Ethical maturity sufficient to make responsible decisions.
To be a man is to make decisions. One of the most fundamental tasks of leadership is decision-making. The indecisiveness of so many contemporary males is evidence of a stunted manhood.
Of course, a man does not rush to a decision without thought, consideration or care, but a man does put himself on the line in making a decision — and making it stick. This requires an extension of moral responsibility into mature ethical decision-making that brings glory to God, is faithful to God's word and is open to moral scrutiny. A real man knows how to make a decision and live with its consequences — even if that means that he must later acknowledge that he has learned by making a bad decision, and then by making the appropriate correction.
The very first sentence here made me slam my fingers into the keyboard in a random sequence. Seriously, I haven’t even been able to finish reading the paragraph yet. I have to go calm down.
In order to respond to this, I’m going to tell a story. First, a little background information: I have a boyfriend now – it’s a really new thing, only a few days old. So now you know.
We’ve had a lot of dates, though, and since we’re both lacking in funds, a lot of those dates have consisted of sitting on his couch watching movies (which is actually really fun). When we’re deciding on a movie, we narrow it down to a couple of choices, and then we sit there and go back and forth, each of us indecisive about whether or not we want to watch the Audrey Hepburn movie or the more modern Clive Owen. It usually goes back and forth for a couple of minutes until one of us goes, “Okay! We’ll watch this one!” (not in an exasperated way, but in a laughing, someone-has-to-make-a-decision way).
I don't mind it at all.
Even though this may be new-relationship-rose-colored glasses talking, for the moment, I enjoy his indecisiveness. It’s become a sort of joke with the two of us, where we both burst out laughing when we come to an impasse. And I like that he wants me to make decisions that concern the both of us. I don’t feel belittled, patronized, or condescended to when he tells me to pick the movie for the night, or to pick where we go, and I don’t mind occasionally deferring to him in that matter, either. We have what I consider to be a good, egalitarian relationship.
The idea that “decision-making” and “decisiveness” is the man’s realm is nothing but sexist. To say that I cannot make a decision about the big things in life, that I need the validation of a man, simply because I have a uterus…that’s just plain ridiculous. Will I include my boyfriend in my decision-making? OF COURSE. Will his opinion be taken into account? YES. Will what he says be final say? Sorry, honey, but no.
Good decision-making stems not from one person taking a “leadership” role and proving his manliness in being decisive (no matter how much Christianese he couches it in, this is what Mohler's point boils down to). Good decision-making stems from making decisions together, from taking another person’s opinions, feelings, and thoughts into account, and then arriving at a conclusion TOGETHER.
Not to mention, this point eschews any sort of decision-making on the part of the woman who is not in a relationship. Modern women need to be given the power to decide for themselves aspects of their career, their relationships, and their lives. We do not live in the 1950s – not every woman is married or even has a boyfriend, and telling men that they are the decision-makers sends the message that women are somehow less than capable of making the same decisions.
And that’s just bull – telling me that I need a man to make important decisions in my life (possibly even FOR me), rather than proposing that a relationship is an exchange with people who make decisions TOGETHER is a paved road toward abusive control. No one person in a relationship should have that much control over another person's life, and I am extremely dismayed at Mohler for suggesting that this is a Biblical method.