Enosh: Part 2

The Wounded Male

Most men share a number of losses in common with Job.  Job’s struggle to make sense of his woundedness provides a rich commentary regarding the enosh experience we all go through.  We find this most particularly within Job 1-3, 6-7, and verse 14.

Job can’t except the fact that he has done anything in his life to deserve what is happening to him.  Why would God allow him to go through such things?  Job is struggling with his woundedness and he is struggling with God as he attempts to show that he is completely innocent.   When things began to happen to him he said in Chapter 1, verse 20, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” He had not sinned.

But later Job romanticized about back when he had it all and was in his prime of life, back when he had the respect of men and was in God’s favor.  So now he is alienated from God and experiencing the incongruency.  Things are now totally out of whack.  The same as we feel today when this happens… It is the most distressing when the angle that does not fit is the one with God.  When we were once intimate friends with God and now we cannot come to agreement. For a Christian this does not seem right or even valid. The experience is that we are distant from God, we feel alienated and it’s as though God is no longer present or involved in our lives.

Job did what he had to do and he analyzed all the evidence. What he saw probably did not point to a trustworthy God at that point.  But in the end, he kicked and screamed all the way, but he still decided to put his faith on God.  During these wounding time men we must keep the faith. We must place our faith in God even when it feels bad.  That is the incongruency. That feeling of alienation is normal and is part of grieving. This extreme incongruency with God could lead you to new understandings of the mystery of God and a new respect for His mysterious ways.  Show me the way Lord.

We learn in the Bible that death is basic to human existence.  Every time we experience wounds it is a process of death.  We see this in Genesis 5, Psalm 90:3 and Hebrews 9:27 so why do we fight it all the way as if it will never overtake us.  Why don’t we be serious about it and prepare for death instead of continuously pursuing our material dreams in warrior mode? We keep pushing, pushing, pushing on with life as though we can put death off as long as we want. You know how it is, Heaven can wait, but the American dream cannot.

The biblical patriarch Jacob epitomizes the wounded male. Jacob as a young man illustrates a male having been severely wounded by a dysfunctional family. We see this playing out in Genesis 25:19-34, 27:1- 33:20. The first part of the dysfunctional destruction occurred in the mother’s womb with the two twins wrestling. At birth Jacob comes out second but he was holding on to Esau’s heel.  Jacob literally means “heel-catcher”. (Genesis 25:19-26). The next stage carries on in the family kitchen where Jacob tricks Esau into selling his birthright. (Gen 25: 27-34). [You can see my blog post about giving up the birthright and the dysfunction in this family.]  It then hits an all-time low in the parent’s bedroom where Isaac was so unhealthy and blind that Jacob was able to trick him into showing favor to him and giving the blessing of birthright. Gen 27:1-40). Jacob eventually received the coveted patriarchal blessing reserved for the firstborn. We see sibling rivalry, parental favoritism, and fraudulent scams as they conspire for Jacob to eventually receive the coveted patriarchal blessing that was reserved for the firstborn.  Esau should be considered a “real man’s man” both then and now. Jacob was a typical momma’s boy.

Then later on we see Jacob running because he is full of fear, guilt and he is alienated from friends, family and also God.  Even when Jacob had the blessing he was feeling the alienation from God. So here is what Jacob the wounded male does during all this time to affirm to himself that he is legitimately blessed before man and God. He represses the hurt from his family of origin by staying away from them. He sold himself short to Laban, who out-schemed the schemer himself. He does what he learned and reproduces dysfunctional families in succeeding generations.  He practices self-deception and continues to deceive others.  He dreads a reunion with his siblings that he once abused, and appeases him.  He had become so insecure in his walk with God and with his standing with his brother he must prove he can still wrestle and win whoever comes across his path. His blessing that was stolen through deception and parental favoritism doesn’t count for much, but his blessing secured by God comes with a wounded hip.

A lot of men wrestle with strangers in the night searching for the blessing that was withheld.  Jacob’s experience can remind us that the wounding experience does not need to be a negative one but can be a time of wrestling with God to see what life is all about. Has God used a wounding in your life to bless you?  Consider yourself lucky. Why does it take so long to heal a masculine soul? Could it be because Satan actively stalks our souls?

