Today @ The Gathering we continued our current series, “They Promised Me Chocolate” with installment number 6, by dealing head-on with marriage and why so many men seem to be stuck in miserable or mildly tolerable marriages.
We dealt with the three downgrades we’re confronted with subtly, every day in the images and commercials we consume in America. These downgrades are:
- The downgrade that we see in gender differences. We’re constantly told, in commercials, by leaders, and by those with influence, that there is really no big difference between men and women. So we try to make men feminine and women masculine, instead of celebrating the best of what it means to be masculine and feminine.
- The downgrade that says marriage is an option. I believe without exception that marriage is essential for the well-being, not only of men and women but society, itself. It’s how God put us together. The Scriptures begin with a marriage and end with a marriage. And everything in between, if it’s not directed at marriage and family, certainly it is directly about relationships that need reconciling and redeeming.
- The attempt to downgrade sexual exclusivity. In America marriage is recognized by our government as a civil contract. And that contract has three basic parts: financial unity, next of kin, and sexual exclusivity. Even in a culture where adultery and trading partners seem to be the norm, sexual exclusivity is still honored and respected particularly among the influential, and leaders.
Here are the 5 reasons, it seems to me, married men in America are miserable.
- They are afraid to be who they are. Raised in a culture that seem bent on portraying men as knuckle-dragging, beer-guzzling buffoons, it’s hard to understand what a real man should be. Real men shoot things, drive fast and trade women as though they were a commodity. But this is not real manhood. It’s not fulfilling, and it’s certainly not God’s intention. God created men to be men and as such be image-bearers of God, and for women to be women and as such image-bearers of God.
- They don’t know what they want. Raised in families where fathers are either absent or disengaged, they’ve never seen what a real man is like and how he is fulfilled in his marriage and family relationships. So men are looking for something and they are not sure what it is. They think it’s in an image of a beautiful woman, a nice house, and smiling children. But really what it is, is respect and appreciation. And wherever a man is given honor and respect, he’ll be happy and engaged.
- They don’t know what women want. If I’ve learned anything in life as a married man and a father of three girls, I know that women want to be chosen and cherished. They want to be wowed, won, and wooed. And when they are, they respond in kind.
- Men are ashamed about their sex-drive. The more ashamed they feel, the more they will submerge that need into dark practices such as pornography.
- Men are bored to death of being nice. They want to be dangerous; good, smart, and strong, but dangerous. Assertive, aggressive, they are warriors; each man has a warrior’s heart looking for a battle worth fighting, for a love worth winning and for work worth doing.