My wife is my best friend and has a beautiful heart, so when she asked me to help with a women’s conference, I said, “Yes”. Honestly, I said it with regret. Hanging out at a women’s conference was not my idea of “fun”, but I showed up.
So, did God.
Here’s what I learned:
First, these women are sold out to God. They have amazing capacity to love one another. Coming from all walks of life, they had one thing in common: a desire to engage God in a deeper way and to help those attending uncover truths about God they might never have found anywhere else.
Second, they tapped into the power of the Holy Spirit through prayer, not just to bring a preconceived agenda to have the rubber stamp of heaven. Rather, they sought the Presence of the Kingdom, asking the Father to have His way and to be all He wanted to be in this time.
Third, they sought God’s healing for their heart wounds.
Finally, they shared their stories transparently. They re-told their stories of woundedness and how God’s restorative power worked for the good through it all.
And yet, there was something that hurt me deeply.
As I listened, a common theme arose: at the root of these women’s wounds was a broken man.That is, many times, (painting with a big brush here), the pain these women experienced was caused by a wounded man. All that God rescued them from and restored and reclaimed was influenced by choices, either directly or indirectly, by a man.
Men, we need to be better men. Be stronger. Better than just going through life one day at a time allowing the hidden and repressed wounds of our lives to wound our families and the women we love. These women come together and support each other with ease. We need to do the same thing. We need strong men who are unafraid to look at the hard, dark places of our lives to support us and help us discover Jesus is there.
We can find this strength with men who have walked this path, those who have gone before. Life is not meant to be lived in a vacuum of western masculinity, where being the strong means being a silent, lone-ranger. Strong, silent and alone only leads us to isolation, hiding, and pain.
Jesus didn’t live alone, and we shouldn’t either. Jesus surrounded himself with men to share experiences, to love and do life together. He only isolated himself to run to his Father and spend time alone with him. Jesus and his disciples lived life deeply, loved each other deeply, learned together, laughed together, cried together, and God used them to change the world.
If you’re not living your life in deep authenticity with other men, you’re missing the life God meant for you to live. Find a group of men where you can live deeply, who will hold your feet to the fire; someone who will look you in the eye and tell you the hard truth about yourself. Otherwise, you’re hiding that deep part of you where you can really find God.
You might hang out with guys, but if there isn’t a deep authenticity, sharing life with each other, supporting one another, then you’re not truly connected. We all have areas of our lives we want to hide. That’s where I was, hiding, until a friend introduced me to The Crucible Project.
I want to challenge you to step out and seek that a deep part of yourself. Test yourself and discover what is and isn’t working in your life. Like Jacob, wrestle with God over those things holding you back and experience His healing and grace. Begin recovering your masculine soul and begin living with a renewed purpose, passion, and power.