There is admittedly a problem of male hostility and violence.  It is not rooted in men’s power over women.  It is rooted in men’s sense of powerlessness, stemming from deep woundedness. We do not condone the abuse of women under any circumstances but must admit where the violence comes from.

For men to survive the wounding they need to talk about it and get help.  They need to feel safety among fellow sufferers in order to share the pain. That’s why men should be involved in the men’s groups and ministries around. It remains difficult, however, with the loner nature of men. Most men simply withdraw.

Ok men, if we are done licking our wounds we can move to the next step.  In the next step on the journey we can emerge as rulers of our own souls. We reach the mature male stage.

“No one gets to adulthood without a wound.” – Robert Bly

Thanks and credit to Robert Hicks, The Masculine Journey.  See you later men at the next post which is the Mature Male…

Click here to jump to the next post.

God bless you,

 

 

 

The Tubthumper

 

 

GIBBOR: The Warrior

The Glorious Hero                                          

“We are not interested in generals who win victories without bloodshed…sooner or later someone will come along with a sharp sword and hack off our arms.”- Carl Von Clausewitz (On War)

What is a man without his sword? – Robert Bly (To Be a Man)

Back in the day there were men that had a fight within them. Men in their twenties would still be filled the fight of a rhinoceros.  (A rhinoceros is an animal that gets raving mad, charges massively, has two-inch thick skin, and runs over anything and everything in its way.)  That is where most men in their twenties should be.  The concern today is that we see men in their twenties that have already given up the fight. The warrior within has left them. Is it from dysfunctional backgrounds, divorces, lost jobs or what?  They are dead. It is a sad day indeed when we see young men have given up the fight. They have lost their sword. Here we have an excerpt from Robert Bly:

“The warriors inside American men have become weak in recent years…  a grown man six feet tall will allow another person to cross his boundaries, enter his psychic house, verbally abuse him, carry away his treasures and slam the door behind; the invaded man will stand there with an ingratiating, confused smile on his face.”

Young men who are fighters show it proudly.  You see it when you are on their turf.  You will see the trophies of the victories they have won.  The glory of young men is their strength regardless of where it shows, it could be on the football field or it could be in a business meeting.

If you talk to a young marine that just got word his position was canceled and now doesn’t have to go in harm’s way they are disappointed. You would think they might be happy or relieved to be home safe again.  It may surprise you that most will be disappointed.  The mind-set of a marine – of the warrior is to exist for battle.  That is what they train for and that is what their lives are all about. Semper Fidelis is about the warrior.  Always ready, always faithful-to the Corps.  That means to be always ready to be first ashore and first to die if need be.

There is popular rejection of the warrior in our society today.

The warrior has been devalued. Women have decried this as violence! It is very interesting however, that women say they hate violence but they love a conquering hero.  They like their hero to provide a safe home and security.  Is it possible women just don’t want to know about the psychological violence a man must deal with in the process of becoming successful? Women love the decorated hero’s their military husbands have become but they don’t want to know anything about what happened to get them the medals. They simply want a normal and peaceful family.

Much of society today wants to condemn the warrior. It is the anti-gun lobbyists, the feminists and the liberals that would totally dismantle our military in the name of peace. But much of the growing men’s movement in America is about the recovery of the warrior.  This comes with dismay of the feminists.

Robert Bly, the guru of the men’s movement said, “The disciplined warrior, made irrelevant by mechanized war, disdained and abandoned by the high-tech culture, is fading in American men. The fading of the warrior contributes to the collapse of civilized society.  A man who cannot defend his own space cannot defend women and children.”

Gibbor: The Hebrew Warrior

The Bible is a timeless book and it never changes. It is not affected by changes of culture or fads, or trends.  The Hebrew word for warrior is gibbor and it is associated with the concept of maleness.  Gibbor stands unapologetic through the Bible as one of the primary stages along the male journey. When men reach this stop they are at warrior station. Any men that do not discover the warrior aspect of their being are not real men. They are as Bly calls them, “mother-bound” boys still in need of a sword to cut them away from their mommies. 

