Because Scripture doesn’t implicitly define God designed masculinity, this will always be one of those topics where we will have disagreements and differences of opinions. But if we are going to use culture and anthropology to help define masculinity we need boundaries. We cannot allow anthropology and culture to have free reign on our understanding of God designed masculinity. We need a guide to help us build a fence around this field in which we play. I believe this is where Scripture comes to bear on our conversation.
However we choose to define masculinity, it cannot contradict what Scripture teaches about who we are created to be as people. I believe God created each of us to be a specific person. He created us with to be distinct individuals. There has never been another person with your unique combination of talents, personalities and passions, and God intends you to fully become the person he created you to be. When you do this, you will live the life you were created to live and these gifts will be put to use advancing God’s kingdom. This is the unique element of the person God created you to be, but there is also a universal element. God created us to be people of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Gal 5:22-23). God doesn’t just intend us to act lovingly, joyfully, peacefully, etc. He intends for us to become loving, joyful, peaceful, etc.
The fruits of the Spirit must be the boundaries for any definition of masculinity. Simply put, if any understanding of masculinity does not uphold these fruits, it is not from God. The application of our image of masculinity cannot lead us to mock someone who doesn’t match our image. I am not a fan of skinny jeans, but if your definition of masculinity leads you to mock musicians who wear them as somehow lesser men, you are out of bounds. The application of our image of masculinity cannot push someone down in such a way that she (or he) cannot be the person she was created to be. If your definition of masculinity causes you to keep a women who God has given the gift of leadership or teaching out of a role in which she can use those gifts to advance God’s kingdom, you are out of bounds. The application of our image of masculinity cannot be self-serving. If your definition of masculinity leads you to suggest that it is a wife’s duty to serve every whim of her husband’s physical appetite, you, sir, are out of bounds.