Matt Lauer. Garrison Keillor. Add them to the growing list of men who have been hurtful, domineering, abusive, and careless toward women. Add them to the anonymous reservoir of gratuitous cads who have victimized and continue to victimize countless women. The public scandal is but the tip of the proverbial iceberg in the shadowlands of male misbehavior.
Then there are the names of men I don’t even want to mention who have ravaged innocent lives through the ongoing epidemic of mass shootings. Las Vegas, Sutherland Springs. Charleston. Newtown.
An article I recently read insightfully pointed out that we not only have a problem, we have a man problem. Men are at the center of the destruction and disrespect. Men are leading the way in violence and abuse. Men are crushing vulnerable souls and killing innocent lives.
It’s decision time for men. Isn’t it time to make a change?
Male readers may react, “Well, that’s not me. I’m fine. I’m not involved. The majority of men don’t do these things. Leave us alone.”
But these times call for more than neutrality and spectating. Men need to step up. They need to be leaders. We live in a day and age when men need to go out of their way in being respectful, caring and upright servant-leaders. Why? Because male tendencies to become enslaved by sexual urges, be controlling, act out in rage and live gratuitously toward women cannot be allowed to make their home in men’s hearts any longer. The hurtful damage has been unveiled before our eyes. It’s not going to get better by itself.
What do men need to do?
First, listen. Listen to women’s outcries. Hear the culture’s pain. Stop ignoring the shrill alarm of dysfunction.
Second, decide to be different. Make a conscious choice to humble yourself and become a servant-leader, blessing the people in your life, building them up instead of tearing them down.
Third, influence the men around you. A tidal wave of respectful, strong and caring peer pressure is needed to drown out the stagnant swamp of wanton, violent behavior and thinking among men.
Fourth, be fueled with goodness. The only way you can do any of the previous three points is to be connected to a source of all that is good. This holiday season it’s difficult not to notice the source in front of our eyes. A mentor used to tell me, “Jesus is more man than any of us.” He not only caused kings to bow before him and blue-collar shepherds to stand in awe, he lived a life that every man can use as a paradigm for the way we’re supposed to be. Jesus lived with restraint and patience. He defended women. He blessed children. He fostered unity, brought hope, lived humbly and gave life. If you’re looking for an anchor point and source for becoming a good man, take a little extra time at the manger this Christmas. Take a journey with Jesus after the festivities wane.
Evil will always rage and some men will follow twisted and hurtful urges, but all men do not have to stand by as observers or surrender to the tyranny of emotional and hormonal harmful desires. It’s time for a new beginning. It’s time to end the trouble with men.
By Rev. Michael W. Newman
Mission & Ministry Facilitator, Area C