I have mentioned before that I have a lot of passions. One of my driving passions is to see men thrive emotionally, mentally and spiritually. So, how does a man do this or more important, what prevents a man from doing this? Both are great questions!
Let’s address the second question first.
“What prevents a man from thriving at home and spiritually?”
Do you really want to know? I ask this question because the truth may hurt and it might make you angry. I have done quite a bit of research and reading on this topic and there are two major reasons that jump out at me.
I believe part of the problem is how society has defined what a man is and what a man does.
John Eldredge talks about this in detail in his book Wild At Heart. A man is programmed from an early age that he is to be hard working. A man is measured by what he does and how hard he works. It’s true. We tend to make judgments of people based on their career. That is why one of the first things we ask when we meet someone is “What do you do for a living?” We are taught to be good providers. Truthfully, all men want to be excellent providers for their families. That isn’t just a societal measurement. That is an internal measurement we use for ourselves.
The point I am trying to make is that we have taken this to the wrong extreme. In our own minds we believe that unless we work long hours and talk about work when we are at home we are not hard working and dedicated to what we do. What happens when we do this? Our families take a back seat. Our work becomes a higher priority than spending time with our wife and our kids. Could this be the basis for so many divorces today?
As men, we have always been told to be strong. But over the decades we have also been told that we should not show emotion…unless it is anger. Somehow, anger shows people that a man has strength. Do you know what’s interesting about that? The root of anger is fear. Anger is a mask. Who told us we couldn’t have other emotions? Who decided that men couldn’t show sorrow, grief, pain or fear? A real man isn’t afraid to show these emotions.Tweet This
Another factor that has played into this is men have been emasculated.
This point goes hand-in-hand with my first point. It is a snowball effect. Because men have made work their first priority and spend so much time away from home wives have had to step up and be the major decision makers in the home and in the family. I’m not insinuating at all that women have caused this emasculation. But they may have helped it along by not standing up and saying something.
Do you remember that show “Married With Children”? How about one of the main characters, Al Bundy? The man comes home from work, grabs a beer and plops down on the couch. Unwinding for a bit is good. But we have become couch potatoes and stay in that spot, too often, until we go to bed. Mom helps the kids with the homework, mom plays with the kids outside and mom prepares dinner. And, as a result, we see that kids bypass dad and head straight to mom with questions and for guidance.
This bleeds over into the spiritual well being of the family too. This is why we see so many women at church with the kids but without their husband. Where are the men? At work or at home, that’s where! Now the women have had to become the spiritual leader of the home too! Why?!
Many men have become passive because their wives have had to step up and take the leadership role. They don’t need to do anything with the kids or around the house because “momma” will take care of it. Next thing you know, “momma” is making all of the decisions on her own.
“As men, we have always been told to be strong. But over the decades we have also been told that we should not show emotion…unless it is anger.”
I think a lot of men are afraid of church. Yes, there it is again…fear. I love church! But I also believe that churches in America have swayed too much to appeal to women. I don’t think this is intentional. It’s just that more women are going to church than men and more women are involved at church than men. Worship music is meant to elicit some sort of emotion. Men don’t like to show emotion, right? Until a man has a real and true encounter with salvation he will never understand this side of being in church and he will be uncomfortable.
That doesn’t mean that churches need to change everything. Jesus wasn’t just a guy that walked around carrying lambs and hugging children. He was a man’s man. He showed emotion but he was also strong. I think churches need more balance. There was more to this man that we are to model our lives after than just the softer side of him. Men need to know he had strength and power!
So, how do you prove you are a real man? Here are my top three…
3 Ways To Prove You Are A Real Man
- Spend time with your family…be the role model they need and deserve.
- Show emotion…it’s okay, the world won’t come to an end.
- Be the spiritual leader of your family…I dare you.
Well, this is my take on the whole thing. Whether you agree or disagree on any of this it still goes without saying that we need more good male role models in this world. The best role models are not athletes or celebrities…they are husbands and dads!