Would All The Strong Men, Please Stand Up?
I do love a man with balls.
AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT!
Oh, alright – I’ll explain.
I’m talking about the men who have so much testicular fortitude they remind us of that very young [later to become king] David. The men who grab the daily Goliaths by the gonads, seeking eye contact through a squint, chewing on a trusty toothpick, grunting – ‘let’s get this over with, punk’. The men who believe good always overcomes evil, especially when it comes to their personal inner demons. The men who do not wither from the aggressive feminist movement, be it Germaine Greer or the hen pecking equivalent of Nora Batty. The men who fight for unwarranted, outrageous love. The men with a purity of heart so strong, that their yes means yes and their no means no. The men who make it a mission possible to protect their heart and a woman’s heart -leaning solidly from a deep rooted grounding in their faith – not leaning on us for affirmation, for comfort or sexual sensationalism.
As the seasons change, their serenity refuses to budge.
This is my salute to those men who don’t see emotional expression as a weakness. Instead they cry with compassion, they love recklessly amongst the noise and haste of today’s culture and when they get angry, they choose to do so at the right time, in the right moment, with the right amount of self-control. They see feedback as a learning – not criticism. They do not pretend the elephant in the room is an ornamental piece, instead they confront it head on, leaving no room for questioning.
They are the hakuna matatas of the 21st century and yet it appears, according to my girls in England, that such single men in the UK church are thin on the ground.
The new force to be reckoned with is emasculation; the reality of ‘men needing to compensate for woman because they won’t share the throne’ as Kris Vallotton once said. Or they just haven’t been led by strong men.
Whatever the cause, there seems to be two types of men showing up, please note – this is not to be a generalization of all men in the church, just a trend – like Navy being the new colour for Autumn/Winter 2013.
- ‘Do-Si-Do Texters’. The men who skirt around the reality of a friendship with a woman. They text everyday, flirt, want to hang out often. However they don’t follow through, asking for dates and throw in lines: ‘you’re like a sister to me’. He’s fooled himself thinking he has covered cracks of any awkward expectation, shirking any responsibility, whilst the girl is left befuddled. (Get out sister, get out immediately).
- ‘Controlling Codas’ (codependents) He ‘follows through’ alright, makes a boundless bee-line immediately. Yet he places his entire happiness upon you, not having enough self-worth to really consider if you are right for them, within days they are mentioning marriage and controlling your every move. This type breaks into a cold sweat if you challenge them on something. A weakness that can only be resolved from within.
At least a ‘Controlling Coda’ knows what he wants? Well, no. He doesn’t. Because this co-dependency radiates a neediness perpetuating the hen-pecking in women. It builds denial and becomes a vicious see-saw that can start and stop with us on one level, but equitably needs to be challenged by the fathers of these men.
No biological fathers present? Then we need more progenitors. Men that create their own insatiable, alluring identity, emitting an air of obeisance when they walk into the room. They gain respect because they respect others. They effortlessly lead from their own guttural sincerity, not from control or powerful positions. They have something that others guys want.
The mightiest of men will have easily short circuited, got things wrong and blown a fuse within their own wiring whilst someone, in gentle love, shows them what’s happening. That man will not just apologise to those hurt, he will dig out the toolbox, look at why it’s occurring and fix it. The man who is unoffendable, will gain all the wisdom around him, embrace their own beasts and say ‘one of us has to lose – and it’s not going to be me’. They are not flawless men. It is the handling of their flaws that makes them the most adorable on the planet.
No circumstance for them gives wind for an excuse to leave self-healing to tomorrow and no person’s actions can be blamed for where they are at.
But Slipperella, where, in matrimonial paradise, are they?
The question is not where are they, the question is where are you?
Are we strong enough for a strong man? I attracted paltry drips for a bit, a strong man didn’t appeal after experiencing the dominance of my brilliant, but sometimes controlling, papa. I didn’t see strength of men a freedom – until I healed myself and worked on that forgiveness towards Dad. As we work harder on our innards, what parallels are much stronger men, with an emotional intelligence, a sincere hunger for joy and a humility that can not be reckoned with.
The healthiest communities will embrace the men who challenge each other when they aren’t protecting a woman’s heart; they refuse to make people pleasing a priority. I know groups of men at present who have a reputation for the ‘Do-Si-Do Texters’ but no spiritual mentor is challenging their behaviour. The lads galvanize each others’ inability to love well whilst the mentors don’t see the patterns arise; a serving of self/communal-denial anyone? Perhaps with a side dish of ‘fear of losing church members’?
It might be rather brave of me to assume this, but if we are to believe in an all-encompassing God, shouldn’t people in the church be the most fearless, selfless breed on the planet? The tapestry of a real heart is actually to thread meaning beyond ourselves; instead of capitulating to self-indulgence. Such depravity weakens the logic around a rational in relationships and it doesn’t help people grow.
Us ladies meanwhile, must own our femininity. Claiming back our roles of emotional softness with a solid confidence, encouraging our men to be just that – men. Just because the strong man isn’t appearing doesn’t mean we have to make up for masculinity ourselves. Hen pecking is so 2005 and as you turn to complain one more time about how he doesn’t take ownership or leadership, ask yourself why you became attracted to him in the first place.
Are you trying to re-write your past by fixing him, instead of you?
A note to those relative men – it’s time to fight the Goliaths. Make your yes be your yes and let your actions reflect the same. Challenge the issues rather than run away, take ownership over victim mentality and honour the women in your life to be the additional fragrance on the dance floor. They are not there just for your entertainment.
There is no time to lose boys…..
The church ratio of women to men is at 5:1 in London. These may be the stats right now, but I’ll place down my Kat Maconies to bet that for as long as this ‘emasculinity’ spreads, that ratio will diminish, 0:1 and no longer will there be delectable options. The girls will go outside the church in search for stronger men.
So here’s to you men who fight your demons within. Here’s to the one’s who respect intimacy with women, thinking wisely in their communication, honouring her right to be loved – not a ‘fill in’ for their misused time. Here’s to those who don’t fall into relationships for selfish gain, to fix an old wound and for giving it all real consideration before they handle a woman’s heart. Here’s to the men who grab the Goliath’s by the gonads and laugh in the face of adversity.
Boys – come out, come out, wherever you are – for there is a superfluity of women waiting for you. Waiting for a man to be genuine, to be still and to acknowledge the beauty that makes up half of God’s image – aka – the women of the avant-garde age.