The current crisis in masculinity is a generation of lost boys.
And I was one of them.
I didn’t have a clear direction.
Didn’t know up from down.
This manifested for me in many ways…
Bad relationships with other men
Having deep insecurities and not knowing what healthy masculinity looks like
Looking to women for validation
Playing hot and cold and not feeling comfortable committing to my partner
The list went on and on.
The reason men feel lost isn’t because they are inherently broken and defeated by their sinful nature.
The real reason…
Is that they’re longing for the presence of their Father.
I’m not about to diagnose the origins of the problem…
But I will address the deep Father Wound that men of all ages experience…
This is the wound that has kept them in arrested development.
Reaching for any man who seems confident to show them the way.
No matter how misguided they may actually be.
This wound may not have even been created by a physically absent Father.
But merely the dad you had that wasn’t fully there to guide you through life in the way you needed him.
Boys are born in this world inherently seeing their Father as the Hero. Even when the Father’s flawed humanity reveals itself, there is still a belief…
And in that belief they want their Hero to teach them to be courageous in the face of a scary world.
Boys need their fathers to feel mighty.
And the feeling of might comes from the challenges that the Father sets before them.
A healthy integrated father figure pushes them to overcome through his unwavering confidence in them.
At the heart of every boy is the eternal desire to know from their father that they have what it takes.
We want to EARN IT and know it was earned.
We don’t want a cheated victory.
We lost the ancient proving ground where boys become men.
Instead we got video games and a driver’s license at age 16.
So these days, grown men wander through life like sad versions of the Lost Boys in Peter Pan.
… always playing, never growing up
And when Wendy is too difficult maybe the fantasy of Tinkerbell will keep us in infancy.
Why? Because growing up is hard and we needed the Father to show us how to be courageous.
We never felt the deep virtue of growing up from the men above us who we esteemed as admirable.
So… how does this change?
How does a grown boy heal this wound and know in his heart he is a worthy man?
The first thing is to stop chasing the man card through women.
Manhood is bestowed upon men by other men, not women.
The wounded masculine pursues women in order to prove his manhood to himself through the approval of the Feminine, but this always leaves him empty.
Notches on a belt do not make the man.
Nor does having a wife by your side if you don’t know how to treat her with honor.
In order to heal the Father Wound and set right the heart that is bent…
He must enter into a new tribe and earn the respect from other men who can grant him the respect of a man who has earned his place.
You do this by actually connecting with another man or men in a group who are able to guide you.
This literally can rewire the body, mind, and spirit.
You can read books on it, but without the actual vulnerable connection to a man that challenges you…
but also accepts you and asks more from you..
You will keep spinning your wheels.
We are relationship beings.
Too many men are buying into the hyper-indepence attitude, but that is a recipe for disaster…
The healing comes through connection. In a relational setting.
This is why I am such an advocate for men’s groups and for direct mentorship.
If that is not currently available, seek out a man who you respect in your community or church and humbly reach out.
Take him to coffee and ask if he’d be willing to counsel you and establish accountability.
Heal the heart and body.
The medicine is in this energy far more than it will ever be in theoretical self development.
I also deeply believe that spiritual practice of becoming more intimate with Father God is vastly important.
He is the only Father of true perfection.
All people will fall short of course.
God the Father is the ultimate truth.
However, God made us physical and spiritual beings, not merely spiritual.
He designed us in such a way that we spiritually and emotionally heal in through the physical realm…
He made us for physical relationship.
It is in the relationship that the wounds that cut in our childhood can fully heal.
A man you respect will hold you to account of your best virtues, helping you find your own strength along the way…
And remind you that you do indeed have what it takes to be a good man.
It is in this relationship that a man gets to hear the answer he has been asking…
“Do I measure up?” “Do I have what it takes?”
A tribe of father figures, or a present mentor can reintegrate your masculine nature through these consistent commitments.