Here is a new word for you, men. I came across it in some recent reading. “Mancession” refers especially to younger men, who acknowledge their disengagement from culture. They articulate a confusion and even ambivalence about what it means to be a man. Men are asking, ” How do you talk about being a man in our culture without seeming to be anti-female.” In many case men simply “drop out.” They decide not to engage the feminist agenda. When their maleness is questioned they become silent. But silence can produce an inner discontent that becomes hard to keep in check. As one observer put it, ‘If anything defines American maleness in the 21st century it is silent rage.” Wes Yoder says of men, “We’re ashamed of the stuff we hide and are insecure about who we are.”
What do you think, men? Does “mancession” reflect a trend among men in our culture. Does it reflect the culture of your workplace or even your church? There has been a subtle “feminizing” of the culture that has been intimating men for so time, causing them to question their role and in some cases their God given identity as a man. John Eldridge puts it well when he observes, “Men are wounded and feel they have no place to go. So they go and hide. Woman know this, and lament that they have no access to their man’s heart. Men know it too, but they often do not know where to pick up the trail.”
Let me ask you if you know how to “pick up the trail,” that is, to live out of your God given identity. Remember culture will keep you in the wilderness, searching in vain for what Robert Bly calls “golden key,” that unlocks the door to masculinity. Without his true identity, a man will be empty, insecure and a pretender. There are no “inner juices” to be a man, only a shadow of a man. The key to finding our identity in our modern day wasteland is hearing the “quiet, still voice” of your heavenly Father saying “You are my beloved.” Jesus heard this affirmation at the beginning of his ministry. Near the end he could say, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love (John 15:9).
There is a program that I am involved in, made up of mostly women who are on a spiritual search. Every couple of years I share a masculine view of spirituality. What I say to these women, I say to you men reading this blog. “A man is a man is a man.” Maleness is part of the created order. You cannot social engineer away this reality. Masculinity and femininity are a gift from God. So men, don’t let the extreme feminist agenda intimidate you into silence. The key in my humble opinion is for a man to come in his confusion and brokenness before his heavenly Father. Their in quietness and rest, he learns that he has “a Father who delights in him.” Don’t allow the voice of the culture, drown out the voice of your heavenly Father.