Emotionally emasculated men deviate from their inherent male role or identity, rendering themselves ineffective or weaker due to insecurity or being dominated by a boss, peer pressure, or their spouse. In Job 38, God exhorted Job to stand up like a man so He could address him, emphasizing specific masculine traits that God expects men to embody (Ezekiel 2:1). Today, there is a growing societal pressure for men to adopt effeminate qualities, celebrating concepts like "metrosexuality" or alternative forms of manhood that do not resonate with the average American male.
Let it be clear that this article does not endorse male machismo, nor does it consider sensitive men, who may be creative and lack athletic proclivity, as effeminate within the context of this discussion. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that despite the cultural shift, many of the most successful action movies continue to celebrate male heroism, masculinity, and strength because they understand that these portrayals of manhood generate significant profits.
The process of sanctification not only involves learning how to be a child of God and how to embrace biblical masculinity or femininity. Sadly, in a culture that often celebrates a "non-binary" identity, many men hesitate to act like men because true manhood is seldom applauded in everyday contemporary society, except in certain movies, occasionally in the military, and specific contact sports.
The following are seven signs of emotionally emasculated males:
1. Men who consistently defer leadership decisions to their wives
While mutual submission is crucial in a marriage, as taught in Ephesians 5:22, there are life-altering decisions regarding finances, ministry direction, and living arrangements for which the man is responsible. God will ultimately hold him accountable for the direction of his life and family. Hence, he must have the final say on such matters while valuing the wisdom and counsel of his spouse.
2. Men who allow their emotions to dictate their actions
Men, like all humans, experience emotions. However, James 1:20 warns that human anger does not produce God's righteousness (Proverbs 25:28). Therefore, men should ensure that their actions are not governed by their emotional state but by principles and divine purpose. Scriptural examples depict godly men as sober-minded individuals of courage who do not let fear hinder them from fulfilling their responsibilities. Those driven by emotions prioritize personal feelings over what is right and honorable, while men of principle keep their word, even when challenging (Psalm 15:4).
3. Men who are unable to make firm decisions without constant self-doubt
One of the gifts of masculinity is the ability to take risks and make challenging leadership decisions based on scripture, wise counsel, and prayer. Emotionally emasculated men fear making difficult choices because they lack the courage to take risks or face the consequences. Consequently, they remain trapped in perpetual analysis and self-doubt, hindering their ability to lead as men.
4. Men who are not the spiritual leaders of their homes
Being a spiritual leader goes beyond making decisions; it primarily involves leading by example. It means taking the initiative to serve others, minister to their needs, gather the family for prayer and Bible study, prioritize attending church, and put God first in the home and personal life. When men allow their wives to lead spiritually, they become emotionally and spiritually emasculated, leaving them spiritually uncovered and fighting spiritual battles for their families alone. Men should not need to be dragged to church or pressured to pray with their families by their wives; they should be blazing the trail for others to follow.
5. Men who may act tough on the outside but are irresponsible in work and family matters
It is not uncommon to see men who appear muscular and tough in church but display unreliability regarding their jobs, families, or responsibilities within the church. Maintaining an outward image and acting intimidating is easy, but true men work diligently to provide for their families — financially, emotionally and spiritually. Being responsible in life's challenges and conflicts is a genuine test of manhood in today's world.
6. Men who abuse instead of protect women and children
Emotionally emasculated men often exhibit insecurity and attempt to prove their manhood by exerting power over those weaker. This often leads to verbal or physical abuse directed at their spouses and children. Such behavior is not a sign of true manhood but rather indicates a lack of genuine male identity and purpose. True masculinity involves protecting and cherishing women and children rather than causing harm.
7. Men who avoid relational conflict
Nobody enjoys tough conversations with loved ones, business associates, or family members. Emotionally emasculated men succumb to the fear of confrontation, procrastinate, or altogether avoid conflict, possibly due to a fear of rejection or the additional responsibility that may arise from such conflicts. True manhood entails addressing problems and conflicts head-on as they arise rather than running away from them.
In conclusion, there are numerous other aspects to discuss regarding this topic. As Christ-followers, part of our countercultural call is celebrating masculinity and femininity. Men should be honored as men and women as women. We do not need men to mimic women or vice versa, nor do we need a blend of both. May God grant us the courage to raise the next generation spiritually, emotionally mature, and secure in their gender roles and identities.
Dr. Joseph Mattera is an internationally-known author, consultant, and theologian whose mission is to influence leaders who influence culture. He is the founding pastor of Resurrection Church, and leads several organizations, including The U.S. Coalition of Apostolic Leaders and Christ Covenant Coalition.
To order his books or to join the many thousands who subscribe to his newsletter, go to josephmattera.org