THE BROKEN STATE OF MASCULINITY
More and more boys are confused about what it means to be a man as they are raised without a man consistently in their lives. Those with fathers or father-figures present too frequently experience uninvolved, emotionally-absent men or tyrant, dictator fathers whom they never want to emulate.
Some boys are treated so horribly by their fathers, or men in their lives, they spend their lives trying to be anything but masculine. They learn to never trust another man and are afraid to be present in any group of men.
Pop culture adds to confusion about masculinity. Athletes and other icons communicate through imagery and actions that being a man means big toy collection, domination over others and sexual conquest of women.
Boys have no clear line of when they step into manhood. Is it when they begin driving? Get in their first fight? Get their first job? Have their first sexual experience? “Win” at something in their life? Finish high school? College? move out of the house?
In the absence of the clear line, many adult males wonder if they truly are a man. They spend their lives attempting to prove their manhood which leads to serial relationships, abuse of employees, sexual harassment of women, workaholism, and even some resort to illegal activities.
Anyone watching the headlines over the last year has seen the destruction caused by the confusion of masculinity in our culture. Men killing, raping, stealing, and using their power to take advantage of weaker more vulnerable people, like children, teens, women and other men.
HOPE FOR MASCULINITY
But I feel hopeful amidst the horrible state of masculinity today.
God led me to find a non-profit ministry, The Crucible Project, that is committed to creating a world of men who live with integrity, grace, and courage, fulfilling their God-given purpose. Not only was I able to experience a blessing into full manhood, but I was given the opportunity to volunteer and help other men find what too many families and our society have been unable to provide.
I also found a community of safe men whom I call my brothers. We are imperfect men on the journey of stepping fully into being all God built us to be. We are men who believe courageous vulnerability helps us connect with women, children and other men. We take responsibility for what we say and do, instead of blaming others. We experience grace and are able now to give it more freely. We are men who know what we have been placed in this world to do and are doing all that we can to live it.
Yes there is hope for masculinity. Every month dozens and dozens of men take the first step on their journey as they leave the weekend to be God’s man in the world. I have witnessed the effect these men are having in their homes, neighborhoods, churches and communities. I am proud and blessed to be a part of a ministry that is truly reclaiming masculinity!
By Roy Wooten
Roy completed his initial Crucible weekend in 2009 and has been the longtime leader of The Crucible Project community in Houston. Roy and his wife Devra have led over 175 of their Life Together Forever Couples Weekends and are the authors of The Secret to Lifetime Love: Speaking and Hearing Truth. He also authored Full Throttle Into Fatherhood and is the Executive Director of Shield Bearer Counseling Centers in Houston, Texas. Follow Roy at LifeTogetherForever.com.
Photo Credit: Catalyst220 via Creative Commons