The journey of finding one’s masculinity has been one of the most frustrating trips for so many men that I’ve ministered to throughout the years. Many of these men struggle to believe they have what it takes to bring the strength and form that life’s situations call for. They’d prefer to defer to someone else rather than take their rightful place as men.

This passivity is more prominent than we know or perhaps are aware of in our day-to-day lives. I believe down deep in every man is a power; an energy that if tapped into would bring greater wisdom and understanding to a man’s direction in life. Unfortunately for some that energy remains dormant due to the fact that their fathers, pastors, mentors or coaches never called it forth in them. Never affirmed it then blessed it into being.

Without that calling forth men tend to wander through life or rise in a false masculine power to prove themselves “man enough.” This is usually seen through over achieving in sports, work or intellect. Many of us have bought heavily into the belief that our self-worth is directly dependent upon our occupational success, and yet the “idol’ of work somehow does not deliver its promised salvation. I have found with many of these men a difficulty to bond with God, women and other men. Leaving them with unmet relational needs that usually lead to acting out with them selves or with an anonymous other.

Many of these men see this as normative. What every red blooded American man should be experiencing. As men, we tend to cling to rigid and stereotypical concepts of masculinity. This has slowed many men in their understanding and search for greater wholeness.

Instead of learning how to “go the way of the cross” with our pain and yearning we run from the promised resurrection of our broken selves. Fearful and frightened of what our healing might look like or require of us we busy ourselves with the continued building, protecting and promoting of our false selves.

Not a very encouraging picture because I realize that many men are hurting but are unwilling to address their pain. And its not just physical pain but deep emotional pain that comes from how unprepared, unequipped and fearful we are of that depth of intimacy.