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    Jan 31, 2024

    Class 13: The Goodness and Beauty of God's Design

    Series: Man and Woman in Christ

    Category: Core Seminars, Manhood & Womanhood, Marriage, Serving, Culture


    Man and Woman in Christ Core Seminar

    Week 13 – The Goodness & Beauty of God’s Design

    The focus of this course has been the sexual difference seen in the light of nature, Scripture, and contemporary culture. Bobby and I have tried to weave together a tapestry made of five threads: equality, complementarity, diversity, fertility, and mystery.

    Men and women are created with equal worth and dignity in God’s image. At the same time, we were created differently, for different purposes, with different strengths, and with different natural orientations. Together we play complementary notes, as in a song. We considered the way this church sings “I will call upon the Lord” as a reference point. The men's voices, typically an octave lower, set the foundational direction of the music. Then enter the female voices, higher in pitch, glorifying, elevating, and completing the stanza. And then, the voices join together to praise the same God of our salvation. Lots of different voices, but all either male or female. And together, harmony.

    God knew what he was doing in creating us male and female. In our very bodies we are living signs pointing to something beautiful beyond us. If you’ve been coming regularly, I hope you’ve become convinced the material we’ve covered is true. And that it’s Biblical. But today, to close, I want you to also see that it’s beautiful. Biblical and beautiful.

    When my wife and I were married, we had a very generous family member who offered to help us with costs for a honeymoon. We figured: this will basically only happen once in our life, so let’s make the most of it. We thought about where we wanted to go and came up with our qualifications. We’d been to the beach. We’d been to the mountains. But we had never seen a beach…with a mountain. So we ended up in Antigua, at a beach, with a mountain. Water is great, mountains are great. But together they are truly breathtaking. Man and woman in the Biblical worldview are meant to be like mountain and beach – together imaging God, together creating something beautiful. 

    Many Christians live with a simmering embarrassment about the Bible’s teaching in these areas. But we shouldn’t be embarrassed. Instead, we should be confident. The Bible’s teachings, if believed and lived out, would prevent some of the world’s greatest problems and prime us to experience some of life’s greatest satisfactions.

    You should want all this to be true. You should want it to be true because of what it can counter and what it can promote.

    I. What Christian teaching counters

    1. The male purpose void

    Today, masculinity is more associated with adolescence than maturity. One recent study analyzed 24 episodes of the Disney Channel’s two most popular tween shows featuring families and found that every 3.24 minutes, the TV dad acted immature. About half the time, the child characters reacted to him with expressions of contempt: rolling their eyes, making fun of him, criticizing him, or turning and walking away.[1]

    In popular culture, the masculine identity is more about the things men consume like beer and porn than the things they produce or bear responsibility for. It is unclear what exactly men are good for. And this has had significant consequences. Men are struggling.

    A few stats:

    • Young men between 25 and 31 are 66 percent more likely than their female counterparts to be living with their parents.[2]
    • In 1985, the typical man between the ages of 20-34 could squeeze your hand with about 30 more pounds of force than the typical man in the same age range today.[3]
    • Nearly 60% of bachelor’s degrees today are awarded to women.[4] The gender gap in bachelor degrees attained between women and men is now wider than it was in 1972, when Title IX was instituted to counter the disparity men had over women.[5]
    • 1 in 5 men say they have gotten emotional support from a friend in the past week, compared with 4 in 10 women.[6]
    • Boys and men commit suicide 4x more often than women. This is over 2x more than it was at the height of the Great Depression.[7] In a study of suicides, Austrailian researcher Fiona Shand and her colleagues looked at the words or phrases that men who have attempted suicide most often used to describe themselves. At the top of the list was useless and worthless.[8]

    What does God’s Word say to a man who feels useless or worthless? It counters the male purpose void. Man is the image and glory of God (1 Corinthians 11:7). Man symbolizes the very transcendence of God.

    God’s Word says to purposeless men, you’re needed and you matter. And the stakes are high. If you’re married, you’re the head. You are the one who now images Jesus Christ to your wife. And to your children, you image the fatherhood of God himself. In the church, we need you to grow up into maturity and represent and protect the sheep. The church is one of the only places left in society where male leadership is actually required, and so we need you, men, to “man up” and lead.  

