Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a
Or maybe it’s that I have just become more sensitive to particular issues and am consequently better equipped to see relationships between events?
Regardless, a huge “snap” moment hit me this morning.
It was in the area of “men’s ministry”; or “men’s issues;” they’re pretty much the same thing.
STUFF I DON’T AGREE WITH: The first leg of the providential coincidence was a blog post forwarded my way by a friend. I did not like what I read! It was another one of those “Things aren’t the way they used to be” articles, contending that “real men” have become a rarity, and that church is being “feminized.”
The writer opined that “stranger-danger” is overplayed, complained that “good-natured teasing” by men is no longer appreciated, argued that “young girls” need to learn to spar with older men, suggested that background checks discourage too many guys from volunteering and “cut godly men out of the lives of kids,” and laments that church is becoming a “man desert” where kids are overly shielded.
“Even as childhood gets safer,” the post reads, “parents and society get more worried about child safety. Authorities are now arresting parents for letting their children walk to a park or for leaving them in a locked car for five minutes… Today’s highly managed youngsters no longer have many chances to mix with men they do not know.”
You can read the entire piece at “How Men Became Scary.” Then, if you want to really understand scary, browse through some of the comments posted by “Christian” men who buy this kind of thinking wholesale.
Here’s part of what I wrote to the friend who forwarded the article:
In my experience, non-creepy guys are never rebuffed at grocery store lines, they’re not excluded from working with children, and they are never accused of being perverts. Also, “good-natured teasing” is typically a euphemism for bullying – the writer seems to want to promote the back-slapping, arm-punching, good-old-boy, sexist, chauvinistic status quo. And he’s blaming parental concern for the loss of influence his type of man is facing.
As for this “girls need to learn how to spar with grown men” nonsense… NO! Instead, grown men need to learn better manners, and to learn that sexual innuendo is not appropriate.
I LIKE MY MESSAGE BETTER!! Here’s the “providential coincidence.” Today’s “Play of the Day” email from All-Pro-Dad featured one of my articles for men. It’s titled “10 Encouraging Thoughts for Dads,” and it pretty-much sums up my approach.
My work for AllProDad.com is pretty much the opposite of complaining that bullying, creepy, sexist, patronizing behavior is under-appreciated; instead, I consistently argue that men can in fact be better than that. We need to become New Testament men, learn from Jesus, and exhibit the strong kind of love that’s outlined in 1 Corinthians 13 (above), and in Galatians 5 (below).
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness. There is no law against such things.
The more I read from the high-traffic sites that speak to men, the more convinced I am that I need to write this new book, and I need to write it fast.
Thanks for the motivation, Lord – DEREK
Posted in: Men's ministry