I don’t recall ever writing about why it matters enough to me to go through the hassle
of setting up a blog and fighting for readership.
If you’re not following the blog of manly on facebook, you’re crazy. Our Questions of the Day are producing some quality conversation. And we’re always eager to add new voices and new perspectives.
As a result of the ongoing online/offline dialogs, I’m getting better questions asked of me than I’m even asking. It’s cool.
One of the questions came from Josh Abdelaziz. I’ll post a screenshot here as proof:
So, despite being called gay in the process, I really appreciated the question. I’ve talked a ton about what I think is happening to men and manly ideals, why I think men are screwed up, and what ( think men should do about it. But I don’t recall ever writing about why it matters enough to me to go through the hassle of setting up a blog and fighting for readership.
I mean, it’s not like I’m making any money off this venture…….. Yet. [Cue ominous cash register sounds.]
My first pass at this produced 800+ words and about five different topics. All true, but not totally true. I followed my own advice and asked “Why?” one more time. I think I’ve arrived at the most true answer to the question.
The real answer: I was alone, angry, and desperate.
How did I end up there?
I had failed at ministry. It’s a long story for another day, but since I was 15 all my eggs had been in that basket. When that ended, I lost/left any support structures I had built. I hadn’t made many friends outside that church. I was newly married, but I was also doing everything I could to shelter my wife from what was happening to me at the church.
Not only had I failed, I had been betrayed. I certainly played a role in my failure, but I was also victimized by a toxic church and a denomination that tolerated downright evil behavior to avoid risking the huge offerings that came from this church. I was so full of rage at the awful behavior, the sin, the backstabbing, the politics… I never saw it coming. And it infuriated me.
I shut myself off for a solid year. Didn’t go to church. Didn’t find friends or support. Didn’t seek any counsel. Didn’t do anything but let my anger fester. Unsurprisingly, it took a toll.
The final kick in the nuts came when I finally realized just how desperate my situation was and went back to the only place I knew to go for answers: the church.
What I found there was a lot of nice, boring, passive, tame, obedient males. Every two weeks there was a men’s breakfast at a geriatric local diner, so there’s that. But I’m over here dying inside and I can’t find any men.
(I’m painting with a broad brush. They were good men. They were faithful men that loved God and their families. But they were neutered in very fundamental way. They lacked the wildness that a man must have.)
All my loneliness, anger, and desperation just boiled over and exploded in this primal scream that become the blog of manly.
I couldn’t go another minute without some real men fighting real fights by my side. Men who call me on my shit, and hear me when I called them on theirs. Men who led; men with conviction. Wild men; unpredictable men. Men who dreamed big dreams, and men who shouldered big realities. And if I couldn’t find them, I’d have to make them.
So, I just started agitating. I was probably a total pain in the ass. I was also probably more of a jerk than I needed to be. But I saw myself as a counter-weight to the feminized culture.
It started as the expression of a desperate need stemming from a deep loneliness. But it morphed into a calling. Some pretty awesome things happened as the blog of manly grew. The conversations we had made it difference in men’s lives. Men started challenging themselves to grow into the high calling of manhood.
One of the good men I did meet at that church often said, “Your greatest struggle will become your most significant ministry.” That’s what happened for me. I had the awesome opportunity to watch as my loneliness, anger, and desperation were transformed into something meaningful.