    And with God’s spirit, you can really do this! When a man enters the kingdom of God, here is what he should hear:
    “I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.” (1 John 2:14)

    2. Spousal oppression

    In a wide ranging study on Protestant marriages, Sociologist Brad Wilcox discovered:

    “Contrary to the predictions of their critics, churchgoing conservative Protestant men register the lowest rates of domestic violence of any group…. Indeed… churchgoing conservative Protestant family men have the lowest rates of domestic violence of any major religious group in the United States.”[9] 

    This is surprising to many because at first glance one might assume that Biblical teachings on for instance, male headship, would encourage domineering attitudes and oppression. And they are onto something. Willcox concluded from the data that,

    Compared to other men in this study, [nominal conservative Protestant men] are not highly invested in the emotional and practical lives of their families, they do the least household labor, and they are the most likely to physically abuse their wives.[10] 

    In sum, churchgoing conservative Protestant men ranked the best at caring for their families, and nominal conservative Protestant men did the worst. It’s a reminder that the Biblical teaching can be easily distorted and weaponized. But when it’s properly understood and applied, and within the context of the local church and its accountability structures, the Bible’s teaching on male leadership has great power to counter spousal oppression, because that leadership is to be marked by warmth, affection, and sacrificial service. He is to live in an understanding way with his wife, or else have his prayers be hindered. (1 Peter 3:7)

    3. Sexualization of persons

    In his enlightening book From Shame to Sin, historian Kyle Harper details some of the sexual norms of the Roman Empire in the first century of the church. Women’s sexual behavior was heavily regulated while men were given total freedom. Young boys and slaves were often treated as sex objects by men. Marriage was all about status and social acceptance rather than love and covenant.[11]

    Enter Christianity. Both men and women were called to marital fidelity. The vulnerable, women, slaves, young boys were given elevated status as image bearers of God. Men were given a path of redemption from a culture of excess and hedonism. The church provided a supportive environment for holding new believers to standards of holiness. Over time, sexual morality was completely transformed, from being primarily about appearances to being about the condition of the heart and soul. After all, Jesus had taught, 

    that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 5:28)

    Christian teaching can have a similar impact today. Sex has been disenchanted and deregulated. The sex act has been commercialized through porn and as a result people are turned into props. The promises of the sexual revolution have left millions addicted, empty, and alone. To counter sexualization, you need to see sex as sacred. And to regulate sex in a way that leads to people’s flourishing, you need a comprehensive framework and guidance for sexual behavior. You need something more than mere “consent,” you need covenant. You need real moralizing impediments to pornography, infidelity, cohabitating before marriage, sexual assault, to lust, and to contraceptive culture that completely severs sex from its procreative purposes. You need a culture where sex is not cheap.

    This is the culture that the gospel creates, and it can be a powerful and attractive counter-culture in a world in which sexualization has wreaked such havoc on all of us.

     4. Hyper-individualism 

    Christian teaching says that men and women in Christ are brothers and sisters. Once you’re in Christ, your life is no longer your own. It belongs to God, and to others. Just this past week I was at a funeral for a dear friend who was a Christian. The funeral was at a large church, and it was absolutely packed. I had friends there who were not believers and one in particular told me how stunned he was just to see the sheer amount of people who cared enough to come to the funeral. For me, as a Christian, that witness was both an encouragement and a challenge. It was an encouragement because it reminded me that when Christ called me to himself he adopted me into a huge, diverse, multi-generational family. But it was also a challenge – I was reminded, to be a Christian means to pursue relationships. To go deep with people. To know and be known by others, both men and women. To take seriously the church covenant we’ve made. To resist isolation, just like my friend did.

    Worldwide, the average person’s natural family is shrinking. The number of cousins, nieces, nephews and grandchildren an average person has is declining sharply. In 1950, a 65-year-old woman had an average of 41 living relatives. By 2095, researchers predict a woman of the same age will have an average of only 25 living relatives. In the west that number will be even smaller.[12]

    As the world becomes poorer in natural family, Christianity makes men and women richer in spiritual family.

    Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.” (Mark 10:28-30)

    Those are a few forces the Christian vision counters in our world. But let’s consider what Christian teaching on men and women promotes, and why that is good news as well.

     II. What Christian teaching promotes

    1. The dignity of singleness

    Many men and women in our church find themselves in a state of unchosen and unwanted singleness. In many parts of the world, singleness can be seen as a deficiency and a negative status symbol, and singles can struggle in unique ways with feelings of insecurity. In other parts of the world, like ours, singleness is valorized as the way to know true freedom and fulfillment.  

    But think about this: if a single person were to become a Christian today, and join the church, they would receive from Christ a whole new lens to see their singleness through.  

