John Eldredge has written extensively about men being men and feeling masculine. He says, “Femininity can arouse masculinity. But femininity can never bestow masculinity.”
Unfortunately, it is increasingly common for men to look to women for confirmation of their masculinity. John calls this taking it to the woman, and ensures us it never ends well for the man. He also explains why it does not end well for the woman:
“This is why so many men secretly fear their wives. She sees him as no one else does, sleeps with him, know what he’s made of. If he has given her the power to validate him as a man, then he has also given her the power to invalidate him too.“
If your husband is looking to you to validate his masculinity, look out! It may be tempting to help, but doing so is not in the best interest of your husband or your marriage. This is something you cannot help him with directly.
What you can do it point him to men who can validate his masculinity. Not just any men, you want him to connect with men of God. Strong men who are not afraid to be men, and are not afraid to openly love God. Friendship with mentors such as this will lead to positive changes in your husband and your marriage. You want your husband to have such relationships, and you want him to spend plenty of time with such friends.
I bring this up because we often begrudge our spouse the time they spend with others. Men do it about the time their wives spend with their “girlfriends”. Women do it about the time their husbands spend with “the guys.”
Of course, not all friends are good for our marriages. The wrong friends can be damaging to a couple’s marriage in many ways. However, getting your husband to end such a relationship is tricky, and can do more harm than the friendship itself. Approach this with a good deal of prayer. A better choice may be helping him find other, better friends.
If your church has a men’s fellowship group, be all about your husband taking part. Be excited for him to go to men’s retreats. Support his having a weekly meeting with a godly friend or mentor. Be willing to sacrifice some time with you man to allow him to do these things, it is a worthy investment!
By the way: John Eldredge’s book Wild at Heart Revised & Updated: Discovering the Secret of a Man’s Soul would make a great gift for any man from teen up.