Hey pastor: quit shooting at me!

Men mountain

Men mountain (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

I am not going to lay claim to the following statement, but it certainly has some similar tones to thoughts I’ve had myself.

The following was taken from the Church for Men Facebook page:

“Have you ever noticed how pastors gush over the moms on Mother’s Day, but on Father’s Day the message is, ‘Straighten up, Bub!’ …”

Church for Men bills itself as a movement aimed “not (at) calling men back to church; (but one that is) calling the church back to men.”

I can certainly agree with that idea; after all, it seems like the church has lost its masculinity. If nothing else, the church sure looks and behaves a lot like secular society when it comes to praising moms and nearly ignoring dads.

Just compare the volume and tone of the television advertisements for Mother’s Day with those in the coming weeks related to Father’s Day. While mom “deserves” candy, flowers, food, nice clothes and the like, there may literally be a handful of commercials that suggest dad might like a cool pair of jeans for Father’s Day.

Christian media and similar organizations have even jumped on the sexist bandwagon. While mom is valued and praised in print and on the Web with things like “Seven Great Quotes in Praise of Mothers,” dad is given a list of “52 Things A Kid Needs From Dad.” Do I have to finish that this week?

Talk about legalism! If I can’t measure up to some impossible standard then I must really be a bad father!

I’m not diminishing the role of a mother. That is NOT my point! My own mom, when she was alive, sacrificed herself for my sister and I. Moreover, I personally have a soft spot in my heart for single mothers who, through no real or significant fault of their own are left trying to raise their children with little to no help from friends or even the church. My point is, when men in general ARE diminished in society, such as we’ve been for decades now, there should be little wonder why we simply abandon our God-given role in exchange for the toys and other things that seem to give us meaning, or at least don’t repeatedly tell us how bad we are?

It’s certainly not difficult to see this in television sitcoms, where men are emasculated, belittled and essentially destroyed, while women are made to look smarter and the savior of the male dolts they graciously choose to hang out with (unless, of course, your evening television includes those shows that portray housewives as sluts in search of a better man, in which the premise remains the same: husbands are stupid).

We’ve got an uphill battle ahead of us gentlemen. Yes, we can do much to improve our attitudes and behavior, but it’s time we band together as brothers and battle the negative messages that our wives, girlfriends, para church organizations and even our pastors seem to have willingly bought into.

I’m in! Are you?


7 thoughts on “Hey pastor: quit shooting at me!

  1. Good read. I miss my mother as well.

    My church is having a luncheon, and special recognition for all the mothers (corsages, cards, gift cards, and a sermon that focuses on how motherhood is the most important job)

    During announcements for the past few Sundays, our Corps Srgt-Major has “reminded” all the men that “forgetting” and not doing something special for her (wife / mom) is not an excuse. Working? Take a day off? Broke? You should have been saving up for something special for months now.

    I just prayed silently. My mother is gone. I am not a father, and I know how to “roll with it” and how it is supposed to be funny in a way. I get it.

    When Fathers day rolls up, the message is always “Men need to man-up” and what “men are not doing, and should be doing in the church”

    I just listen politely and pray silently. I can’t relate to this message as well.

    I just have to say to myself…”What does God’s word say?”

    It’s hard, and I too get a bit frustrated when I see and hear all this made into something it isn’t. There was a time (not too long ago) mothers day was a card. Some serious reflection and thoughts about mothers and moms. A day when “mom” would be recognized.

    It’s turned into Valentines Day redux now. There must be a card, flowers, a dinner out, a vacation, a special gift……

    I don’t own a TV, but even on the radio…the BARRAGE of commercials telling us “mom is worth it” and “it’s her day”

    add into the studies and pols at this time of the year of “Mom’s are not thanked enough” and “If motherhood was compensated, she would make well over 150K per year” and “studies show that mothers expect and want this or that”

    The same thing happened to valentines day back in the 1990’s…..

    It became now an extravagance and the “new holiday” after Christmas.