    They’d receive encouragement. Jesus relativized marriage and honored those who had made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom. He saw them. And he promised them that there was a type of spiritual fatherhood and motherhood made available to them, regardless of marital status. 

    And they’d receive a mission. Unlike the world which offers a vision of singleness focused on selfish gratification, the Bible tells single men and women that they are major assets to the church with the flexibility, focus, and freedom they have to offer.

    Christianity changed the world in the first few centuries in part because of how it viewed widows and singles. It told them they did not have to be married to know God, to serve him, to find fulfillment, to know the meaning of family or love. And that’s the same message we have for the world today, and for a city with struggling singles.

    2. More, Happier and Earlier Marriages

    Marriage is good for the world. Let me just give a few reasons why.

    • Marriage increases the likelihood that moms & dads have good relationships with their children.
    • Marriage hinders sexual promiscuity, aggression, & sensation-seeking amongst men.
    • Marriage reduces poverty and material hardship for women and children.
    • Marriage is associated with reduced rates of alcohol and substance abuse.
    • Married men have longer life expectancies that do otherwise similar single men.
    • Married women have lower risks of experiencing domestic violence than cohabitating or single women.[13]

    Christian teaching promotes marriage. The Bible acknowledges marriage is our default setting, and it treats marriage as a sign that points to the meaning of the universe, the gospel of Jesus Christ. Not only is marriage good for the world, it’s a high and glorious calling. 

    It’s no wonder that research confirms that conservative Protestants are more likely to marry than non-religious people, and more likely to marry earlier, and stay married longer. As it’s been said, “It’s the couples who pray together who stay together.” They are less likely to cohabitate before marriage, which increases the rate of unhappy marriage and divorce. Within marriages, couples with more traditional roles report higher sexual frequency and satisfaction. And women committed to traditional gender roles who also attend church with their husbands report the highest level of happiness in their marriages.[14] 

    As good as marriage is for the world, it’s worth considering whether the secular worldview can provide the types of incentives to move people towards marriage today. After all, why marry if you can just cohabitate?

    Christianity promotes something different, and something better and more lasting.

    3. Having Children (Natalism)

    Why do you think it is that when you hear about a large family nowadays, you assume they must be religious? Well, because there are no high fertility groups in the world that are not religious.[15]

    Shifts in the modern world have made children economic liabilities. As a result, many countries around the world are facing demographic collapses. So what could possibly incentivize people to have children even at great economic cost to themselves? Listen to Psalm 127:3-5:

    “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!”

    The Bible challenges any notion we may have that children are just one big hindrance to self-fulfillment. The fruit of the womb, it says, is a reward. The Bible sees children not as a liability, but as a source of hope - a good gift from a generous God to be enjoyed.

    In the Roman world referenced earlier, birth control was practiced extensively and infanticide was very common. Rome fell, in part, because of low birthrates. Meanwhile, the Christians prized children and rejected abortion and infanticide completely. Christian couples simply had more children, and over time that had significant societal impact.[16] Because most Christians receive the faith from their parents, you can see how the Roman Empire, over time, became full of Christians.

    The Christian vision of marriage and family presents us with a counter-cultural “abundance agenda.” Kids give you a different kind of abundance, security and lasting satisfaction than is offered in the world.  

    Purpose for singleness. Earlier and happier marriages. And kids. All of these things are good for the world. God’s design is Biblical, and beautiful.

    In this course we’ve often been more descriptive than prescriptive. So to conclude, I want to leave you with some final exhortations.  

    III. Final Exhortations

    First, to the men:

    1. Produce more than you consume.

    One nearly universal definition of manhood is to produce more than you consume.[17] In an economic, material sense, this means that to provide for a family, you must be a generator of surpluses. And working hard so as to provide for others is a basic biblical imperative that especially lands on men’s shoulders. 1 Timothy 5:8 says, 

    But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

    This doesn’t just mean you should seek to excel in your career. It has deep spiritual relevance as well. We all have burdens, and we need help bearing them. A spiritually productive man is one who is a net burden-bearer, and net exporter to others of spiritual good. So strive to be a spiritual producer. Strive to have your desires so under control, your heart so aligned with God’s will, and your mind so transformed by his word, that you store up a surplus of spiritual help that you can regularly share with others.[18] 

    2. Cultivate strength in all its forms

    Remember 1 Corinthians 16:13.

    13 Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.

