Masculinity is Essential

Jeff kayaking at Hinckley Lake in Hinckley Reservation

“Masculinity is a set of attributes, behaviors, and roles associated with men and boys.”

Jeffery Smith

Activities: Skiing, Basketball, Baseball, Running, Hiking, Kayaking

Career: Teacher, Cross-Country Track Coach, Referee

Song: “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” by Tears For Fears

Q:  What was your life like growing up?

       Growing up was very positive overall. My parents were divorced which caused some stress, but life was good. We had a large family, friends, lots of love and laughter, and although we were poor and not very privileged, we enjoyed life.

Q:  How do you define masculinity?

       Timely question. First of all, masculinity is good, it is essential to our culture. Without the effects of masculinity, humanity is lost. I define masculinity as it has always been defined: Masculinity is a set of attributes, behaviors, and roles associated with men and boys. In recent years, men have gone from being called toxic to a belief that anyone can be masculine/ male regardless of xx or xy chromosomes. Our culture has been moving in a post-Christian direction which is now accompanied by post-truth. Both are very concerning. What’s more, both are destructive. In the midst of this reversal of cultural norms, we are increasingly confronted by numerous, and heavily supported voices in global anti-culture who are redefining many things; not only masculinity, but pandemic and recession to name a few. In 2022, we must continue to speak the truth in order to push back against the counter cultural, anti-truth movement that seems to be sweeping the globe.

Q:  Does toxic masculinity exist? How would you define it?

       Toxic masculinity is a myth. It is a talking point of the movement to discredit, shame, and feminize men. Toxic masculinity is a lie. Anyone can be toxic regardless of gender. The talking point is toxic in its own right because it is intentionally divisive. It is evil.

Jeff on the left with his biker buddies

Q:  Do you believe masculinity is inherent or taught? Explain

       Masculinity is a gift of God to males just as feminine attributes are a gift to women. We are uniquely designed. It is inherent, however, both are fine-tuned as we are nurtured and benefit from positive examples and productive relationships throughout our lives.

Q:  Masculinity and the patriarchal head seem to be one of the many subjects of attack.   Why do you think that is? 

        From the beginning in Genesis, there has been a battle between good and evil. There is nothing new under the sun. Attacks come at us on every front, the idea of patriarchy is currently taking some blows, but the role of men is not bad. Instead, it sustains us. We must remember Ephesians 6:12.

 Q:  Is a patriarchal society important and if so, why? 

Jeff, reffing High School basketball with a cousin

       The traditional roles of men and women are essential. Redefining or attempting to redesign God’s plan is like driving a car into a wall. We know the wall presents us with a truth that can’t be altered. It brings destruction. This is why we drive on the road and avoid unmoving stationary objects. 

Q:  Have you seen a shift in Patriarchal vs matriarchal leadership in this nation? If yes in what way and has it been helpful or harmful to our country as a whole?

       There has been a shift/ push from patriarchal to matriarchal culture for many reasons, one being men have given up their traditional roles or have abused the privilege. Some fail to understand their God-ordained role because we are increasingly non-Biblical and unchurched. Women aren’t innocent in this decline because some have refused men, or fought against tradition- some justified, some not.

The shift has lead us to where we are now, so clearly it has been harmful. Women clearly have high value but removing men or men giving up their traditional roles has been very destructive. Just look around. Divorce and unwed mothers are two examples of what allowed this negative trend to grow.

Q:  What do you do to stay in shape?

Coach Smith and his Cross Country Team

       I stay in shape by weight training at Planet Fitness. I also run and do core and strength training with my cross country team. I play softball and basketball very little nowadays, but I love the sports. I try to always remain active with biking, hiking, walking, climbing, gardening, yard work, skiing etc. 

Q:  How did you get into gardening? Talk about the projects you’re working on?

Jeff preparing the land to plant seeds

       Hilariously, my interest in gardening has been derived from both masculine and feminine influences in my life. I recently planted a 12 ft x 12 ft garden , 10 fruit trees, and a few berry bushes at our home. I’m also working on a farm at our church. There is a fenced portion of land which is 100 ft. x 75 ft and an unfenced portion which is similar in size where we are growing sweet corn and other crops.

Q:  In today’s climate, do you think more people should start their own gardens?

       Everyone should grow things, gather seeds, experience the miracle of seeing things grow.

Q:  What tips can you give someone looking to start their own garden with limited space?

        Limited space? Grow in containers. At our previous home I grew and fed myself daily from containers placed in the sunny parts of our driveway and patio.

Q:  Why did you agree to be part of MCBMI?

       I agreed to do this because I love my sister-in-law and want to support the truths expressed on this platform.

Jeff with family at a Browns game