I have been a therapist long enough where I am rarely surprised by a situation or an answer anymore. You see most of what presents in a typical therapy office is part and parcel of the human condition and for the most part, problems experienced in one family are shared by many. Now that is not to say that therapy is boring. Au contraire. There are times when you hear things so absurd it is difficult to keep a straight face. Those are the times I pick a spot on the wall and think to myself, "hold it together Darren"
But I was asked a question recently that I did not have an answer for. It was simple and to the point but highlighted in my opinion one of the greatest weaknesses in our culture today. The question was an indictment as much as a challenge and I have been pondering it ever since. The question was this: " Where have all the men gone"?
Now this was not a single woman in search of a date or a summation on the dating woes for those who live in rural Northwest Wisconsin. This was a question about why men fail to lead, why they allow women to do the dirty work particularly with regards to parenting and why good-meaning people still tell battered women to try harder and "love" their husbands into changing.
So here I was in session, a man, being asked by a hurting woman, to give explanation to why men do what they do or in this case don't. Now please hear me say this is not all men. However, I do believe there is a ton of merit in what this young woman was asking me and in it lies a challenge to men to be the masculine definition God created you to be.
The term "Godly men" unfortunately can conjure up images of quiet passivity that is generally nice but has the backbone of a noodle. Take for instance Sunday School classes. Who teaches these classes? Yep predominately women. The average Bible study is more well attended by women and small groups reflect this as well. According to George Barna 66% of church membership across denominations is made up of women. Again, it begs the question, "where have all the men gone"?
The intent of this blog is not to answer this question because quite frankly, I don't have the answer. I have ideas as to what has created this problem but the intention here is not to solve but to challenge. When men begin to show up they begin to do some things that assist in redefining what true masculinity means. Robert Lewis in his material called The Men's Fraternity defines masculinity according to these four standards. In other words to be a man you must:
1. Accept Responsibility
2. Reject Passivity
3. Lead Courageously
4. Expect the Greater Good, God's greater good.
My plan is to blog on what all of these entail for the average man but in the mean time, use them as a challenge to see how well you are showing up and being what your wife, kids, job, community and church needs you to be. They need a hero.