Sermon Outline and Video
Sermon Title: “Godly and Healthy Christian Living for the Sake of the Gospel & for Public Witness”
Scriptural Passage: Titus 2:1-10
Date: Sunday, March 17, 2019
“But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine” (v.2)
Speaker: Dr. Joseph
What is the meaning of the phrase “sound doctrine?”
- A body of Christian beliefs
- Sets of Christian practices
- Godly Christian behavior
- “Practical instruction about the things which are fitting for, that is, based on and appropriate to, the sound doctrine that already has been taught.”—John MacArthur, Titus, p.70
4 Major Points
- Biblical Discipleship fosters godly living (vv.2, 12, 14)
- Spiritual mentoring promotes strong biblical masculinity and manhood (vv.2, 6-7)
- Spiritual mentoring encourages a Christ-centered biblical feminism and womanhood (vv. 3-5)
- Submission to the Word of God is a true mark of Christian discipleship (vv.1, 5, 8, 10)
Introduction: Living christianly in this culture….
Big Idea: the most effective plan for evangelism and to win lost people for Christ is to live a godly live that is conformed to sound biblical doctrine, which will draw non-followers of Jesus to God. How do you practice and live your faith.
Reason: if we teach the Gospel and live the Gospel, people’s lives will be changed in our neighborhood, community, and the country we call the United States of America.
Ethical instructions and Exhortations to five various groups of people in the Cretan Church, with the goal to establish the right and godly behavior pleasing to God (vv.1-10) and to influence the Cretan culture through the embodied Gospel in Christian life.
- Exhortation to Older men (v. 2)
- Exhortation to Older women (v.3)
- Exhortation to young women (vv.4-5)
- Exhortation to young men (vv. 6-8)
- Exhortation to slaves (vv. 9-10)
*** Vv. 11-15 deal with the theological basis for a healthy and godly Christian living for the sake of the Gospel and for public witness of the Gospel.
The first groups of these individuals are separated by age and sex, while the fifth group in the Church is distinguished by its social status/position in society and in the church.
What is the common exhortation to all the five groups?
- These five groups of individuals are Church people, Cretan Christians and followers of Jesus Christ.
- All of them are cared to live a life of godliness and transformed life according to sound doctrine (v.1) and the grace of God.
- They are called to submit to principles of godliness at homes, work, and wherever they may be. The call to godliness is the call to discipleship and to follow Jesus.
- They are responsible to safeguard the reputation of the Gospel and to live, practice and embody the Gospel.
- Believers are called to live godly and in a respectable way in society to counter false accusations to Christianity (vv. 8-10) so that all people would have access to the gospel of God and its principles to which believes live.”
- Christians need to know that the grace of God, through faith in Jesus Christ alone, provides salvation to all people and forgiveness for their sins (vv.11-12)
Exhortation to Older men (v. 2)
- “Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness.”
***These three are the cardinal virtues of the Christian life: faith toward God, love toward all people, and perseverance to the end.
Exhortation to Older women (v.3)
- “Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good.”
Exhortation to young women (vv.4-5)
- “Train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.”
***younger Christian wives need to demonstrate seven qualities:
- Love their husband; Love their children; 3. To exercise self-controlled; 4. To be sexually pure (no sexual infidelity) 5. To be the queen of their homes 6. To be kind, this quality is especially related to one of God’s attributes. The Bible declares the kindness of God.
- To be submissive to their own husbands, not other men
***”The reason for their living out their faith in terms of this domestic code is for the sake of the Gospel and how it would be viewed by outsiders: so that non one will malign the word of God…Here we have the first of several clear articulations of the need for good works for the sake of nonbelievers “(Fee, New International Biblical Commentary, Titus, p. 188).
- Older women should be spiritual mentors. In fact, mothers are called to teach their daughters the ways of life (Jeremiah 9:20). Young women is a reference to young wives. Wives should love their husbands unconditionally and nurture their children spiritually, intellectually, ethically, and morally. The crowning virtue of the Christian wife is to love.
Exhortation to young men (v.6)
- “Urge the younger men to be self-controlled. Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works.”
Exhortation to slaves (vv. 9-10)
- “Bondservants are to be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, 10 not pilfering, but showing all good faith”
Common adjectives that apply to all five groups:
- The call to be sensible (self-controlled) 2, 5, 6): older men, younger women, young men
*** “The term translated “sensible” means “self-controlled” or disciplined, one of the central Greek virtues; when applied to women, it meant “modesty” and hence indicated virtuously avoiding any connotations of sexual infidelity…”On the other hand, “The men are to be self-disciplined, and Timothy was to provide a model for them, as a good teacher should” ” (Craig Keener, The IVP Bible Background, “Titus,” p. 638).