    • Thanks for the input. Glad I’m not the only one.
      May I suggest rather than suffering in silence, speak up when necessary and defend manhood in the church instead of simply chuckling at the jokes we all know are rude at the very least.
      Just my opinion bro.

      • Agreed. The problem is I can’t stop the church service, and say “Excuse me, that is really berating manhood in the church!”

        I will then be labeled as a “whiner” and the usual “Not being a real man, and not stepping up to challenges in the church”

        I did mention in adult Sunday school once when we were talking about “marriage” and dating; that kind of thing. All the single moms, droned on and on “There are no real men in this church.” Then the comments started getting a bit on the nasty side, and snideful.

        There are at least twenty single, never married men in my Corps. All are employed. All are between 25-45. Most are soldiers, and are not ashamed of the Gospel. We all have different talents, skills, and gifts. We all have different sories, and I am proud they are my brothers in Christ.

        I raised my hand and remarked “Perhaps we should have a discussion about what The Bible says about being a man of God. A real man.” I mentioned a few thing that Paul mentioned about leading, and things of the spirit. I spoke on behalf of many of the men mentioning about Jesus’s example; and even bringing up the FACT that he openly wept once and humbly washed His disciples feet.

        Let me say, all the hands went up, and what I got out of it was:

        Women in the church (single moms in particular) expected a real man of God to be a provider only. Nothing else. A high paying job, or be really, really funny. A regular comedian. One woman mentioned “You men forget, we’re women, and we really love to laugh. Women love laughter so much….we need a man who is funny.”

        I interjected that what if it is God’s will that a man has a job that doesn’t provide a new house, vacations, cars and the like. Not every man in church is going to make 85 K or more with full benefits, vacation, and other perks.

        Let me say the convo got worse from there, and I was actually told by one of the ladies in attendance (she was not a soldier) that any man who can’t provide a good wage and resources has no business dating or expecting a woman to like him.

        No one defended me. I shut-up after that. I thought about Jesus. I thought about righteousness and truth. I also realized then and there why so many single men of God are not looking for marriage. They are with The Boy Scouts. They are investing for their retirement. They have given themselves to Kingdom work. They are very involved in their ministry. They have their hobbies, and frankly many of us are happy.

        I have on several occasions in our men’s fellowship, which to me is offensively called “Man Up” mentioned about a name change. I have been told that this is what National Headquarters is calling all of our “men’s fellowship” groups nationwide, and they cannot change the name. One Officer (a man who has been married for forty years in my church) even said to me “It’s an appropriate name, men are not stepping up in church, or culture, or in society. We are letting women do everything.”

        So giving a name like “Man Up” will change everything????

        I know this isn’t limited to just my church. This very strange behavior by many women is in many denominations, and places.

        I pray for them. I pray for myself….but now cresting into my mid-forties I know of my relationship with Christ. I am proud of the “Army” I serve deeply in and for.

        I also now know when to pick a battle!

        Peace brother…..and there was no offense taken in your comment

        In Truth!

  2. You’ve nailed it, Todd. Even children’s literature portrays the dad as a bumbling fool that the wise mother and children wink at each other over. The popular Berenstain Bears series that promotes good character and good values otherwise is a prime offender. Men are emasculated–they have been as indoctrinated as women and in their desire to keep the peace in their homes, they let the women take control. Of course, men have to be careful not to swing the pendulum too far. I like Dallas Willard’s definition of a leader: one who takes the lead without trying to control but by example, walking ahead where he expects the others to follow. The struggle for supremacy between men and women is as old as Adam and Eve. It’s a part of our sin nature and difficult to overcome, even when we’re aware of it.

  3. True stuff. It’s not about taking away anything from the ladies. But maybe lifting up good examples of men and father’s and saying, “aim here” vs the constant, “where you are is pathetic” message would be helpful.

    • Thanks Justin. I know not all churches treat men like cretins. I think those of us with the God-given skills necessary to help people understand these issues can begin to move the conversation in a positive direction. I’m certainly up for the challenge. I believe you have the skills to take on this challenge as well and would definitely welcome you on the team.

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