The Meaning of Gibbor

Without getting technical to save time, the root idea of Gibbor is that of “power, or strength with an emphasis on excellence and superiority.”  The word lends itself to the idea of gaining an upper hand or to be prominent, important, or have significance. (To be distinguished.)

Some of the communication problems men and women have in marriage comes because men speak in a language of gibbor and women speak in a different language.  What I mean is that men use a language of a warrior. That is how we perceive the world, engage people and talk about any subject.  I experience this very struggle in communicating with my wife. We men, speak this language mostly unconsciously. Our language in our world is negotiations, one-ups or one-downs, it’s trying to achieve an upper hand to protect ourselves from others. It is a conquest, a struggle for independence and a struggle to avoid failure.  Women cannot understand this and they understandably get annoyed and feel put down. (Understandably) It serves me well to work at being aware of this in my communications with my spouse.  (When I can.) And trust me… I am often in trouble with it.  But I refuse to be “mother-bound.”

To be likened to a woman is a major putdown for a warrior. “Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness?” (Jeremiah 30:6) It is men over 30 that are called gibborim, because men in the twenties did not yet qualify for the honor. “Now the Levites were numbered from the age of thirty years and upward: and their number by their polls, man by man, was thirty and eight thousand. These were the sons of Levi after the house of their fathers; even the chief of the fathers, as they were counted by number of names by their polls, that did the work for the service of the house of the Lord, from the age of twenty years and upward.  For by the last words of David the Levites were numbered from twenty years old and above.” (1 Chronicles23:3,24,27) The Bible intertwines the concepts of strength and warrior as the Psalmist confesses, “I am reckoned among those who go down to the pit; I have become like a man [gibbor] without strength.” (Psalm 88:4) Like the successful young businessman with the fight of a rhinoceros young men at this stage of life are pretty much right on pace.

It is the warrior in us men that keeps us going, that keeps us pressing toward our goals that keeps us standing our ground, that allows us to defend our personal values even to the point of risking our lives.

The male warrior instinct is alive! It cannot be dead, no way, because it is intrinsic, it is woven into the very fabric of our being.  This is normal and it is a natural stop on the male journey.  It is not to be despised or devalued by women, or men for that matter.  Men that are abused and defeated by life, take note that God is very much a warrior.  And to the feminists and those that have an agenda to make sissies of men and feminize all the males you can to try and turn them into mother -bound boys…IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN!  It is intrinsic, it is in our creation.  Forget about it.

Yes, many men today are so abused and defeated by life, (and in the defense of some women I must say many men simply gave up their positions because of weakness) they do not have enough warrior left in them to defend themselves or their families or their society.  For you men… the place to begin is looking at God and leaning on the strength of God.  God is very much a warrior.     

I’ll end this post here, but click here to jump to the next one and learn about

GOD the WARRIOR.

 

Yours truly,

FJ1

The Tubthumper

 

PS: The entire credit for this material goes to Robert Hicks and The Masculine Journey.

The Masculine Experience

Many years ago I read a book that I enjoyed.  Back then it was far less apropos than it is now.  It went into defining manhood and the many stages of getting there.  I am lead to reflect on that book for a few posts and share some of the things I enjoyed.  We will also consult the main instruction manual which is God and His word.

All men start life at the same place when exiting the womb but where we end up is all up to each of us.

So what defines manhood?  Is it possible to define? Can we all come to an understanding of what it means to be male?  Is it possible?  Yes, it is.  We have many, many years of research into men’s issues to look at and the Scriptures contain a wealth of information and God’s design for us as men.  The instruction book is available.  We just need to read.  The best thing a Christian man can do is read God’s word.  I have found that whatever issue major issue we have the answer is in there.

We know that life is not static and the author of the book addressed that as the basis for his writing. By the way, the name of the book is “The Masculine Journey” by Robert Hicks.  Mr. Hicks wrote about how as we grow and move through life our journey has a changing landscape.  If you are a man in your twenties you will be much different than a man in his forties.  If we observe well we can see the difference in each stage and based on the research from the past along with God’s word we can know what is appropriate during each stage we enter.  I believe it is important to understand what stage we are in and the appropriate way we are to live and that’s why I am pondering all those things I learned man years ago.  The one thing that really stayed with me is the learning that some men get stuck in one stage and never get out or advance to the next stage.  You all know what I am talking about.  Have you ever seen a 60 year old guy that still acts and thinks like he is 20? (Or how about 16?)  When a man gets stuck in one stage of his life and does not mature and move on with some wisdom he becomes unable to deal with the realities of life.  These are the guys that become a sad excuse for men.  Over the years I have been able to pinpoint what stage men are in that live around me.  I have also been able to pinpoint what stage I am in.  Because of the many years that have passed since I learned this material I have been able to see myself change from one stage to the next and know where I am in this journey.

