The truth about me is that I am gentle, a good listener, kind, forgiving, good-natured, and a generally agreeable person. That is the truth about me that most of you see, especially on this page. But the real truth about me is that I am a deeply passionate and soulful aggressive when it comes to issues I feel are important. I think we all are. So I would like to preface this post with this little bit:
I am the sister of seven men in varying ages and stations in life. I am the daughter of a man who provided for his family. I am the friend of many, many, many good men. I have been in relationships with solid men of God who were careful with my heart and aggressive about their pursuit of me. I have been blessed to be surrounded by men my entire life who embrace the call of God on their lives to varying degrees, but mostly do it well and with great courage.
I don’t know this man, but he looks nice. Well, his beard looks nice.
It is difficult to be a man these days. I am not unaware of the ploys that assault their manhood, their leadership, their provision, their callings and their self-respect. I am acutely aware of this, perhaps because I never had a sister, only many brothers. Perhaps because, growing up, their friends were my friends and while other little girls were indulging in the latest Barbie trend, I was part of the HeMan Woman Haters Club that met behind one of the boulders in our backyard. I was an honorary member and always instructed to turn my back when they had peeing contests, but I was still there.
I’m telling you all of this because I want you to know that I am not a raving feminist, nor do I have an ax to grind when it comes to challenging men to take their role. I respect men. I do. I think they’re great. I think they’re magnificent creatures with muscles and hairy faces and oil-changing abilities and the uncanny ability to walk in the room and send my heart into my throat. Yes. I am fascinated by men!
(Especially when they wear caps like this.)
Where have the good men gone?
This is the question that Kay Hymowitz asks in a recent article (gone viral in my circle of friends) in the Wall Street Journal. And I’d like to echo that question and perhaps ask it of you, my readers and friends.
I don’t ask it under the assumption that you are not good men or that you have abdicated (for all I know, I have no male readers and I’m sending this question out into a void), I ask it in real puzzlement. I ask it after countless conversations with beautiful, godly, heartfelt, sincere, beautiful women who are single into their late twenties and now into their late thirties ask me: where have all the good men gone? And if you push me (not even too hard, I’m blessed in that respect), I will point out many, many good men who are still available. But I remain old-fashioned enough to believe that the man ought to make the first move, so all my pointing out will do is increase these women’s discontent by the availability of good men who still aren’t pursuing.
I truly, honestly believe that if you are single today, then you are called to singleness today. And I do believe that some are called to singleness for life, either with the knowledge that that is their calling, or the knowledge at the end of their life that that was their calling. But I do not believe it is the call of every man to singleness, nor the call of every woman.
So I am not exactly asking the question, “where have all the good men gone?” Because that is not really the question, for me. The question for me is, why are all you good men letting these amazing women grow old, childless, husbandless and feeling like the mandate to “be fruitful and multiply” will forever be beyond their grasp?
(Again, let me say, there is no ax to grind here. I am actually a very content unmarried person. I have an amazingly hospitable home, plenty of joy, excitement about my calling as a single person each day. This is not to say that there is not within me a deep, deep desire to be a wife, to submit to and respect a husband and raise children with him, but I am fully aware and excited to be doing what I am doing each and every day as an unmarried person.)
This is to say: rise up, men of God. Good men, godly men that I know! Rise up, take your place as a worshiper, a leader, a friend of God, a friend of the poor, and/or a teacher of the word.
Rise up, men of God, don’t just be chivalrous (though thank you for your chivalry), be a pursuant. Chivalry is a beautiful thing, but it can become a passive thing when your role is to take leadership and pursue with passion and drive.
Do not get your fill of a woman’s unique ability to be an emotional support and then leave her wasted and empty while you coast on her encouragement.
Rise up and begin living your passions and dreams, and be brave enough to include a woman in that picture–your strength will not be depleted by the right woman, it will be magnified (ask any successfully married couple, it’s true!).
Stop wasting the best and most fruitful years of your life on video games and movies, spend it the way Christ spent on you: lavishly and selflessly.
I wish I could list all the men who are running through my mind as I write this, because I write it to you. You strong men of God, you mighty men of valor and you cohorts in the faith. I write it to you with the hope that you are wrecked in your soul of this world and that you are drawn to women who are representations of God and God alone, not a perfect body or an airbrushed face.
I write it with the hope that you are standing in the back of the room, jumping up and down, when that question is asked: where have all the good men gone? You are standing there with your arm raised high and your voice standing apart: Here I am, I’m here!
For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh
and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions
is not from the Father but is from the world.
I John 2:16
day three of 30 day challenge put down by one Jason Alan Churchill Thorburne Morris (who is also one of the best men of God I know, so this doesn’t apply to him, unless he wants it to).