Definitions of Masculinity, Femininity, Marriage
and Parenting From Colossians 3:18-21
For the last several weeks we have been excavating truths in Paul’s letter to the Christians at Colossae. As we have moved through the Spirit’s words unleashed on us through the epistle, we have studied gender identity, marriage, and the family as Christians participating in resurrection-life (Col 3:1-4) by grace through faith in Christ (Eph 2:8-9).
So, we thought it would be helpful to provide you with the definitions I’ve been operating from as I’ve preached through Colossians 3:18-21.
Though more precise definitions could be given in relation to each of these scriptural topics, I believe these definitions best encapsulate the truths that are congregationally relevant for everyone irrespective of their current relational state; I believe these definitions are relevant for men and women, young and old, single and married, families with kids and without as we strive to live in light of the impact of the resurrection of Jesus by faith.
We have included hyperlinks to each of the sermons I preached in relation to these definitions. We have also listed the Scripture references I mentioned in each sermon.
Biblical Femininity: At the epicenter of Biblical Femininity is a posture to affirm, receive, and nurture leadership from worthy men in ways appropriate to a woman’s varying relationships.
(Colossians 3:18-4:1; Romans 13:1-2; 1 Peter 2:13-25, 3:1-7; Ephesians 5:21-24; Proverbs 31:10-31, 19:14; Genesis 12:10-20; 1 Samuel 25:1-3, 14-38; Judges 4; 1 Samuel 1-2; Ruth 1-4; 2 Samuel 21; Joshua 6; Matthew 1; Hebrews 13:5; Matthew 28:20; Isaiah 43:2, 41:10)
This definition of Biblical Femininity is nearly identical to John Piper’s and Wayne Grudem’s in their book, Recovering Biblical Manhood & Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical Feminism (Wheaton, Crossway: 1991), 45-52. Because I like the way they simply defined Biblical Femininity, I utilized a similar schema when crafting my definitions in hopes to incorporate the entire body of Christ.
Biblical Masculinity: At the epicenter of Biblical Masculinity is a posture to accept responsibility, reject passivity, lead courageously, and live a life on God’s agenda as a provider and protector in ways appropriate to a man’s varying relationships.
(Colossians 3:18-4:1; John 14:6; Romans 3:23, 10:9; Genesis 1:27; Galatians 5:14; Matthew 22:37-40; Ephesians 5:25-30; Ruth 4:1-6, 2:1, 3:1-13)
For me, this definition of Biblical Masculinity finds its roots in a previous era of discipleship with one of my mentors, Aaron Harvie, as he and I read Eric Mason’s Manhood Restored together. Though I am not familiar with Men’s Fraternity, I’ve been told that my definition overlaps with their definition of manhood.
Marriage: Marriage is a metaphor for the gospel; according to the Bible, it exists between one man and one woman. At its epicenter is a posture of glad-submission and self-sacrifice. In the rejection of entitlement, it heralds a gospel of cross-death and resurrection-life.
(Colossians 3:18-21; Ephesians 5:22-6:4; Genesis 2:18-25; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Galatians 5:19-21; Romans 14:5; 1 Corinthians 15:1-11; John 1:14; Matthew 22:37-40; Revelation 19:6-10, 21:1-4; Colossians 2:13-15)
Parenting: Parenting is both discipleship and a stewardship of the gospel. At its epicenter is a posture to lead, guide, and instruct those entrusted to one’s care in the fear and admonition of the Lord.
(Colossians 3:18-21; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Ephesians 6:1-4; Hebrews 12:7-11; Galatians 3:26; Revelation 19:9; Romans 8:15; 1 John 5:2-3; 1 Timothy 1:2; 2 Timothy 1:2; Exodus 20:2-17; Proverbs 13:24)
* “posture” indicates that you do not have to be married and/or a parent to fulfill these noble calls. Christians can be ‘full’ persons in Christ regardless of their relational state.
** “discipleship” emphasizes the biological and spiritual nature of parenting. In Christ, we can be ‘spiritual’ parents and grandparents to those we rear in the faith.
*** each of these definitions was read in Pastor Raymond's sermon A (Christ-Centered) Home: A Theology for the Modern Family, originally heard July 5, 2015.
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