Spiritual author, Ronald Rolheiser made this interesting observation about men and women. “Men suffer more from gender depression than woman do.” He sites the work of Robert Moore, a University of Chicago anthropologist, who maintains that men struggle to relate to women not because they have lost touch with their feminine side, but rather because they have lost touch with their masculine side. Men trying to be more sensitive seem to take less delight in their maleness. “Most sensitive men are depressed,” notes Moore, “They ‘re so afraid of being jerks or idiots, they’d rather be depressed then to act out their masculine energies.” Men have “inhaled” the feminist critique of maleness. Regarding men, Moore notes, “…it doesn’t take much for them to believe that they are bad in their own guts. Men have a bad self-image, and they’re apologetic about being male. When we feel like that, there’s going to be a lot of depression.”
Men, my personal story fits with these observations. I have walked down a long road in becoming more comfortable with my masculine soul. I have lived with a “covert” (hidden) depression in relating to my manhood. I worked mightily to build an image of a “godly” man, that was all my doing, while hiding feelings of inferiority. I was a “niece” caring guy, who had to hide negative emotions, thus causing “covert” depression. As the “gender wars” rage on in our culture, I desire to live authentically as a man. I want to be free from, “having to manage others impressions of me.” (Willard). I take delight in these words from Paul. “Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.” (Gal 5:1 – Message). God help me to live in the freedom of my maleness.
This freedom stirs a deep desire within me to help younger men be comfortable in their maleness. So what do I want you as a reader of this blog to take away from my confession. I have two observations. First, let Jesus into the deepest parts of your soul. Realize He is already at the center loving you. Jesus said that He and the Father would come and make their home with us (John 14:23). John tells us, “And this is how we experience his deep and abiding presence in us: by the Spirit he gave us.” (I John 3:24 – Message). Jesus waits for you to open the doors to all those dark rooms that harbor your fears of being known. The surprise is that he knows all that is hidden there.
The second exhortation follows the first. Welcome Jesus into your hidden rooms. Walk with him through all that is found there. Let the healing light of his presence shed new understanding as to who you really are as a man. Let him rearrange all the furniture that is found there. You will be amazed at how he can recreate your true image as a man. After all, your person hood as a man is a gift from the one who has created you for himself.