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On Lonely Men

Seven men from my church recently went to an event called The 4th Musketeer. The only way I can describe this event is to say that it was an intense hike with spiritual implications that lasted four days. Little food was eaten and little sleep was to be had based on the testimonies I heard.

The men said that the event was designed to break them down. It was designed to rid them of the pride that so often plague men. It also seemed to address another issue that men face in their lives.

Loneliness.

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Loneliness seems to be a common malady that men live with. Not many will probably talk about it or admit it. They might sing about. Waylon and Willie did back in the 1970’s when they told mammas to not let their “babies grow up to be cowboys.” Why? Because their “never at home and their always alone, even with someone they love.”

Men just seemed to be wired to be lonely. The question is why?

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I can only base my answer on my own experience. I believe it’s traced back to that first word that the I said the men from church dealt with on their adventure. It’s a word that most of us are familiar with.

Pride.

We men think we can handle things on our own. We believe that to depend on others is a sign of weakness. We don’t want to open up and share our fears, troubles and worries. Doing so would show that we aren’t real men. That we aren’t strong. That we aren’t tough.

We would rather be lonely and proud than to be free and have the weight of the world lifted.

*****

When we come to know Christ we become new creatures. That means we who are men are new men. Let’s actually let that become a reality in our lives. Let’s show our vulnerabilities. Our Lord did so in the garden of Gethsemane. If He can, and He is our model for life, then we should strive to live like Him and not as we have always lived.

Are you a lonely man? Do you find it difficult to lower your pride and depend on others? Are you able to be vulnerable with others?

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  1. May 1, 2013 at 5:22 am

    I tend to be a pretty open book so for the most part I am not a lonely person. I have a personality that desires to be with people. Put those two together and it is hard to say I am lonely. But there are also times I feel alone, like I am fighting alone. I know I’m not but maybe that is what you are talking about.

    • May 1, 2013 at 5:34 am

      Bill, I think a lot of men have that “cowboy” mentality. They focus inward and tend to shut off big parts of themselves from others. They don’t want to show any vulnerability. This is to protect themselves, but it also causes them to have a sort of loneliness even among family and friends.

  2. Ricky Anderson
    May 1, 2013 at 7:33 am

    For practical matters like lifting heavy things and working on engines, I have no pride whatsoever. I’ll ask for help in a jiffy.

    Other stuff? I don’t wanna talk about it. I’ve got this.

  3. May 1, 2013 at 11:03 am

    I agree with you. I think guys are lonely. I’m not sure many care. They get lost in projects and work and it fills the void from a lack of true relationships.

    • May 1, 2013 at 11:12 am

      How do we solve that, Rob? Because eventually the projects slow down as we age and we are left with a void in our lives.

  4. May 1, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    my husband and i have talked about this many times. it seems that men as a group are not relationship maintainers. they let their wives/girlfriends do the heavy lifting in this area and rely on convenience (work buddies, sports teams, etc.) for their actual, if shallow friendships. of course not all men are like that, but it seems to be a big part of it. and let’s face it, relationships do require maintenance, just like cars do.

    • May 1, 2013 at 5:09 pm

      I agree with a lot of what you say, Lisa. We form our relationships around events.

  5. May 1, 2013 at 11:53 pm

    I like the idea of the hiking adventure… maybe minus the food and sleep deprivation. But that’s probably just my pride talking.

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