Being the newbie on the Boundless team, I have a lot of things to learn before I will feel confident of my handle on things. One factor that I did not expect or prepare for is the whole “this gig never changes” deal.
Think about it: On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays new articles are posted; on Tuesdays the podcast is recorded; on Thursdays a podcast goes up on Boundless. Besides that, the Boundless Facebook and Twitter pages must always be fed; monitoring the comments on the Boundless blog is a never-ending job, and on top of all that I have the stress of having to pump out at least one good blog a week that you’ll find relevant and helpful. Whewwww (gasp for air)! And guess what? It starts all over again the next week.
But despite the pressures that weigh on me, I am so pumped to be here. I love what Boundless is all about! I’ll start my master’s in marriage and family counseling in one year, and I get passionate about the topic of preparing for marriage and maximizing our single years. (Just ask any of my friends.)
Being my second week and all, I’ve been spending my time familiarizing myself with the site (which obviously takes a dump truck load of reading). One important comment I came across was an email conversation between Martha, Boundless’ editor, and a reader — I am going to call him Jeff (after the host of my absolutely fav show, “Survivor”). In his comment, Jeff vented his frustrations. Part of his comment said:
Too much consumption [of Boundless] will reveal a ‘men you’re bad, man up; women you’re hurt, we sympathize and help’ attitude.
I wish I could sit down and have a conversation with Jeff. “Jeff”, I’d say, “I completely understand where you are coming from.” I grew up in a church culture where the mindset seemed to be that men were the animals with the problems and all women had to do was not feed the beast inside the man. The women were the innocent victims of man’s inability to “live right.”
I, however, don’t want to deny the truth that God created men to lead and take responsibility of their families. Therefore, changing men’s hearts and lives is the most effective way to shot block our culture’s high divorce rate. Here at Boundless, our passion and dream is to see men rise up to their full potential as leaders, filled with the Spirit, putting aside their own desires, and passionately sacrificing for their families. If men will lead well, women will follow. In trying to communicate this to our readers, however, some guys seem to receive a nagging and condemning rant, rather than an inspiring and encouraging call to arms.
Jeff continued on to say:
It’s a problem with written media that there is no vocal inflection to moderate the message. ‘Come on guys, man up!’ MIGHT be said with excitement and camaraderie in person; on page it reminds me of an angry gym coach. Extra effort must be expended to come along side and lift up: ‘Guys, TOGETHER we can do this; God and Us, we’re heading for Honor!!’
Jeff, I love this! I can certainly relate to you and to every other male reader who responds to an inspiring and relatable leader rather than a harsh gym coach. At the same time, many guys are not “emotionally motivated” and would possibly respond better to someone getting in their face and pushing and screaming them tirelessly to the finish line. But there are also guys out there who do not respond well to that approach.
I want you to know that I am just like you.
I have similar struggles. I have failed to lead in a relationship. I have seen how getting physical with a girl can destroy a relationship. I have fought laziness and apathy my whole life. I have suffered defeat in the war against purity. I have walked the lonely road of singleness for much of my time here on earth. I have also suffered heartbreak so great that depression attacks with such force that each and every moment seems unbearable.
But I’ve also seen victory. And trust me, it’s worth all the pain and hardship that came before it.
Through all the fire and brimstone, God has worked something beautiful in me. I have seen my character change — I am far from who I was even two or three years ago. I am living in the joy and and excitement that can describe the single years. But I have also experienced the fulfillment that leading a woman in the way God has designed me to lead can bring. I am experiencing what it is like to walk with God, to dwell in His grace, and to live every moment in the Spirit. And trust me, that is what life is all about.
So, Jeff, and every other “emotional” guy out there, in these next weeks my plan is to write inspiring, encouraging and convicting blogs you can relate to. I want to inspire you to follow hard after our Jesus, to chase after real manhood, and to learn how to truly love a woman. I want to take this journey with you. Let’s do this together. Guys, we can do this! Just remember: this is our calling. We were created for this. Let’s dream big, run hard and love well.
We want to hear what you have to say. As we plan ahead on how to approach blog posts geared toward men, we want to gather an understanding of the issues that pervade our readers’ lives. Guys: comment on this post or email us at [email protected] (put “One of the Boys” as the subject field) and let us know about you. We want to know where you are and where you want to be so we can challenge and encourage you.
What are your struggles? What could we do that would help you develop as a mature, godly man?