“The goal is to facilitate and develop, intimate friendships AND
relationships with other Men.
What is being sought here is:
An environment to feel safe to express anything
A place to come to terms with all of our struggles with Pornography
How you treat your wife
How you actually pray with your wife and not just talk about it
Becoming the spiritual head in your home
How to trust another Man
How to trust anyone
More struggles with Porn
Not lying about porn
Freedom in our Lord”
I have read and re-read that list, and I must say, being born into a pastor’s family, and having been one myself, and having know church culture my entire life, I have not found this to be a reality “in the church”. But, I have found a measure of it, with a group of fellow travelers who meet for coffee and heart to heart fellowship on Sunday mornings. It is a growing reality, slowly being built over time, with a good crusty layer of “trust” being the foundation.
Many if not most men in the body of Christ today are in a difficult place, where the bulk of life in the church is focussed on “unmanly” attributes and attitudes. Jesus has been reduced to an androgynous man, which the dictionary defines as:
|1.||being both male and female; hermaphroditic.|
|2.||having both masculine and feminine characteristics.|
|3.||having an ambiguous sexual identity.|
|4.||neither clearly masculine nor clearly feminine in appearance: the androgynous look of many rock stars.|
This is the “gentle nurturing Jesus” that we are bombarded with. This is how “effective ministry” is portrayed. This is the place in which women dominate, de facto, simply because men, have failed to lead, have failed in being men in their homes, their work, their relationships, and failed in being men in the body of Christ. We cannot blame the women. Man in the garden failed to lead, and throughout the ages, Adam’s descendants have continued to fail to lead and then blame the woman! Hello?! Men… it is time to reclaim the place of biblical manhood where both males and females fulfill their roles and functions in family, in society and in the church.
Men appear as emasculated and as eunuchs in the body of Christ as a direct result of this. What is a eunuch anyway? Simple, the dictionary defines it as:
- A castrated man employed as a harem attendant or as a functionary in certain Asian courts.
- A man or boy whose testes are nonfunctioning or have been removed.
- Informal An ineffectual, powerless, or unmasculine man.
Do you see that? In an informal manner, the term eunuch has come to mean “ineffectual, powerless or unmasculine man”. This is widespread in both our society and in the church. Where are the “real men”? Where are the men learning what it is to be a real man? Where is there a safe place for men to come together and to learn together what it means to be a real man, a man after Jesus’ own heart? This is why men need each other, and need to walk together in the bond of friendship and deepen relationships with men who are unafraid of becoming real men, men who love God passionately, who cherish their wives, and who love and protect their children. These are the ones I am looking for, and desiring to meet with, and become closer than a brother with.
We few who meet together regularly know we need each other. We know we need to be transparent, and we also realize that this means more than talk. It means engaging where life is being walked out in the day to day morass of life, in the mundane, and in the vibrant, where the rubber meets the road. Am I there yet?
Nope. I have not come to that place of implicit trust, for I do fear rejection and hurt, and I am guarded, BUT, and again I say “but”, my guard is coming down. I am choosing to trust more and guard less. It is a journey of faith, hope and trust, casting down each time the lies of the evil one, and the ongoing threat of rejection and hurt.
I need these men. I need these issues to be wrestled out, and I need a safe place in which to work them out. A place of safety, a place where emasculated men can recover their biblical manhood without shame and find the healing that Jesus and true brotherhood has for them.