MAN UP AND DO IT YOURSELF!
So that last post I made asking if the church had failed men seemed to resonate with a lot of people.
I also posted it in a group of Christian men to see what other people thought.
And things got sadly predictable.
Here are a couple of responses paraphrased:
“Get ready for backlash, I agree, but that’s not a popular position.” (we’ll deal with this another time).
“I agree. I’ve been married for 18 months and have a 9-month-old and learning all I can.” (This is awesome).
But then I got the defensive responses that took me by surprise.
(I didn’t bother to mention that I work for a church).
“You’re at the wrong church.” (Ok, fair enough).
“There are plenty of good churches that teach biblical manhood, and authors that write great stuff about it.”
“It’s not the church’s job to fix your marriage, it’s the responsibility of the couple.”
“Blaming others for our shortcomings is all too common these days.”
First, let me be clear about something.
I’m all for personal responsibility.
No one can have your relationship with God for you.
No one can be present in your marriage or family on your behalf.
When it comes down to doing the work… YOU have to do it.
That doesn’t mean that you have to do it alone!
Just telling someone to find a new church doesn’t help.
Just telling someone that YOUR church does a great job teaching men to be men might lift YOU up, but it doesn’t help a man who has been hurt abandoned or let down by his church.
Recommending books and online teachings is a good first step, but nothing replaces the support of true community.
And the only meaningful community that will help a man suffering in his marriage or family…
Is the brotherhood of other Christian men.
And what of the idea that you just need to MAN UP and do it yourself?
Paul writes in Galatians 6:2, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
1 Thessalonians 5:14 says, “And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.”
Once again, there are things that you have to do for yourself.
Things no one can do for you.
But your brothers can be there for you while you do it.
They can even hold you up when you’re not sure if you can make it on your own.
They can tell you to your face (with love, of course) when you’ve done something wrong, and help you fix it.
But just being told that the church is not wrong, you’re wrong, fix it…
Isn’t particularly loving or helpful.
I have been where you are.
Confused about what it meant to live out biblical manhood in my marriage and family.
I struggled to show up and lead the way I was supposed to (and I still don’t get it right all the time).
And it was painful. (I’ll write more about this in the future)
Finally, I found someone who could help me understand where I was going wrong, and show me what the truth was about my identity in and relationship with Christ.
If you’re struggling to find that in your own life and don’t know where to turn, send me a message.
Maybe I can help.
You still have to do the work FOR yourself, but you don’t have to do it BY yourself.
P.S. If this resonates with you but you’re not ready to dive into it directly, I’m working to start a community of strong Christian men right here on Facebook. It’s brand new but you can help make it into something great. Just head over here and request to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/183561963213494