Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Am I a "real" man

I think I've mentioned that I'm currently reading Donald Miller's new book To Own a Dragon: Reflections on Growing up Without a Father. Chapter seven is called "Manhood: The Right Equipment," and it stirred me to write something that I've pondered off and on for the past several years. So here goes what will probably be a post that will be much too long... I want to start with a confession. I have no interest in men's ministry in the church. I went to Promise Keepers twice. It wasn't great. I liked the time I spent with my dad, but I found the conference itself boring and strange at the same time. I also don't have a lot of interest in men's breakfasts or men's small groups. This distaste has caused me to ask myself about my status as a man. I guess I just don't go for the definition of manhood that I see expressed in most churches. I have no interest in hunting and only marginal interest in fishing. I don't like to chant things (a la Promise Keepers) While I like sports, there are other things that I'd like to talk about also. I just as much like to watch a good drama as a good action flick (in fact, I'd rather watch a good drama than an action flick.) I don't have all kinds of issues with my dad that I need to work out with other guys. I like to cook. I like to read books. I have an active hatred of cars and working on cars. (I really know very little about current models and the difference between a '57 chevy and a '77 chevy.) I have no idea what a catalytic converter does. I am not generally intimidated by women. In fact, I can't imagine small group life without the women in our group who bring their unique perspective. I'm generally confident about who I am, but maybe to some I'm not manly enough. I don't have the same interests as the stereotypical manly man. In fact, I would say that one of my life's ambitions is to be more of a Renaissance Man -- excelling in a variety of interests and pursuits. Sometimes I wish that we weren't so obsessed with the concepts of malesness and femaleness but instead allowed people to be who they are regardless of their plumbing. (No I'm not making a case for transvestites! -- I'm just saying that we maybe should stop forcing people into particular molds.)

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