    Consider how strength is necessary for you to step into the callings God has placed on your life. If God has called you to be the protector of your home, physical strength will have some benefit. To put it bluntly, strong people are harder to kill. Physical strength will make you more resistant to injury and chronic illness, and it can be a powerful antidote to sinful habits like laziness and lust. I will never forget hearing a wise older man answer a young man ask him if he had any specific advice in turning away from lust and pornography. This man, incredibly godly and wise, simply looked at him and said, “lift a bunch of weights.”

    Now of course physical strength is not the only strength you need. There are many strong boys in the world. You need mental and emotional strength as well. The man will often need to be the non-anxious presence in the room - the one not overcome by uncertainty or fear. Some associations between masculinity and a type of “stoicism” are worth preserving. Nobody wants a panicked pastor!

    And of course you need spiritual strength.

    1 Timothy 4:7-8 says,

    7 Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; 8 for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

    It takes strength and fortitude to grasp the great mysteries of the faith, to defend them, to love them, to live them out. Strength to overcome sin and to pursue godliness is paramount for men. Godliness is of value in every way Timothy says. So pursue strength.

    3. Find fitting objects for mastery

    When God created Adam, before Eve, his world horizon was a world of things. He was created to understand, distinguish, and exercise dominion over things. He had to name the animals after all. That task would have required a great deal of mastery.[19] It’s not a stretch to say that men want to master things.

    The dark side of this is that many studies have suggested that men are more likely to regularly experience boredom than women.[20] And a bored man can cause many problems. Bored men often seek refuge in sex and violence.

    There is a healthy sense in which young men in particular can experience their own God-given power and potential. A healthy young man is marked by a sense of idealism, always looking to accomplish something, to improve himself with God’s help.

    So, here are some good objects for mastery I’ve given myself to over the years or have seen other men do that have had positive spillover effects and have been powerful antidotes to boredom:

    • Memorizing lots of Scripture
    • Reading lots of books, and on lots of different subjects
    • Getting a graduate degree
    • Learning another language, maybe even a Biblical language
    • Practicing, excelling, and competing in a sport. For me, it’s golf.

    I’ve seen others

    • Learning a musical instrument
    • Fixing and enhancing cars
    • Woodworking
    • Mowing the lawn and keeping a well maintained yard
    • Dressing professionally
    • Starting a side hustle
    • Studying the stock market and investing shrewdly

    All of these things can be good outlets for exercising dominion. Good fathers help their sons master something and cultivate the resilience and focus necessary to see a task through. To make promises to yourself and then keep them. Find fitting objects for mastery.

    4. To single men: remove remaining impediments to marriage

    Men bear a unique burden of initiative when it comes to marriage. So, to the single brothers who do not understand themselves to have the gift of singleness, what are your biggest impediments to marriage?

    For some it might be a lack of managerial skills. You struggle to stay organized or focused, and so you bounce around from job to job or place to place. For some it might be because you lack the credentials to get a job that can provide for a family. Maybe you’re early in college and struggling with motivation to keep studying. For some it might be addictions and habits that undermine self-control and would make it hard for a sister to trust you and follow you. For some it might be a struggle with people skills – connecting with people, having conversations, is just harder for you. So it’s hard to meet someone, go deep, and make a lasting impression. 

    Some of those things are not your fault - they are situations you find yourself in in God’s providence. Some of them are, and may reflect a passivity you need to overcome. In all of them, you can develop. And unless you are called to singleness, I want to exhort you to make 2024 a year that you focus on overcoming those impediments, with the help of other men. There are many sisters in this church who have deliberately chosen not to date non-Christians, even sometimes not to date online or brothers from other churches, because they want a guy here to pursue them. That is noble, and I hope the men who are ready for marriage are quick to ask those ladies out, and soon.

    5. To married men: consider what more your family needs from you

    If you are a married man or a father, you are irreplaceable. This is critical to remember but easy to forget. The role to a high paying job can often be a toll road, paid by your family. Your employer can find another you pretty easily. If you're an elder here, the church can find another elder. But you are the only husband to your wife and the only father to your children. Your presence and your absence means everything.  

    So what does your wife need? Does she need you to be more emotionally engaged? Does she just need you to see her? Does she need you to do a better job managing the household? Does she need your assistance with chores? Does she needs words of affirmation, spiritual encouragement, counsel about decisions she’s facing, quality time?

    As a father, what do your children need? How are they doing in their education? Do they need your affection more? Do they need 1:1 time with you? Do they need correction or discipline? Do they need more intentional exposure to God’s word and instruction?  

