WHAT IS A REAL MAN – by Dr. Charles B. Brown Part 1 – posted by Ray E Horton
… I’ve discovered an important secret about men – most men suffer and don’t know it. It’s not that we completely ignore our suffering, we suppress it. And when we suppress our suffering, we deny our need. And when we deny our need, we delay our healing. And when we delay our healing, we abdicate from our journey toward real manhood.
I believe any man can become a real man. Real men are the men who choose to partner with God in life and choose to demonstrate His strong love to an anemic world.
Real men are authentic men. But authentic manhood doesn’t just happen. It’s a choice that leads to choices. It’s a step that becomes a journey. It’s tough but rewarding. It’s the biggest challenge a man will face. And it begins when a man faces his suffering.
Ready for the first step:
The Lonely Man
Most men are profoundly lonely. Yesterday I had lunch with three guys Ive known for years. We spent ninety minutes together. We talked about business, God, current news, and the TV program, Who Wants to be a Millionaire We laughed, exchanged thoughts and ideas. But we didn’t know each other any better after lunch than before.
Last night I went with a group of guys to an NBA game. We talked basketball, exercise, golf, and business. We spent about five hours together. But we didn’t know each other any better alter the game than before. Should every lunch or outing be a therapy session No. But one reason we are profoundly lonely is that we are s-l-o-w to open up. Actually, most of us never do. We talk about issues, ideas, and interests, yet seldom disclose our feelings, needs, hurts, fears, hopes, dreams, struggles, sins or disappointments.
Lonely men reveal what they think and conceal who they are. Lonely men live on life’s side roads. They smile, laugh, work, play, make deals, and hang out with their buddies. But nobody gets on the inside. Therefore, lonely men settle for surface talk, surface relationships, and a surface existence.
Lonely men usually engage life through competition. Everything is a game. What’s wrong with that Lets see… Some things are worth competing for. The value of our competitiveness is determined by the value of its object: “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” I Cor. 9:24,25
However, when competition defines a man’s life, then it becomes a wall to hide behind or an activity to get lost in. A competitive spirit sees everyone as an opponent to conquer not a person to open up to. A competitive spirit keeps opponents at arm’s length. A competitive spirit is always on the defensive and never lets its guard down.
I know men who compete at work twelve hours a day not just to make money or get ahead, but to avoid going home and facing their wife’s soul-probing questions: How are you feeling? Is something bothering you? Is everything all right? Are you sure nothing’s wrong?
Competitive men surround themselves with noise and activity to dull the ache of their lonely souls and to keep from being found out.
Inscribed on the lonely man’s tank top, Sissies open up. Let the games begin So the games begin – work, sex, power, money, investing, sports, hobbies, television, video games, surfing the net, guns, golf, fishing, hunting, bowling, racing, running, hiking, exercise, power lifting, basketball, football, baseball, tennis, bowling, pool, roller blades, extreme sports – you name it we play it
The lonely man muscles his way through life. Competition is his shield. Therefore, the man is known by what he does, not by who he is. Competition makes a great mistress. She doesn’t look behind the mask, she doesn’t ask any soul-probing questions. But she has her price. Competition drains the masculine soul.
This is why the lonely man feels like a pack mule. He carries back breaking loads of emotional baggage. His isolated soul is crammed full of suppressed emotions, unresolved anger, gnawing guilt, humiliating shame, crushed dreams, and acute disappointments. He gropes for strength. He hides his pain. Yet, to protect his fragile ego, he stays in the game and competes with a vengeance.
When anyone tries to get past his shield, the lonely man retreats behind socially accepted responses: I’m fine, Its under control, Nothings wrong, I can handle it! What happens when the lonely man remains lonely? Hold on to your ball cap…
[TO BE CONTINUED – emphasis is mine – Ray]