So what are the stages we are referring to?  There are six.  The first stage we enter is the “The Creational Male”.  We were all created by God for a purpose and when we were born we each were given unique abilities and characteristics to lead is along the way and help us develop to our greatest potential as men.

Stage two you men can relate with easily.  This is where we become or for some reading this became “The Phallic Male”.  In a previous post I mentioned how society and our culture here in the U.S. have handled male sexuality.  I believe I referred to it as the “sissification” of men.  Our culture can deny, denigrate and pervert male sexuality all they want but listen up.  We as males remain sexual beings from our most primary level.  God designed it that way.  Sometimes I think God had an interesting sense of humor.  If you read your Bible you will learn that God doesn’t expect us to be any other way.  Even though we go through this stage and it is designed by God there is a critical message for you.  We are not to fixate on this phallic thing!  We are to learn how to channel our sexual energy constructively.  That in itself is an interesting subject.  I once read about how to do that in the business world with a process called sexual mutation. I cannot get into that now though.  So have you ever known a man that got stuck in the “Phallic Stage”?  I have known many.  I have known enough to draw my own conclusion that leads me to think this is the stage most dangerous for men to get stuck in.

Stage three, if you can move beyond the phallic stage is “The Warrior”.  This is where we channel our strength, our fighting spirit, our natural competiveness (that God instills) where needed during our continual development as men.  Once again this fighting spirit is not always directed and exercised appropriately.

Now on to stage four which really works some deep inner development and is called “The Wounded Male”.  When we pass through the warrior stage getting wounded is all part of the process.  There consequences and casualties when in war.  It is from this wounding that we learn to understand the needs of others around us.  I guess I could call it my school of hard knocks.

Stage five brings me to my fellow men that are not afraid to go against the grain to do what is right.  This stage is called “The Mature Male”.   A mature man is very purposeful.  He possesses a high regard for the dignity of other human beings and the mature man has balance in his life and an understanding of the truth.  This man is not afraid to go against the grain to pursue what is right.  The mature man’s life is an exciting time of growth that gets more enjoyable as each day passes.  If you get stuck, or have gotten stuck in a previous stage and have not reached this stage at the appropriate time in your life then you are stagnate and certainly not handling the realities of life well.

The last stage in our life as a male is “The Sage”.  In this last stage we become wise and mature.  This is where the real men make the finest contributions to our family, to our church and community.   We will as the complete man be in command of our soul with the help of the Lord.  We have arrived.

Can you see yourself in any of these stages?  Can you identify?

 

I want to explore this much further and much deeper in future posts.  It may develop into several different series.  I’ll see how it goes.

I hope I have peaked your interest.  Watch for more on the journey.

“The Tubthumper”

Where are the “real” men?

Will the masculine man return to America?
Will our civilization survive the decline of manliness? What does it really mean to be a man?

Where are the men?  Where are you? I mean, where are the real men?  The sad commentary today is that men are either wimps or cruel barbarians.

First things first, if you are a woman this entry has nothing to do with you.  I have great respect for all you do and are and in many ways you are stronger than us men.  But this is a man thing.  The only thing I can say to you ladies is that I don’t understand why you tolerate some of the bums and barbarians that try to call themselves men.  That’s your business I suppose.

Now let me talk to the males in the house.

Back in the day, men understood what manhood was all about.  Excuse me for being blunt.  I have watched over the last 20 to 30 years as males have been feminized and sissified.  I have watched the protectors of women and children slump down to a place of “every man for himself”.  I have watched as men no longer spend time leading their families because they are distracted with their personal activities.  In short I have witnessed our men turn from our Judeo Christian examples of manhood to pure examples of paganism.  Men no longer are the protectors.  Men no longer are the leaders.  Men have given up their place as the headship and the women have taken over out of need.  I am sorry to say I am ashamed of my fellow man.  I am sorry if I am stepping on your toes, but, if the shoe fits, wear it.