    Fathers, remember, your love of your children is the first experience they will ever have of chosen love. Unlike mom, Dad does not "have" to love you. His love is not inherently and instinctively felt and drawn upon, like a mother’s love. He chooses to love you! He chooses you, he picks you out, he notices you among the many. Your love has the unique power to redeem, to liberate, and delight your child. Your love is unique, so give it.

    I’m challenged by men in this church who just learned that to pull all this off they needed to wake up really early. That may be the answer for you and me.

    Lastly, to Women:

    1. Be mothers, always in spirit sometimes in body

    Women are made to receive life, nourish, enhance, beautify, and nurture it.

    For those who are biological mothers: you are irreplaceable. Your love is absolutely foundational for your children. That is why mothers should firstly prioritize nurture over provision. Your child has never known life apart from you, and no one knows their needs better than you. All of this can be quite difficult, I’m sure. A mothers love is just assumed, taken for granted. So much of what you're called to give won't ever be seen or properly recognized by that baby, or fully understood by your husband. In your care for your children you image the God who knows the numbers of hairs on his children’s heads and who makes a home for his children to enjoy forever in heaven.

    The call to motherhood is for all women. In the church and the world, women nurture spiritual life all around them. In their efforts in hospitality, in evangelism and discipleship they follow in the footsteps of women like Phoebe and Junia who came before them as laborers in God’s harvest. Mothering in spirit means how you will do many things at work or at home will be different from men. This is a good thing. The world and the church needs the unique ways you image God and serve others. So get to work. Many brothers and sisters here need mothers.

    2. Recognize & lament false promises made by our culture

    Some sisters have shared with us that at times they’ve felt lost or perplexed by some of the realities of the modern world we’ve highlighted. What are you supposed to do? The paradox of female unhappiness in our egalitarian world puzzles many today. Many women have been sold lies. That her worth is based on her physical appearance, or her career success, or her relationship status. These lies have contributed to so much damage, oftentime perpetuated by men.  

    In a way that is different from men, women are tied down by biological realities that make the consequences of life decisions around career, dating, marriage and childbearing all the more painful. Many women look up and wonder if their good desires for marriage and children will have any fruition in this life.

    For many of you, you face a conundrum. You can’t plan for biological motherhood like the men can plan for fatherhood. There is no clear path for you that you can absolutely take that leads to marriage and family. And yet, you don’t want to make career decisions that will make it difficult for you to join your life to another person. At the same time, you also don’t want to just gut it out in a job you hate that does not develop your gifts and interests just because you want to be flexible to shift towards marriage and being a mom. And so you feel paralyzed. 

    If you find yourself confronted by these things, and feeling hopeless – resist the temptation to just blame yourself. There is a proper place for lament. And of course know that God’s power is not limited by your circumstances - he gives us everything we need for life and godliness now. He offers us hope, and love, and a household of faith. And he promises to use our trials for our good.

    3. Be generous towards brothers with the currency of respect

    In the class on marriage, I asked why Paul says this to married couples in Ephesians 5:33:

    33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

    Paul understood men’s currency is respect. That’s because deep in the heart of every man is the self-doubt that wonders “Am I man enough? Can I Really Do It? Is it worth trying?” You’d be amazed what kind of good a man who knows he is respected by women can do. I promise, these kind of “activated” men are good for the church, good for the world, and they’re good for you.

    Men will inevitably have power in the world due to their physical strength and stature. But they won’t inevitably have the character or confidence to steward that well for the good of others. That’s where you sisters play a hugely important role. I’m not at all saying look for ways to flatter men. Do not do that. But ask if there are ways in the church and at work where you can commend and encourage godly leadership in the men God has placed around you. Even in the men you might be called to supervise or lead yourself in the workplace.

    I’m thankful for the ways so many sisters in this congregation do this so well. Your encouragement and respect really matters, and it has a boomerang effect of sorts. Sisters respecting brothers will often result in brothers better seeing and loving sisters. If you’ve experienced good leadership here, you’ve likely played a role in that!  

    4. If you are single, do not view your womanhood as wasted

    You have a feminine genius that the world and church needs, even if God has not given you a husband and children. In the workplace, your presence can bring to light the distortions of a society organized around efficiency and productivity. You can help humanize your workplace, and help those systems be marked more by love rather than profit.

    So resist the temptation to just think of work as a way of killing time before your wedding. Work is how you can glorify God in this season, it’s how you can provide for yourself and others, and it’s how you can in a real and unique way contribute to the common good, and with a distinctly feminine inflection.

