This past weekend I attended “Wild At Heart”, a 24-hour retreat designed to help men re-capture their God-given masculinity…and have fun while doing it. I have to admit, I’m not the first to raise their hand when it comes to “Who wants to come to this manly man of a man thing, where we’ll do manly stuff, and discover how God made men different from women?” So when this opportunity presented itself, I didn’t exactly race to the table.
I was raised by my mom for a good portion of the “growin’ up” years. As captured pretty good in Donald Miller’s book “To Own A Dragon”, he talks about growing up without a father as always feeling like the rest of the world knew something you didn’t. Now, my mom did a pretty spectacular job raising 5 kids by herself for a while. And if I would’ve allowed my dad now, to be my dad when he married my mom….well, I wish I would have. 🙂
I realize by now, there’s nothing actually missing. In fact, through life’s difficulties I’ve probably grown a lot more, and added to the characteristics I would have otherwise naturally acquired. I’m thankful for what God can use, even if it wasn’t what He desired for our lives.
But even with all that, when it comes to “typical” man categories (women, sit down…don’t get offended….I realize there are plenty of you who are “into” this stuff…much more than me.) like fixin’ cars, shooting animals, and knowing every sports statistic that is currently and historically relevant….I’m generally uninterested/inexperienced. But I still love the guys in my life, who do naturally enjoy these things for some reason.
That was my main reason for going, and the same reason I’ve been attending “Mens’ Fraternity” here in Decatur every Thursday morning. There is a HUGE group of men out there who relate really well to sport and hunting analogies. And in the midst of analogies I’m not a big fan of (Emphasizing over and over again how much we need to utilize humility as some type of tool/weapon in order to “win”, etc.) there are definitely things worth hearing/talking about.
Guys being vulnerable, and pursuing the heart of God. Recognizing it’s not about dominating the home or workplace, but serving it as Christ. Discovering what risks/adventure God is calling in your life specifically, and having faith to step forward. Surrounding yourself with a “band of brothers” who can support each other in these things.
Not sure these are specifically “manly” callings….but it sure helps for men to be honest about them when they’re separated by gender for a bit. Good relationships being built, and God is receiving glory. 🙂