***This is the call to be in control our feelings, emotions, choices, language, our actions in public and social media. In all things, we have to glorify Christ in all things.
How’s your rhetoric in different social media venues advancing the kingdom of God in society, glorifying God in Christ, fostering love in public, & uniting the various expressions of the body of Christ?
If it is not accomplishing (or will not fulfill) any of these goals, think twice about what you intend to post online and how you interact with people on social media.
God should also be exalted and treasured in our thinking, public interactions, and our actions in the public sphere. If you’re doubtful that Christ will not be honored through your public interaction with individuals, just don’t do it.
The goal of the Christian mind is to savor Christ and exalt the Triune God in all things. Whatever you do and think and whenever you act, think, act, and do it all to the glorious fame and praise of the Triune God in the world.
- The call to submissive (vv.5, 9): young women and slaves.
- The call to be sober (temperate) (vv.2, 3)
***Finally, Titus himself is not above the Gospel, his life also to show grace that he himself is saved.
“and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, 8 and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us” (vv.7-8).
The fourfold cause clauses (“in order that” = hina in Greek) that is both evangelistic and missional, which urges us to live godly and walk in holiness in this present age:
- “so that they may encourage the young women to love their husband” (v.4)
- “so that the word of God may not be reviled (or dishonored)” (v. 5)
- “so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us” (v.8)
- “so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior” (v.10)
*** Each cause clause (hina) “expresses the goal of purpose of the behavior that is encouraged. Furthermore, these hina clauses indicate the proper Christian behavior has a significant impact on pagan attitudes toward Christianity (v.5), silencing opponents by correct Christian teaching (v.8), and attracting a lost world to Christianity (v.10), thus affecting the entire missionary enterprise of the church” ( Lea & Griffin, The New American Commentary, Titus, p. 296).
*** If your lifestyle becomes a hindrance to Gospel, you need to ask God for forgiveness, repent, and change your ways.
The sevenfold to be’s:
- to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness (v.2)
- to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. (v.3)
- to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands (v.5)
- to be self-controlled (v.6)
- to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity (v.7)
- Bondservantsare to be submissive to their own masters in everything;
- they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative
***: Christians are called to be godly, not worldly. Pastors are called to be godly, not worldly. Do not cretenize the Gospel; don’t cretenize your morals and ethical standards.
“11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.
15 Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.” (Vv.11-15)
Additional Resources on Biblical Mentoring for Men and Women
A. “Mentoring with Intention”
It’s easy to confuse mentoring and friendship. Friendships are essential connections important to our sense of well-being. Women need friends. Times with friends bring laughter, listening ears, and encouragement. As friends browse the sale racks, their conversation may lead to an important question and an opportunity for biblical guidance. But the conversation often goes no deeper than bargains and the latest with kids. Friendly advice may be offered, but rarely are friends intentional about moving us toward maturity in Christ.
A pitfall with an organic approach is that mentoring relationships can get stuck on the friendship level. The women spend time together, tell each other about their lives, and encourage each other, but there is no spiritual movement. We mentioned previously that young women learn best through sharing life experiences, but mentoring is more than telling someone about your life. Mentoring is a relationship with a purpose. Without purpose the relationship can meander aimlessly, becoming little more than friends “hanging out.”
Mentoring is more than friendship or giving advice. Our purpose is to help young women follow Christ and be transformed into His image. Intentionality in the relationship allows us to move in this direction.
Listen with a Purpose
Mentoring that appeals to postmodern women starts with careful listening. Her world of connection-through-technology creates hunger for a patient, wise listener. When busy schedules rule the day, listening may seem like a waste of time. On the contrary, listening is a powerful mentoring tool. When you listen carefully to your mentee, trust is built and she feels accepted, valued, and understood. You begin to see her, and her heart begins to open to you. A mentee is unlikely to receive your input until she feels heard and understood. “I joined a mentoring program but dropped out after two months,” revealed a young woman. “My mentor kept telling me what to do, but she didn’t even know me.”
Develop Quality Conversation
An intentional mentor facilitates quality conversations. As you listen with purpose, eventually guide the conversation beyond what happened and who did what. Ask good questions that bring out what is going on inside your mentee. Questions like, What do you dislike about this situation? What do you dislike about yourself in this situation? What are you confused or upset about? Where do you need help? How do you want to change? What do you sense God wants you to do? Make no assumptions and give no advice at this point; only listen.