    In the church, know you are critical. God has given you talents, and he is expecting you to invest them and develop them. You will give an account for your life. So how can you grow and develop as a Christian woman? As a leader? As a student of God’s word? As a sister who more completely and consistently serves God’s people and builds up the church?

    5. If you are mother, embrace the seasons of life

    Because mothers have the capacity to receive and nurture new life, and because the demands of nurture are always changing, moms will know more profoundly than men that life progresses in seasons. My life has changed some over the years as I’ve transitioned from single to married, and as I’ve become a father. But those changes have not been nearly as dramatic as they have been for Stephanie. The season with little ones has very unique demands, on her body, on her time, on her nutrition, even on her hormones. And then that season is over. And seasons with older children begin and develop, with new pressures, pains, heartaches, and joys. That season will have different demands and will impact her body, mind, and soul differently.

    In seasons where it can be easy to feel hopeless, remember, this is just a season. Each season has a lesson for you. And each season is from a God who loves you and gives just enough grace for you to persevere and to bring him glory.

    What we’ve covered in this class is Biblical…and Beautiful. So we shouldn’t be embarrassed. God knows what he’s doing. So we should receive his commands, his invitations, and even the trials we know as men and women as gifts from Him to steward and praise him for. I hope reflecting on the sexual difference has caused you to worship and prompted you to more fully give yourself to Him.

    Let’s pray.



    [1] Nancy R. Pearcey, [@nancyrpearcey]. Twitter, January 1, 2024. Accessed at

    [2] Warren Farrell, The Boy Crisis: Why Our Boys Are Struggling and What We Can Do About It (Dallas: BenBella Books, 2018), 2.

    [3] Richard Reeves, Of Boys and Men: Why the Modern Male is Struggling, Why it Matters, and What to Do About It (Washington, DC: Brookings Institute Press, 2022), 22.

    [4] Source: National Center for Education Statistics, Academic year 2020–21, accessed at

    [5] Reeves, Of Boys and Men, 3.

    [6] Source: Survey Center on American Life, May 2021 American Perspectives Survey, “The State of American friendship: Change, Challenges, and Loss,” accessed at

    [7] Farrell, The Boy Crisis, 16.

    [8] F.L. Shand, “What Might Interrupt Men’s Suicide? Results from an Online Survey of Men,” BMJ Open, 2015, cited in Reeves, Of Boys and Men, 63.

    [9] Brad Wilcox, Soft Patriarchs, New Men: How Christianity Shapes Fathers and Husbands (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004), 195.

    [10] Willcox, Soft Patriarchs, New Men, 200.

    [11] Kyle Harper, From Shame to Sin: The Christian Transformation of Sexual Morality in Late Antiquity (Boston: Harvard University Press, 2013).

    [12] Diego Alburez-Gutierrez, Ivan Williams, and Hal Caswell, "Projections of Human Kinship for all Countries," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 120, no. 52 (2023). Accessed at

    [13] Brad Wilcox, Why Marriage Matters, Third Edition: Thirty Conclusions from the Social Sciences (New York: Institute for American Values, 2011).

    [14] Institute for Family Studies, "Executive Summary," World Family Map 2019,

    [15] Lyman Stone, “America’s Growing Religious-Secular Fertility Divide” accessed at

    [16] For more see O.M. Bakke, When Children Became People: The Birth of Childhood in Early Christianity (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2005) and Rodney Stark, The Rise of Christianity (San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1997).

    [17] Roy Baumeister, Is There Anything Good About Men?: How Cultures Flourish by Exploiting Men (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010), 195.

    [18] Drawn from Bobby Jamieson, “The Man of God You Could Become,” accessed at

    [19] Drawing from Deborah Savage, “Woman and Man: Identity, Genius, and Mission” in The Complementarity of Women and Men: Philosophy, Theology, Psychology, and Art (Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 2021). On pg 117 Savage draws from the Scriptural insight that Adam was to name the animals that “man’s capacity to name things, to determine what can be predicated of something and what cannot – and an ability to arrive at a systematic way of judging the matter – might be said to be the gifts men bring to the task of human living…the genius of man is found in his capacity to know and to use the goods of the earth in the service of authentic human flourishing.”

    [20] For example, Hua Wang et al., "State Boredom Partially Accounts for Gender Differences in Novel Lexicon Learning," Frontiers in Psychology 13 (2022): 807558,