Christian Men Need Other Christian Men to Succeed

“But we in it shall be remembered, we few, we happy few, we band of brothers…” William Shakespeare’s play Henry V – St Crispin’s Day Speech

 

Men are very different than women in many ways, but when it comes to relationships it is most evident. We can be real loners. We do not connect well with other men when it comes to deep ties that bind. Women do this almost by instinct as if it was woven into their DNA to connect with other women on another level. That’s because they are relationship oriented.

Men are not.

Sure, we will be all about it when we are watching sports and cheering our favorite team but when it comes to being transparent about our daily lives and what is going on in our marriage and family or other struggles in our Christian walk, we are silent. We endure these trials and hardships alone and isolate out of fear and pride. 

We have no safe place to go and never had.

It’s almost like a red badge of courage that says we are strong. “I am a man and do not need anyone as I work through my life.”  We trust no one with those deep feelings and insecurities. If we say anything we will be thought of as less than. No man wants to be looked at as less than by another man. That is what was drummed into us as we grew up.

We go through our lives with this mindset as different issues begin to pile up making a mountain out of a molehill, day after day year after year. It gnaws at us, but we cannot quite put our finger on the source. We desperately want to feel better about ourselves, but our anger overtakes us. Escaping through alcohol, drugs, pornography or a million other diversions is a temporary fix with many men ending their lives with suicide. 

Christian Men Need Other Christian Men to Succeed

Many of us have come from abusive families, bad religious experiences or both that have colored our world dark. I know mine was. I had anger issues. Anger was my addiction of choice.

I have left a path of destruction behind me because of my anger, especially with my wife and family. The things I said and the way I acted were an embarrassment to not only those closest to me but myself. It was like some demon took hold of me from the inside. I would become this Raging Incredible Hulk. I did not do this most of the time but in those times I felt heavy stress. Enough times that my wife and I had to separate on numerous occasions throughout our lives together. 

I think much of my anger came from fear.

Fear has been a part of my life in one form or another. When I was a child, I was fearful because my family fought all the time. I had a hearing disability that made my parents and teachers think my mental IQ was very low. 

I was kicked out of two Catholic grade schools and had nuns beat me up because they could not control this bad kid. I was fearful most of my adult life because I was always trying to prove that I was not stupid. I desperately wanted to show I had a talent of some sort that I could call my own and show to others.

Throughout my adult life, I have always wanted a mentor.

Someone that could show me the ropes in life. My dad was not much good at this. I think he suffered from the same issues I did so how could he teach me to navigate this minefield of human relationships. 

The truth be told, I needed something more than a mentor but other Christian men that I could trust. Spill my guts about my fears and insecurities. What was happening to me? 

Where do you find such men?

Christian Men Need Other Christian Men to Succeed

Christian Men Need Other Christian Men to Succeed

 

I do not think that I was aware for most of my life that I needed men in this capacity until I joined a group at a local church that dealt with these issues. Men that could come together without fear of being judged because they also had the same problems and had left a path of destruction in their own lives. I was not alone. I was not crazy.

The Men of Hope meets once a week. 16-20 men meet in the large group that goes around a large table setting and we all introduce ourselves and what has brought us to this place. New men show up all the time and are mixed in with men that have been meeting for a couple of years. 

Newcomers are almost in a state of shock for a variety of reasons. Most have never been in a setting like this before and for them to hear such honesty from the older members about their struggles and how God is helping overcome them. Just listening to others speak is amazing therapy in itself. I identify with the other men and I realize I am not so different from what they are going through. Being an isolated loner, I thought what I was dealing with was just me. 

There are usually a couple of smaller groups…

…meeting at the same time as the large group. These are men that are working through a 12-step book that helps them connect to our childhoods or other periods of pain usually in a setting of 6-8 individuals. These are men that have made a commitment to do the smaller group and have been going to the larger group for a period of time. We work the book together from start to finish. 

For many men, this is the first time in their lives that they are going back into their past for answers. Questions in the book are designed to peel back the onion of our history and emotions. We ask God to help us on this journey because He knows better than anyone what has brought us to this point in time.

Some men come just once, others come a few times then still others will come regularly and have for years. This is where strong bonds are formed. We become A Band of Brothers with our fellow journeymen on this Christian path. We learn what it is like to be a good husband, father and friend from each other with God in the center of it all.

Christian Men Need Other Christian Men to Succeed

Christian Men Need Other Christian Men to Succeed

 

Once a year a great number of men will meet for a weekend retreat where we enjoy each other’s company and listen to some great Christian speakers. Many men come away from this time energized and with new friendships.

My son and grandson both belong to The Men of Hope. We are three generations that are trying to be set free of the chains that bind us to a past that keeps us separated from God. Men in this setting become transparent and accountable to each other for the benefit of our wives and families.

Most men are not accountable to no one or anything. We have become these little demigods answering only to ourselves. Some of us have become tyrants in our own families.  

I recently read a blog post by Gary Thomas…

…called “Enough is Enough”. It took me on a journey of introspection of myself and my marriage. So many thoughts flooded through me as I found myself identifying with some of the men being described in this article.

His writing is about when is it OK to get a divorce from an abusive spouse. He is talking about a Christian marriage here. 

Gary says, “As Christian leaders and friends, we have to see that some evil men are using their wives’ Christian guilt and our teaching about the sanctity of marriage as a weapon to keep harming them.”

I do not want to go back…

…to being that angry man that is described in “Enough is Enough”. Men of Hope and my Band of Brothers are helping me do that. All those men that he describes in his blog and the comments the women made in the comment section are isolated men that answer to no one. They are accountable to no one.

Sure, it’s still a battle every day. It took me many years of isolation and being the prideful ruler of my life that God is teaching me a better way. A Godly way.

Christian Men Need Other Christian Men to Succeed

Our churches need to be open to having men groups meet regularly and I do not mean for just bible studies but a safe place for men to come and connect in a deeply meaningful way. As men, we yearn for meaningful relationships with other Godly Men deep in our core.

We all want and need A Band of Brothers even though many of us do not know what that is or looks like.

I do now and I thank God every day for finding this group. 

 

The Men of Hope meets once a week at Mountain Park Church in Ahwatukee on Tuesday nights from 6:30-8:00. The church address is 16461 S. 48th St, Phoenix, AZ 85048. All are welcome if you go to church there or not. There is no charge.

 

Christian Men Need Other Christian Men to Succeed

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Two Measures Foolish are a Christian Apologetics group of writers that write from a Christian Perspective and Christian World View using the Bible as our core.

We all travel on an individual journey on this planet earth that God has put into motion from the day we were formed in our mothers’ body. We all have deep questions that need to be answered. Why are we here? Is this all there is?

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