Good questions help you listen to your mentee’s heart and discern where she is spiritually. After she answers, summarize what you heard and let her verify the accuracy so both of you grasp her situation. When the mentee hears her own thinking, she begins to see the problem, and the door opens for spiritual growth. Good questions lead her to reflect, something she probably seldom has time to do, allowing her to process her life in light of God’s truth. Quality conversation takes the relationship beneath the surface and creates the depth young women crave. Her needs bubble to the surface. When this dynamic is present, she feels seen.
Discern Her Spiritual Situation
Spiritual mentoring needs to be both organic and organized. Coming from Auckland, New Zealand, which is called the “City of Sails,” I see the organized elements (such as showing up in each other’s lives, listening “fiercely,” and asking great questions) as hoisting the sails so that the organic elements (the wind of the Spirit, in an attitude of daily dependence) can hit our sails and take us to places in our relationship that we would never have dreamed.
Organic mentoring may be natural but isn’t without effort. As the mentor listens she works hard to discern the young woman’s place on her journey with Jesus. To do this you must listen to the mentee, the Spirit, and yourself—all at the same time. Now, that takes serious mental and spiritual effort.
As you listen to the young woman, be alert for unbiblical thinking, sinful or unwise behavior, harmful habits, strengths, weaknesses, gifts, knowledge of the Bible, her understanding of God. Is this mentee just starting the journey, or has she traveled the road for a while? What experiences with God does she bring with her? Listen for what the Spirit reveals and how He might direct the conversation. God is the one who causes growth, and He has opinions about the life of your mentee. How is He moving? You are there to help her hear and respond to God’s presence and activity in her life.
Listen to your own thoughts as well. What obstacles in her life do you observe? What comes to you from Scripture? Is there a similar experience in your life you can relate? Mentoring is a dynamic interaction between listening and discerning. This has been referred to as “wholly listening, holy listening, and holy seeing.” Mastery of this skill enables you to bring life-giving truth to your mentee and comes with practice over time. Give yourself grace and depend completely on God to work through you in the process. He will.
Use of Curriculum
As you and your mentee identify her needs, a book or Bible study could be helpful. Most next generation women are open to a “study” if it relates to their current need. If you don’t know much about the subject, no problem; you can learn along with your mentee. Mutual learning creates the collaborative atmosphere she loves. Remember, you are not the answer woman. She chose you because she trusts you and wants to learn from your life, so relax. If a book is selected, be sure to discuss it together instead of “teaching” the material.
It is our opinion that mentoring should include biblical truth. God’s Word is foundational for all of life and too many postmodern lives are untouched by it. Encourage your mentee to attend a strong Bible study to complement your influence in her life. We find that many young women already attend a Bible study and don’t want more of the same in mentoring. Nevertheless, in the mentoring relationship they are open to exploring Scripture that relates to their needs and growth goals.
Remember, the mentor is always responsible to bring God’s perspective to the table. If your mentee is not in Bible study, you want to think about how to introduce God’s Word into your relationship. If she has never done Bible study before, it may take some time for her to value God’s Word and want to learn from it. Once your relationship is established, the two of you may decide to choose Bible study as a growth goal, and you can teach her how to study God’s Word, or perhaps attend a Bible study together.
Traditional approaches to mentoring led us to believe that study of prepackaged material was the best way to grow a young woman. Our young women have voted and this is not their choice. Instead they want a mentor who listens to their lives. They hunger for truth presented in a believable format. They want to see firsthand how God works in a woman’s life, how to know and obey God in a messed-up world. Shared life experiences give them opportunities to connect their lives with biblical truth. If we want to draw our young women back, relationships must switch from a teaching focus to a relational focus where shared experiences are prominent.
When you make it your goal to see your mentee and respond to her needs, both of you experience a rewarding relationship. She grows, you grow, and God is glorified in your lives together. Isn’t this what we want? The results can be transformational when we put aside our workbooks and manuals, look into the eyes and hearts of our mentees, and begin the process of intentional listening, sharing, and loving.
Excerpted from Organic Mentoring. Copyright © 2014 by Sue Edwards and Barbara Neumann. Used by permission of Kregel Publications.