Do young men of today even know what it means to be a man?  There are no fathers anymore and with no fathers there will be no men.  Think about it.  The statistics show that over 42% of male babies born today are born with no fathers.  The broken home syndrome of our society is taking its toll.  Even if there is a father connected to the household he is distracted with his selfish activities like sports and entertainment or hobbies.  The men of today are distracted beyond words from fulfilling their responsibilities.  Back in the day… sons and fathers spent the day together.  They worked together, they played together and they ate together and so the father was able to lead and teach.  Times have changed.  Men of today are not interested in leading.  Men of today are interested in escaping reality.  (I’m sorry guys but I call them as I see them.)  I see a majority of men around me practicing slothfulness and living on unemployment checks from the government while they enjoy time fishing and hunting while the wife slaves at the job and then comes home and cooks and cleans for them.  I know several men that for months and months told me there was no work to find.  I can tell you that like magic when the government checks stopped and the next time I saw them a job had been found.  They should have been doing whatever it takes from day one to provide.  It may have meant mowing lawns or digging ditches but you must do what it takes.  I know what you say, “I can’t do that I have a degree”.   To that I say, “who’s guiding you?”

I have several Amish families as neighbors and I watch them.  I can tell you they have clung to something precious.  In the Amish culture men are still men and Amish men teach their sons how to be men.  I admire that about them.  The sons are always with their fathers working from the time they can walk.  Their sons are always beside their fathers on the Sabbath and worshipping.  The Amish father is still the spiritual leader as well.  Maybe not having a television is good.

We need to get back to rising up mighty men of God.  If we don’t our societal failure is immanent.  Strong men need to be men of faith and leading the way in worship and prayer.  He needs to be teaching his faith to his children and passing it down.  We know from history that when society moves to paganism failure is soon to follow.  We need men of courage.  We need to get away from this feminization of men.  Will our sons of today be ready for the battles of the future?  Will they be ready for battling enemies both physical and spiritual?

Are you a male? Are you a man? Are you a real man?  Are you providing the teaching your children need?  Are you providing the protection for your family?  Are you providing the basic necessities for your family?  Are you leading your family in worship of the Lord?  Don’t neglect these responsibilities.  Equip yourself and engage.  Don’t be distracted or self-centered.  Be engaged and involved.  We read in 1 Cor. 16:13-14 what god wants in man, “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. Let all your things be done with charity.”

So we can see from the authority of God that we are to: 1) Be watchful, 2) Stand fast in faith, 3) Act like a man, 4) Be strong and 5) All this is to be done in a spirit of love.

God is the creator and the source of strength.  We must submit to God’s rules  and when men do not fulfill their roles and responsibilities a society will break down.  Christian men need to follow the pattern of Christ.  Christ laid down His life for us.  Jesus is the sacrificial lamb.  He rules, protects, leads and guides.  He is the guide for all Christian men.  Christ defines manhood.  A biblical man understands what love is.  Love is sacrifice!  A man must be sacrificial.  In Ephesians 5:25 it says, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it”.  This is the ultimate sacrifice.  Christ loved the church so much he died for it and He says that is the way we are to love our wives.  If your boat was sinking and you could only get one person off would you send your wife away and go down alone.  Or would you say, “Every man for himself” and jump for your life?  When the Titanic went down many years ago the majority of men were standing on deck watching the women and children row away as they sacrificed themselves and went down to their death. I hope it’s not as bad as I think but I see the situation today as if it happened again the women would be the ones standing on the deck and the men rowing to safety.  O lord I pray this is not the case.

The life of a Christian man is all about self-denial.  We are to take up our cross and follow Christ and His ways. (Matthew 16:24) After God and family you come first!

Can we ever inspire our sons again to act like men?  Be a valiant man.  Don’t be AWOL like so many men are.  Tell your family what Christ told us, “I will never leave you or forsake you”.

Please men… just man-up!

The Tubthumper