O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Throughout my time in ministry, I have noticed one thing that stands true at every level and across all cultures:  Men are absent in our Church.

Why is that? Are we too “manly” for Church? Are we above vulnerability? Or maybe it’s that we men feel that we can do everything on our own and we don’t need to be part of community? Do we think we don’t need to be led to Christ or that others should be able to figure out this God thing on their own?

As men, we are called to be loving leaders. Since the beginning, man was made to love and to lead those around him closer to their creator. It started with Adam – whose vocation was to love, protect, and lead Eve closer to their creator. This has continued on to each of us men today. There is a lineage of service to our God that has been and always will be an integral part of who we are as men.

With that being said, why are we as men being outnumbered exponentially by the women in virtually every retreat, Bible study, Sunday Mass, or any other church event? Just about the only place I can plan to see the men win in numbers is in the line for the men’s bathroom.

We are on the frontline.

What bothers me so much about this is that as men we claim to be courageous. Maybe the manliest film of all time, Braveheart, had a line that said, “Your heart is free, have the courage to follow it.” God gave us a heart that longs for him. If we truly follow our hearts it will lead us straight to the foot of the Cross. Sounds easy enough, right? Not so much. We struggle at this because, as men, we desire to do everything on our own. We’d rather fail than ask for help.

I’ll tell you the most courageous thing a man can do is seek the brotherhood of another man, standing alongside each other in prayer, especially through struggles.

As men, we are on the front line of the war-field that is our society today, but so many of us are out there without our brothers by our sides, thinking we can go it alone. If we are facing society by ourselves, we are destined to be trampled by the enemy. So many of us are out there fighting without the armor of God. Brothers, look out for your fellow brothers. Don’t let them fight this battle alone. Don’t let them go into war without protection.

Men, it’s time for us to step up. It’s time for us to be present. We are called to lead, but we can’t lead if we aren’t equipped. We can’t lead in isolation. We need brothers. We need our God.

“Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who prepares my hands for war and my fingers for battle.” Psalm 144:1

Let’s change the trajectory of this war. Let’s fight back. Let’s make a difference.

“Brothers, Hold the line, stay with me. What we do in life echoes in eternity.” – Maximus, Gladiator

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