B. “The Desperate Need for the Mandate of Masculine Mentoring”
Monday, May 4, 2015
In the 1980s as a young Christian and professional footballer (that’s soccer to the uninformed!) I saw older players mentoring younger ones. One experienced star player took an interest in me. He encouraged and corrected my game, and he developed my character.
Recently, Premiership manager Tony Pulis spoke on BBC radio about the great need for mentoring in football today. He noted that apprentices nowadays are undisciplined and lack self-control. He put it down to the breakdown of the family and absent father figures in the lives of young men. But he did cite Christian family values as one thing that had a good effect.
One of the great needs in the church today is for men to mentor other men in the things of God—a distinctly masculine mentoring in the face of a culture that does not value manhood. God designs the church to grow under the protection and provision of biblical men. But they will not simply appear. Men of God must cultivate men of God.
Four requirements for masculine mentoring
Mentoring is spiritual fathering (1 Cor. 4:15), and requires not just quality time but quantity time. Jesus, the ultimate mentor, had 12 men constantly in his presence before he sent them out. Paul had thirty different men with him as fellow workers in the gospel, who ended up going out into further ministry. There is value in on the job training. One-to-one time with the mentor is crucial.
A mentor should pray for and seek out men, but he must call them to follow him. The mentee must sacrifice time and convenience to follow the leader, recognizing it is not a right but a privilege to be mentored. Getting the authority structure right at the start saves relationship breakdown over mismatched expectations later.
I usually pray for certain men. Then I ask if they have considered being mentored. If they don’t take up the offer after the third attempt, I back off but still pray. Then I’ll commit myself to be with them regularly. Some of the ways I implement this one-to-one mentoring relationship is by meeting men for lunch at my house in small mentoring groups, and even inviting some to come with me overseas on ministry trips where I can pour into them during concentrated time together.
2) Teaching and testing
Jesus came to preach and teach (Luke 4:43). Doctrine is crucial, and passing on sound teaching to faithful men who can do the same is the key requirement for the health and longevity of the local church (2 Tim. 2:2).
Overall I am looking to teach and then test what kind of conviction men have about what they say. Does it go deep or is it held lightly? We talk on all issues of the gospel, and apply it to marriage, parenting, work, and ministry.
In addition, I am always looking at what this means for them as Christian men in a world that does not value men, whether they are single, married, childless, or have multiple children.
It is always a joy when a man who has been taught and exhorted to pray does so with his wife and experiences blessing in the marriage. The teaching has transformed him and is proven in the testing.
3) Character and example
There is a difference between a guru and a masculine mentor. A guru teaches true things, but a mentor impresses manly character. The truth has transformed the mentor. Therefore mentors are required to practice what they teach. Integrity of life and doctrine is key. Character will always trump competency.
This is why presence is so important. The more time you spend with a mentee the more he will be exposed to your character at home, at church on pastoral visits, and in evangelism. He will see teaching that transforms. I want men to imitate me in the way I lead and love my wife, children, and church. I want to impress godly masculinity upon another man. I don’t think we should be ashamed of this. However, I want men to imitate me inasmuch as I imitate Christ by faith. Paul says, “Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1). Christ said, “Follow me”. So a mentor must always be ready to admit his sin and deficiency and turn his apprentice to Christ. A mentor must show he is growing too.
4) Wisdom and patience
Wisdom is the ability to apply biblical truth skillfully at the right time, in the right way, and in the fear of the Lord (Prov. 1:7). Like fathering a son, mentoring men requires wisdom, patience, and time.
There is some impetuousness in youth. Young men should be encouraged, as Paul encouraged Timothy, “let them not despise you for your youth” (1 Tim. 4:12), but also warned, “let them not despise you for your arrogance.” Immature men often think they know a lot more than they do. Their thinking is not well developed. Pride runs high.
There are times to press hard and times to let them learn by their mistakes, always ready to pick them up when they fall. Knowing when to comfort and when to correct is a matter of discernment. Judging the maturity of a man is key in knowing what to expect of him. John Newton’s wisdom on Christian growth, from Mark 4:28, is useful here. The promise of sanctification is that people will grow in godliness over time. Mentoring allows you to walk that road with them, correcting where necessary and extending grace as well.
Two aims in masculine mentorship
Finally, here are two aims of masculine mentorship:
1) Mature not macho
Paul tells the men of Corinth, “Act like men” (1 Cor. 16:13). Men should act in a masculine, not effeminate way. Paul doesn’t coddle men because he knows it produces self-pity. And self-pity is the blight of manhood because it leads to passivity. Abuse gets the headlines, but passivity is the silent killer of manhood. We know this from Adam’s passive indifference that caused the fall of man. In contrast, Jesus’ proactive passion was at the heart of redemption.
