Sunday, August 26, 2012
Manhood Part 2-Wrestling and Winning
I treated my manhood like a secret sin. I was embarrassed about it. I kept it in the closet. Usually when it came out it was in an uncomfortable context. I didn’t know how to handle it in private nor in public. I knew it was there but all my life people had told me that it was wrong. I was under the impression that my manhood should be downplayed or totally ignored. So for most of my life it got squelched. I got married, had a child and began to wrestle with this suppression in my life.
I denied my manhood but it tried to surface and tell me it was there. Like any suppressed truth the danger is that it rears its head in unhealthy ways. I dove into pornography—hidden manhood hidden sin. I will shorten the story for the sake of brevity. My sin was found out and I sought healing through a group for addiction recovery. I read, and read, and attended the group. Layers like onion skins peeled off. In the process I grew comfortable with my manhood.
Those are my credentials. Unlike my eye doctor I don’t have a plaque hanging in my office with those. I think it’s important to lay them out there for anybody to care about what I’m saying. Through this ongoing life process I’ve come to some foundational cornerstones to manhood. For today’s post I’ve boiled them down to four.
Fully accept your manhood. As Eldredge indicates acknowledge that you are ‘wild at heart.’ Understand that you don’t fit in, that your mind wanders to your garage or the nearby forest when you are at work. Recognize that the warrior is a natural part of you though society tells you it’s wrong. Work on being comfortable in your skin.
Deal with the fake self. Pray for God to expose your sin and help you deal with it. Seek integrity in your dealings. You will find that stepping up to the plate will confirm your manliness. Be the best lover, protector, father, and friend that you can be.
Seek counsel with others that are on the same path. Edinger says to do what men do. Talk to guys, study with guys, hunt with guys and you will not feel so alone. Wrestle honestly with your struggles in the context of manhood. This will solidify and confirm you in your masculinity.
Read like your soul depends on it. Because it does. I am listing four books to get you started:
Growth Into Manhood by Alan Medinger, Tender Warrior by Stu Weber, Wild at Heart by John Eldredge (if you only read one book on the list make it this one) and Healing the Masculine Soul by Gordon Dalbey.
I finish by quoting Eldredge, “Now, reader, it is your turn to write---venture forth with God….”