Jesus: The Right Example

March 9, 2014

in Headship/Submission

Recently in the comments, there’s been some discussion (to put it kindly) about what headship should look like. Some have kicked around the manosphere terms Alpha and Beta.

A couple of definitions:

Alpha Man: A “man’s man”. Powerful, dominant, confident, good looking, doesn’t show much emotion. Supposedly the kind of man every woman wants to have sex with RIGHT.NOW.AND.RIGHT.HERE.

Beta Man: Nice, kind, a good listener, shows emotions, great with kids. Supposedly the kind of man every woman wants to help her raise her children. (Ideally children she had by an Alpha according to many.)

Statue of Jesus © zole4 | freedigitalphotos.net

If your goal in life is to have sex with as many women as possible, the manosphere suggests you be 100% Alpha. If you seek marriage, the manosphere suggests a mix of Alpha and Beta. Enough Alpha to get plenty of sex, enough Beta to make her feel safe and comfortable. This means male traits are either Alpha or Beta, and the perfect husband mixes some of each.

Personally, I think a better way to become the perfect husband is to look at Jesus. Are we not told to emulate Jesus in how we treat our wives?

When I think of Jesus, I find it hard to see Him as either an Alpha or Beta – or a mix of both. Jesus was gentle – “He will not quarrel or cry aloud, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets; a bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not quench…” [Mt 12:19&20a ESV]. Jesus was harsh with religious leaders who were leading people astray, but He was kind and gentle with others. The disciples said and did all manner of clueless things, but Jesus’ rebukes were few and gentle. Jesus is not the hard Alpha leader the manosphere tells me I must be to be a godly husband.

However, Jesus was in no way wimpy. He spoke truth unapologetically, and He called people on their sins: “…go, and sin no more.” [Jn 8:1 KJV], “One thing you still lack.” [Lk 18:22 ESV], “I have this against you…” [Rev 2:4&22 ESV]. Jesus is no let-things-slide-to-keep-the-peace Beta.

Some try to make parts of Jesus behaviour Alpha or Beta, but honestly, you have to stretch to make these points. Jesus is not a careful balance of Alpha and Beta; Jesus is something else. Jesus is also our example. I suggest we ditch the whole Alpha/Beta concept and search the Bible to learn how to be a proper husband.

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Great tweet of the week:

Is what you are considering fair to your wife and family? @drrichardnorris

Links to blog posts that stood out to me this last week:

Assume Love

How Boring is Your Marriage? ◄ Why and how you should deal with a boring marriage.


Black and Married with Kids

6 Tips to Divorce Proof Your Marriage ◄ Be proactive about your marriage.


The Generous Wife

Don’t Hide the Bad ◄ Natural, but not helpful.
Beyond the Bounds of the Box ◄ Are your limits real?


Journey to Surrender

What If… ◄ Some good “what if”s” to ponder.


Leading Men Only

Marriage Is Meant To Be Addictive Not Disposable ◄ Are you hooked?
Your Discouragement Is Not The End Of The World; It Could Be The Start ◄ Is your experience not meeting your expectations?


One Flesh Marriage

Celebrating the Spiritual Side Of Sex ◄ A guest post by Shannon Ethridge on how to know if what you are doing sexually is okay.
Celebrating the Mental Side of Sex ◄ A guest post by Shannon Ethridge – Why do humans think about sex so much?


Stupendous Marriage

We Need a Break From the Four Kids ◄ Some good third alternative thinking here.

9 comments
JTalkington
JTalkington

Personally I think what the manosphere in general is struggling to describe is a man who is a mix of Leader and Servant. I can't think better example of a Servant-Leader than Christ, can you?

SexWithinMarriage.com
SexWithinMarriage.com

I agree, Jesus is an excellent example.  Of course, you know the argument of the man-o-sphere is going to be "yeah, but Jesus didn't have sex..."  But, I find the more I follow Biblical Principles in this, the more sex I have.  And yes, something that means more leadership, and sometimes that means more sacrificing (which I think are the male counterparts to the Alpha/Beta spectrum, for the women, I think the spectrum is submission and support, but I'm still playing with that one).

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@High Country  "The emphasis is not on servanthood because most men hear that endlessly."


But are they hearing the truth on serventhood, or are they hearing just enough to inoculate them to the whole idea? Most of what I hear is a pale shadow of the radical concept Jesus lives and we are told to emulate. 


Building on a false foundation is a problem even if what is built is right and good.

JTalkington
JTalkington

@TheGenerousHusband  @JTalkington I didn't say that they were describing it accurately (although some do better than others). Also, I don't think most of those writers would use the servant and leader descriptions in place of alpha and beta. But I still think that those are the concepts that they are struggling to get a handle on.


Personally, I see the "manoshpere" in three camps, the PUA (pick up artist), the men's rights/divorce equality groups, and a small number of pro-monogamy pro-marriage writers. The PUA crowd seems to be all about "getting" as many women as possible in the shortest period of time, and is frankly offensive to me. The second group is angry at women and society and that anger certainly comes across in their writings and attitude. The third group is the one that interests me.


That third group is considerably more balanced in their approach to male/female relationships. As with any teaching/studying, you have to compare the concepts presented with biblical truth. There is one blog in particular that seems to have concluded that the best path forward for society is to have monogamous marriage with strong male leadership paired with a strong female partner, that the ideal sexual partner count is 1, and that there be a healthy mix of "leadership" combined with "relationship comfort". While I disagree with how he arrived at these conclusions, I find it interesting that he came at the problem of helping struggling marriages from a secular standpoint but described a working headship style relationship fairly accurately.


I wouldn't recommend anyone take even the most moderate of these writings as gospel, but I do think there are some things that can be learned from their observations. I've read a fair number of marriage books and blogs both Christian and secular, and with all of them I have to compare what is taught with biblical truth and then evaluate what will and won't work in my marriage.

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@High Country @TheGenerousHusband  I think you may have rather selective hearing - listening for what you think is wrong and not hearing much else. You certainly do that here, so it seems safe to assume you may do it in churches and elsewhere. Perhaps you do the opposite in other places, looking for what is right and ignoring or dismissing what is not.

Of course, confirmation bias is human nature and we all do it. I certainly fight it regularly, and I am sure I totally miss it far too often.

Is the manosphere helping some men and some marriages? No doubt it is. Is it hurting some? Clearly yes. Is the more Christina arm doing more good than harm? I hope so. My concern is they are in bed with the non-Christian parts due to the ever-popular enemy of my enemy is my friend kind of thinking.

I am concerned any time I see Christians uniting with the world against the Church. Even when the church is wrong, this is a very bad plan, and it is never what God calls us to.

I fear some see the message of the manosphere as more important than the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They would deny that, but their where they put their time tells the real story.

To me John Eldredge (Wild at Heart - ransomedheart.com‎) would be a much better way for men to learn to be men. Maybe he would be more popular with manosphere types if he blamed women for men’s problems.  

JTalkington
JTalkington

@TheGenerousHusband @JTalkington The one I follow most closely does but is distancing himself somewhat. Many of the manosphere blogs do reference his work frequently.


Notably, he also breaks from the Alpha=good/Beta=bad rhetoric.


I actually think it would be instructive for the two of you to interview one another and generate posts based on what you found to agree about and what you disagreed on. I think that it would be interesting to see where exactly the overlap exists.

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@JTalkington @TheGenerousHusband Do those in the third group call themselves part of the manosphere? Does not seem they fit very well, and I wonder why they would self-identify with others who are so different.

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