OWN CHILDREN. So, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us" (1st Thessalonians 2:7-8). And Jesus, mourning the desolation that would befall stubborn Jerusalem, lamented, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, AS A HEN GATHERS HER CHICKS UNDER HER WINGS, but you were not willing!" (Matthew 23:37).

All Christians, men and women alike, are under command to "Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong" (1st Corinthians 16:13). The words translated "be brave" here (NKJV), literally mean "be manly", and most versions (KJV, ASV, NAS, ESV) render it accordingly. All the godly, women included, must develop manly courage as it pertains to serving the Lord.

By Bryan Matthew Dockens.

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