Saturday, August 20, 2005

What is Male?

Through my work at the Sterling Institute of Relationships, I've been actively exploring and experiencing what it means to be fully a man. That sounds new age-y even as I write it, but the fact remains that there are profound differences between men and women and the search for what it means to be a man for men and a woman for women is a vital one. When men become fully male, there is a peace and power that they cannot access if they are playing at trying to be more feminized (by being more 'sensitive', 'nurturing', 'emotionally available', etc.). The Men's Weekend and subsequent Point Team that I joined have been a valuable opportunity for me to play at being more the man that God created me to be. As the purpose of the Men's Weekend reads:

To engage in the process of locating the source of your power and discovering and dissolving the barriers between you and manifesting that power so that you experience total freedom as only a man can and with that freedom be the man you always wanted to be.

The power that the statement refers to is the power that comes from operating within our design specs, to put an engineering spin on it (as opposed to the "higher power" 12-steppers refer to or the "inner power" that sprirtualists refer to. We are made as men, and we can't possibly fulfill our potential if we are trying to be better men by being more feminine. Women nurture, men test and compete. As the Bible says, "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." You sharpen iron by grinding it, not massaging it. Men support each other by pushing the other man to become more genuine and committed. We experience this with each other on a daily basis in our work in the Point Team.

To some, this work may be threatening. I would just respond by saying that our relationships, our families, workplaces, churches, cultures, and planet can only benefit by men and women being more what they were created to be. Equal, but different in strengths, temperment, purpose, and roles. If we stop fighting how we were created, we will stop fighting each other and our children will win right along with us.

These posts are difficult for me to write, as this entire journey has been so at odds with how I have been playing my life. I had no idea how deeply I had taken on feminine traits and rejected my masculinity, so getting this sorted out is a process. So bear with me.

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