You have probably heard enough about the” safe spaces” created for students on university campuses, who feel so traumatized by the social unrest that they need a safe space to deal with their emotional responses. Called “snowflakes,” they behave as victims, unable to cope with the cultural wars. Recently, universities have begun creating safe spaces for young men to deal with their “toxic masculinity.” As one curriculum stated, “Masculinity can be extremely toxic to our mental health, both to the people who are pressured to perform it and the people who are inevitably influenced by it.” I strongly object to such programs, since the agenda is intended to deconstruct male identity, making men more accountable to radical feminism, with its intention of creating a gender neutral society of feminized men and masculinized women. I worry about men capitulating, causing a kind of paralyzing passivity.
Men of all ages need to stand against the wind of opposition coming from the voices of 3rd wave feminism. Men don’t need safe spaces. We need to renounce cultural intimidation and the vestiges of victimhood, by standing strong in our god given masculinity. Instead of safe spaces, young men need older mentor to guide them. Deep soul work is men’s work, not something left to feminists. Again I remind each of us – masculinity is not something to be learn, but a quality to be experienced. “The masculine within is called forth and blessed by the masculine without” (Leanne Payne). It is a dangerous idea to assume that a course run by feminists will help men navigate the gender wars.
Instead of a safe space, I suggest allowing God to creates a safe place in our souls, so we can hear the Father’s voice assuring us of being his beloved. We are endowed with a God-given masculinity, and a complimentary feminine, which our heavenly Father helps us to recognize, embrace and celebrate. Jesus promised that he would not leave us orphaned (John 14:18), but he and the Father would make their home with us ( John 14:23). God desires to communicate to “the deep caverns of the soul” (St. John of the Cross) with his loving presence.
Our loving heavenly Father take the initiative by carrying men and giving them assurance of their maleness. Embracing their longing for God, men are open to the inflow of God’s love. Our part is the willingness to yield to his love. We let go, making room for a safe place in our souls for God. Where space is given, God comes and fill us with his loving presence, allowing us to know our true masculine soul. Our tendency as men is to flee from this emptiness, since it creates a kind of unsettling darkness, which is contrary our need to understand and control. Our part is to trust that God is communicating his loving presence beneath our thoughts and feelings. He is forming our masculine soul.
Men, I can not stress enough the danger of “walking alongside” ourselves. We naturally prefer to look in upon our soul, attempting to fill the space, thus overshadowing God’s presence. Don’t run from the darkness that is created by the emptiness. The uncertainty we experience is the result of own preoccupation of self. Embrace the darkness, as you experience your own emptiness, so God can flow into the deepest parts of your masculine soul, allowing you to come forth as the man of God you were created to be. Remember, “It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike ‘What’s next, Papa!’ God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children” (Rom. 8:15 – Message).