Biblical manhood is not about being macho, but mature. A biblical man is humble, gentle and strong, and one who exercises authority for the good of others, no matter what it costs him in time, money, or reputation.
At the heart of masculinity is Christ-like leadership. Men who feel entitled will not be mature men who step toward danger in love to protect and provide for women and children. They will not be considerate of others because they are too concerned about self. I will sometimes test a young man by not giving him what he expects or wants. Usually his response shows whether he has a sense of entitlement or gratitude.
Maturity is also about being sober-minded not somber-minded: not miserable, but a man of serious joy. Men need to be watchmen who can assess things with biblical clarity and wisdom. Their minds must be stable so they can see reality. They know that Satan is a powerful enemy, but their own sin is the killer. They are men of faith in Christ, his Word as their weapon and prayer as their power.
I look to develop men who are sensitive to sin, submit to authority, take responsibility, have an instinct to protect women, and want to sacrifice for the good of others.
2) Divines not dudes
The ultimate aim of masculine mentoring is to produce divines, not dudes. Not lightweight, culturally relevant men, but holy men, who feel the weight of God’s glory and purposes. Divines love God above all and they love people, not themselves. They know his Word and wield it skillfully. They plan much, but pray more. They are courageous men of tough love and tender compassion (1 Cor. 16:14).
The need for masculine mentorship is desperate because a dearth of men is the death of a local church and the family. Men were made to take initiative and cultivate life and godliness in those under their care.
True manhood is cruciform loving leadership, like the true man, Jesus: who took initiative for God’s glory, and despite the shame, overcame sin, Satan, and death on the cross, rising again to give life and redeem masculinity itself.
Gavin is the Director of International Outreach at CBMW. You can follow him on Twitter @GPeacock8.
C. “Reasons for Mentoring in Women’s Ministry”
Last week we looked at the importance of one-on-one ministry and some of the key aspects of mentoring. Today, let’s consider five reasons why mentoring is worth incorporating into women’s ministry.
- The Bible commands it.
Scripture says, “Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.” (Titus 2:3-5).
- God calls women to it.
“Those he predestined, he also called” (Rom. 8:30). God knew from the beginning that women would need some instruction on godly living, so He called the older, more spiritually mature women of His church to teach younger Christian women that which is good. This includes single, married, divorced, widowed, professionals, homemakers, and every woman of the church. In her book, Between Women of God, Donna Otto says, “As I look back, I clearly see how God has faithfully provided other older women—messengers, models, mentors—to lead me along, to show me my Lord and Savior, to share the message of His love in flesh-and-blood, hands-on ways, and to help me with the nuts and bolts of everyday living. Woman after woman helped me find Christ and thereby discover rest and hope, peace and encouragement, health and fulfillment in all that God has for me. Each one delivered her message differently, and each one was effective.”1
- God qualifies women for the task.
If we “examine the biblical basis for a woman’s worth and God’s place for her in ministry from the perspective of women as qualified for ministry,”2we see that women can minister with other women like no one else. Women are qualified for a number of reasons.
- They have been created in the image of God.
- They are qualified by redemption.
- They are qualified by Old Testament example.
- They are qualified by the example of Jesus.
- They are qualified by the example of the early church.
- They are qualified by Scriptural injunction.
- They are qualified by opportunity.
- They are qualified by the blessing their ministry brings to the entire church.3
- A mentoring ministry will build the church.
Vickie Kraft, author of Women Mentoring Women, says, “I believe that God’s promise to provide gifted persons for the equipping of the church includes His giving gifted women to local congregations. I believe God gives each congregation the gifted women it needs to minister to the unique needs of its women. When older women train the younger women in a vital women’s ministries program, not only are the women encouraged, but families and marriages are strengthened and stabilized…A church without a vital ministry to women is like a home without a mother.”4
5 . There are blessings for the mentor.
