In the Company of Men

Today I got together with a group of men from my church. We met for coffee. There was no agenda. There was no devotional. Unless it happened before I got there, there wasn’t even any prayer. It was just what I needed. We shared everyday problems and kicked around solutions, some helpful, some just silly.

In recent weeks my church participation has fallen off. Our “small group” stopped meeting before the holidays and has not started up again. I have lots of tough issues to deal with in my life, like everyone. It’s easy to begin to feel alone. It was great to spend some time with other men to relax and just to be in their company. Men don’t get together like they used to. There use to be male social clubs and lunch groups, hunting trips and sports road trips. Such gatherings have gone out of style and have even a hint of political incorrectness. I think it’s more than a societal change. I think it’s a spiritual attack.  We now speak of a man “cave” a place we can go to be alone and uninvolved.

Years ago the church  I attended had a wonderful annual men’s retreat. It was a “silent” retreat. One year we invited the women because we had a special speaker they were interested in. That was the end of the silence and, in fact, the end of the retreats.

In the latest issue of Covenant Spotlight, there is an interesting article by Vicky Branton. In part it reads:

“For too long we have spoken ill of the men in our lives, either to their faces or behind their backs. We have cursed them, demeaned them, contradicted them, humiliated them and emasculated them so much that we have lost a great number of gentlemen to the ways of the world. It has become so commonplace that we no longer notice the slander.

As women we have given into manipulation and lust for independence to the point that we deserve the female domination (and subsequent lack of male leadership) so often found in prayer groups, volunteer committees and social outings. That’s not to say that the men who are in the church are ineffective; I know some powerful men of God but there are just too few. ”

We may have once had a male dominated society and even a male dominated church. Not so any more. I am not saying that we need to send women back to the kitchen.  I am saying that being a man is something special; as special as being a woman. We have mutual interests which we should be allowed to share. We have perspective, experience and God-given attributes that are needed for balance. I think our presence and leadership is missed in family, church and society. Maybe it’s time to do something about that.

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