Donald Miller has written a very stimulating book on growing up without a father entitled “To Own a Dragon.” He shares his own journey of being a man who needed to be fathered. He makes this observation, “The thing I believe about manhood now is that it lives within the male from a very early age, and sometimes it gets awakened, and sometimes it doesn’t. It doesn’t matter how old you are – a man is a man is a man.” I can really relate to this observation by Miller when I reflect on my story and the story of most men I have known.
First, my sense of maleness was definitely dormant in my growing up years. My father was not present emotionally in my life. I saw father as someone that was outside my sphere of relatedness. He was “out there” being a good provider, but in his absence, leaving me wondering and longing for the male voice in my life. I didn’t realize this at the time, but my confusing regarding who I was, and the insecurity I had about my personhood, pointed to the need of a guiding voice. Because of this, my sense of what a healthy male should be, was not awakened. I had to go searching for an identity and understanding of myself. Like most other young boys, I found this need met with my peers, who had to same issues
Secondly, I am so thankful to God that my sense of maleness was “awakened.” This happened in my 20’s. First, I came to know God in a personal way. My relationship with God began to define who I was. Secondly, God brought into my life a woman, who became my wife. She saw the potential for godliness in me. For that I will always be thankful. Thirdly, God provided some wonderful male models for me over the years. Richard Rohr calls them “male mothers.” They fed my father hunger with father energy, while being a godly influence.
I say all this to encourage the readers of this blog. You might not feel awakened in your God given maleness. But as Miller states, “It doesn’t matter how old you are – a man is a man is a man.” I want to strongly encourage you to come humbly before your heavenly Father through the Lord Jesus, sincerely asking (even crying out to him) for the affirmation the only your heavenly Father can give you. Hear whjat I say to you, “You are able to be fathered by your heavenly Father, through Jesus.”
Don’t be afraid to allow yourself to be awakened. For some of you, it might be a little frightening at first. But resist the temptation to flee back into your immature male place of protection. Come forth and allow yourself to be spoken to by your heavenly Father. He will bring you forth. I think of the wonderful words of Jesus to Lazarus, “Lazarus, come out.” These are God’s words to each wounded and searching male soul today.