Warning: this is not very theological
It must be a personality thing but for as long as I can remember when Christians (usually Christian men) start talking about being 'proper men' and 'picking up our responsibilities as husbands and fathers' I want to pack up my bags and leave.
It's not that I have a problem with men being men or with husbands and fathers carrying their responsibilites. What I find objectionable is the sometimes over-prescriptive suggestions as to what those responsibilities are.
For instance, my wife does most of the finances because she is better with that kind of thing than I am. We have been told several times that this is wrong; that God wants me to do the finances because that is part of my role as a husband. Really? Yes, you know the story of Moses and the income tax return?
I must confess that I even get a bit miffed when people talk about 'the headship of husbands' (headship being some abstraction from the biblical metaphor of the husband as the head of his wife). When I ask what it means I am told that it means that I am in spiritual authority over my wife. When I ask what this means in practise I am told that if there is ever a disagreement over what to do then the final decision lies with me. Well now I feel cheated! In 17 years of marriage we have never had to make a decision that we did not both find agreement on in advance. So the headship thing has not brought me many benefits of command yet. Grrrrr.
I recall a sermon in our church in which we were told that we husbands - as head of the house - would be judged by God for all the thoughts and actions of our wives. Holy COW! I think I've got enough sins of my own to worry about without being judged for hers as well!!! I think I'll duck out of that part of 'headship' if you don't mind.
Maybe I am not manly enough. But I don't care. I am very happy for manly men to do their thing but I don't see why I should be required to aspire to such giddy heights also.
So let men be men but please leave a little wriggle room for different ways of being men. Let manly men be manly men and let gentle men be gentlemen.