In a mentoring ministry, mentors help other women along in the journey of faith. They also equip younger women with the essentials they need to live godly lives. In “Packing for the Journey,” in Christian Single magazine, Deborah Tyler says, “You have to slow down enough to listen, to care. You will have to consider the needs of others and not just your own. But the payoff is significant. As you travel the feminine journey, take time to listen to the beat of another’s heart. By doing so your own heart will grow stronger and you’ll have more energy for the road ahead.”5
There are other things that mentoring will do for the mentor. Their own answers become clearer; they will complement and clarify their own understanding; their mentorees will become teachers and mentors; they will refresh and rejuvenate the energy of youth; they will enjoy the satisfaction of a job well done; and they will work on a project with lasting value and eternal significance.6
Listen carefully. The Bible commands mentoring; women are called to it; they are qualified for it; it builds the church; and it benefits the mentor. How could Christian women possibly say no to mentoring when God says yes? Oh, how younger women are searching for mature, godly role models—a Sarah, a Naomi, an Elizabeth—to guide them in the truth of God’s Word. Women are ordained through Scripture, called of God, and in need of one another. A mentoring program is vital in women’s ministry.
This article is adapted from a chapter written by Valerie Howe and found in Women Reaching Women: Beginning and Building a Growing Women’s Ministry compiled by Chris Adams.
- Donna Otto, Between Women of God (Eugene, Ore.: Harvest House Publishers, 1995), 17.
2. Vickie Kraft, Women Mentoring Women (Chicago: Moody Press, 1992), 16.
3. Ibid., adapted from 16-22.
4. Ibid., 12.
5. Deborah Tyler, “Packing for the Journey,” Christian Single, December 1995, 31.
6. Parrott and Parrott, 66.
D. “Five Theses on Feminism” by Celucien L. Joseph, PhD
- Feminism does not mean the feminist has to hide her weaknesses before men. To have weakness is inherent to both men and women; in other words, to be human means to be weak. The human nature necessitates that we experience weakness as part of the human experience and reality.
We learn, grow, and mature through our weaknesses, and can become more fulfilled as we accept weaknesses as shapers of our feminist identity.
In the same line of thought, as part of the social construction project of masculinity, as an early age, little boys are trained and men correspondingly are taught to devoid themselves of any public emotion or feminist tendencies—whatever that means. We teach men to be tough, brave, emotionless, and insensitive to pain and suffering. This is nothing but a defective form of masculinity.
- Feminism is not the antithesis of motherhood or should it be equivalent to childlessness. There should not be a tension between motherhood and feminist self-agency and self-expression. A mother can be a fierce feminist just like a feminist can be a nurturing, loving, and relational mother.
On the other hand, not all women are called to be mothers in the same way not all men are called to be fathers. Motherhood is a choice the same way some men choose not to be fathers. Genuine motherhood is a commitment in the same way authentic fatherhood is an intentional commitment.
- Feminism does not mean the conscious feminist has to hide the emotional and nurturing side of her life and identity as a woman (Yes, men can be/are emotional and nurturing subjects.)
In other words, being a feminist does not mean one has to “block in public” her feelings, emotions, or passion. Feminism does not mean devoid of passion nor does it equate only with reason. Both men and women are individuals of passion and reason, and we complement each other through various means of passion and reason.
- Feminism does not mean independence and autonomy from men in the same way masculinity should convey male autonomy and independence from women. Men and women become more effective in their pursuits and endeavors when they complement each other and live in relation to each other.
True feminism just like authentic masculinity is a life of interconnectedness, mutual reciprocity, and interdependence. True feminism (as masculinity should be) is both an egalitarian and complementarian conviction and sets of practices.
- Feminism is not the antithesis of masculinity. Masculinity is not equivalent to patriarchy nor should manhood be a hindrance to feminist expression and sensibility. To be a feminist does not necessarily mean one has to get involved in constant battles with men in order to display courage and resistance. Some men in society are also victims of the patriarchal system. (Patriarchy is not a monolithic order nor is it a unified system. There are different forms of patriarchy.) However, women suffer more from this male-rule society, and men in general benefit from our patriarchal order.
By contrast, men and women need to work together to deracinate systemic and structural oppression and any form (sexual, verbal, physical, emotional, etc.) of violence that engender tension between the two sexes or the forces that foster enmity between the male and female gender.
* I’m still trying to frame my thought around the subject of feminism and its complexity as both a theoretical framework and sets of practices. I also know my five theses are grounded on a heterosexual worldview. That does not mean I have excluded the LGBTQ community in this discourse nor is it intentional to undermine the human dignity that is inherent to the gay, the lesbian, the transgender or the queer individual.
Moreover, I confess my own articulation of these theses are products of my own patriarchal practice, ideology, and conviction. I’m on this journey to learn, to be changed, and to alter my ideas or modify my perspective (s) if deems necessary. Hence, I’m asking my Feminist friends and other critics to be patient with me on this journey.