Be assertive. Be decisive. Christian women want decisive, assertive men. Don’t be emotionally sensitive, that’s so unmanly. Get married to a woman who is your equal, but who will submit to you. Marry someone who will follow you. Don’t marry a non-Christian; any Christian woman will make a good wife and mother, that’s what God made them for. God has a particular woman planned for you. God doesn’t have a woman planned for you. Don’t settle. Don’t be fussy.

Don’t do children’s work, that’s for girls and it might impair your masculinity. Study leadership, and enjoy it. Teach adults in the church, even if you’re no good at it. Try being on the tea and coffee rota; you might enjoy it, as long as you can put up with all the comments about how well house-trained you are.

Be a feminist, because women should be treated equally.

Don’t be too feminist. That’s unbiblical.

Want to get married. Want to have children. Be a husband.

Don’t base your life around getting married, or having children. Be happy on your own. Get a good job. Serve God. Show that God is enough for you, but you can also earn a lot of money. And then a woman might want you enough to marry you.

But don’t worry. Stop feeling guilty. God loves you just as you are.

Be successful. A successful career is a gift from God. If you don’t get married, you can give more to the church. A single man with a good income must be looking for a wife. Don’t base your worth on your success. Resist the world’s messages. Dress for success. Dress modestly. The clothes you’re wearing are scruffy. The suit you’re wearing is too flashy (and looks better than the treasurer’s). Be yourself. Be friendly and open. Don’t be friendly to women, it’s your fault if they fantasise about you asking them out. Be healthy. Your body is a gift. Look after it, or you have abused God’s gift. Boast about your unhealthy food habits; real men don’t eat vegetables. Don’t struggle with body image. You’re a child of God. You’re better than that.

But don’t worry. Stop feeling guilty. God loves you just as you are.

Be pure. Be a virgin. If you’re not a virgin you’ve already impossibly hurt someone you haven’t met yet. You’ve committed a huge sin that you’ll have to carry with you for the rest of your life. Think pure thoughts. If you’re not married, don’t think about sex, or want sex. Don’t look at porn, well, look at porn sometimes, so you can confess it in the men’s group; it makes you more manly and saves embarrassing the others with your hard-won purity.

But don’t worry. Don’t feel guilty. God loves you just as you are. Just don’t do it again.

Don’t talk about sex. Unless you’re married. If you’re married, make love to your wife spontaneously and romantically, and only feel attraction for her. Be able to know how she feels without asking. Make sure you listen to how she feels whenever she tells you. Spend money giving her well-chosen gifts. Be reliable. Don’t be predictable.

But don’t worry. Stop feeling guilty. God loves you just as you are.

Be patient. Accept the circumstances you find yourself in, and have complete trust in God’s plans. Work to change things. Develop yourself. Be proactive. Be ambitious, but not aggressive. Seek out opportunities for leadership. Work hard, and achieve things. Smile at your troubles. Don’t be depressed. Be positive.

And above all, don’t worry. Stop feeling guilty. God loves you just as you are.

(picture via sxc.ju)

Written by Roy Hollands

Roy is bothered by skewed and damaging ideas of masculinity. He’s a Church Army evangelist who earns his living as a lorry-driver. He has ministered in Sheffield, Leicester and among Mexican immigrants in Texas. He plays the trombone and enjoys cycling and hill-walking.

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