Man Up

Later this year we are going to have a series at New Life called, “Man Up.” The premise is that as men, we need to take our spiritual leadership to the next level, especially in our homes, with our families.

For a variety of reasons it is often challenging for men (myself included) to step up and be the spiritual leaders of their families. While I personally have felt that way, I haven’t been able to put my finger on exactly what it is that makes it so challenging, and so I posed that question in our strategy team.

“What makes it so hard for a man to take the spiritual lead with his family?”

There were a variety of great responses but the one that stood out to me the most was that, while men and women are both relational, they pursue relationships/connection/intimacy in different ways. This came from a woman, go figure. Leave it to the women to hit the nail on the head when it comes to how men operate.

Anyway…

Women pursue relationships through conversation and talking, while men pursue relationships through action.Put another way, men are most comfortable opening up when they are working on a task together.

For example, women are completely fine sitting and talking over a cup of coffee for hours, while most men would rather be active, pursuing relationships/connection over a task ie, fishing, working on a car, building something, etc.

The task is what brings men together and allows them to feel connection while for women it is specifically the conversation. This isn’t to say that it’s all black and white. Both men and women fall at different places along the spectrum, but there is a lot of truth to men finding connection while “doing” something, and women while simply talking.

So how does this all tie into men being the spiritual leader in their home?

It ties in because spiritual leadership in a home often consists of prayer, talking about the bible, getting emotional, etc. It is missing the component that allows men to feel most comfortable opening up, causing men to lead from a place of discomfort and insecurity.

In your opinion, how can regular spiritual leadership in a home be structured so that men are leading out of a place of comfort and security?

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2 Responses to “Man Up”

  1. David, great post. If it takes being involved in an action for men to feel more comfortable, then maybe a good place for them to open up and lead spiritually is by becoming more involved in the day-to-day activities of their families (if they aren’t already doing so). Homework, soccer practice, piano lessons, preparing dinner, being a shoulder to cry on, running errands with the kids. Maybe, by doing some of the things the mom of the family usually does, there will be more opportunity to talk about God and Jesus. I think the dads who already do these things have a natural ability to reach their families. It doesn’t come across as forced or awkward. And I think it’s never too late to start. 🙂

  2. Great thoughts Natalie! I’m working with a friend who is an illustrator on a series of childrens’ books that i believe will help both mothers and fathers work spiritual conversations into their daily interactions with their kids. I think “teachable moments” are the way to go because introducing biblical principles/stories in every day situations helps to remove some of that awkwardness that comes from sitting down to have “bible time.”

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