Men, back away from the hot tubs, cigars, and those Kardashians

Its just weird.

Since Sunday Ive been ensconced in a big home on one of our country’s many fantastic ski resorts with 16 other men from companies related to the business I am in. I think about what the stereotype is….a bunch of drunks yelling profanities, maybe some trickling out for adult entertainment at night. Just general debauchery. You know what I’m talking about. Its gotta be like an early release program for sex offenders right? A group of men that large, from upper middle class to middle class, all out with a work pass excuse while the wives and kids are home? Well, some really bad crap has to go down. And it did. It was embarrassing. Three of the men sat in a hot tub after skiing and had a couple of beers and a cigar. Shocking what men will do when unencumbered by the old ball and chain.

These men and I need to be called back to our roles as heads of families, as fathers…back to our wives and kids and away from work and play centered on our own pleasure and having little to do with those we’ve left at home. I guess.

Look what one of our favorite marriage ministry leaders says about men in general. (this is my paraphrase)

I don’t understand  why calling men back to their primary responsibilities of serving and loving their wives and children would strike anyone as a bad thing. I’m going to include myself too when I say we all need to be reminded what our responsibilities are as men, husbands, and fathers. Yes, me too… even marriage ministers like me.

He was talking about defending a Promise Keepers rally against a group of female protesters who were claiming that the organization was centered on misogyny. His defense was spirited but off target. He choose an unfortunate example for making his point.

“I added, as an example, “Up front, just to the left of where I was speaking a moment ago, there were more than 30 prisoners dressed in white. They had been given a day’s pass so that they could come to the entire session today. If you went up to interview them right now, you would find that most of these incarcerated men never had a daddy in their lives.”

He does not see what is wrong with this?

This is a perfect example of why we have issues with these groups, and why unbelieving men come to church mainly at their wife’s urging…a fact that feeds the flawed perception of the ministry leaders.

There I was with a house full of men, not all of these men are Christians, and some are more coarse than others, yet to a man, they spoke at length and with pride of their kids, of the fact that they are homesick, of their wives forbearance that these outings take time away from home,  and how the wives and kids have have had to move house many times as the men’s careers have required. To a man the only thing missing was a photo album. Oh, except for a couple of men who were jettisoned by their wives. They just talked about their kids.

The group was uniformly disturbed by the tendency to marry late or not marry at all and more or less agreed when I hypothesized that ready divorce was a key reason. I didn’t go so far as to add “female initiated” because most of the men would have ended up more glazed over than a Shipley’s bakers dozen.

More, there was a catering company making dinner and some local guy leading a wine tasting when a Duck Dynasty ad came on the TV. Through the meandering conversation that ensued, one of the caterers mentioned that at least that show wasn’t as destructive as Housewives or Kardashians. She added that she has a friend who is festering for a divorce because she is unhappy that she may be missing something in life. When asked why she felt that way, the woman cited those trashy shows as having given her the idea that there is more “out there” than caring for her family of 5 kids and a husband.

Yes that’s an outlier. And I would not have even thought to post about that one-off remark. But then I read our marriage minister using prisoners on day release as motivation for encouraging men to get “back to their primary responsibilities of serving and loving their wives and children” [emphasis mine].  Why then can I not use that anecdote to ask him to call women back?

By 10 PM each evening, to a man, we were asleep. The last thing the married men did each evening was call home and and say goodnight to wives and kids.

Is it unrealistic to imagine that Christian men are fed up hearing the criticism and condemnation that is masked as encouragement? Further, what must the unbeliever think? If he listens to words like those he would have to ask himself, what is up with those guys, why do they seem to have such dysfunctional men? Why would I want to step into that quagmire they call the church when the majority of the guys I know are like that random group of seventeen at the ski house?

The constant drumbeat of male correction is spoiling the witness of the church. And when a man is actually held forth as a good example, he is invariable anything but a leader. Indeed, the heart of the servant man, as taught, may press his wife to wonder, based on reality TV, what she is missing in her life.

(I need a new obsession)

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12 thoughts on “Men, back away from the hot tubs, cigars, and those Kardashians

  1. When I was unaware of the Red Pill thing, I honestly thought that this kind of championing was right and fair. I honestly thought women were hard done by and men needed only to do more to be loved. Like Sir Perceval chasing the holy grail, I chased after that notion of perfection.

    If I’d really thought about it, I would have noticed that with painful honesty the authors of the Arthurian legends don’t say that finding the holy grail saved Arthur’s Kingdom; it appears in a miraculous moment, inspires, and then is gone. Ultimately the Round Table is broken, the knights scattered, Arthur dying and vanishing across a mystic lake, the kingdom overtaken by barbarians.

    In the same way, this kind of white knighting doesn’t help anything. It distracts people from what’s really going on.

  2. Aesthetically, this is some of your best writing. Well done!

    Is it unrealistic to imagine that Christian men are fed up hearing the criticism and condemnation that is masked as encouragement?

    The points were good too.

  3. Empath:
    “The group was uniformly distributed by a tendency to marry late or not marry at all”

    “in a ski resort with 16 other men in companies related to the business that I am in.”

    I cannot help but remark that these two points are directly connected, especially contrasted with:

    “most of these (30) incarcerated men never had a daddy in their lives.”

    How does this relate to ‘calling women back?’ The fact that, out of 17 highly professional, responsible, and successful men, most evidently married late and others were not able to marry at all; while the prison scum were among the many banged out-of-wedlock to feral street thugs every day by American women. And though the ‘Stepping Up’ yahoos didn’t mention it, I’d wager that most of those yardbirds have quite a few kids by different women themselves.

    So much for ‘female hypergamy’. Pfffft.

    Doesn’t it seem logical that these things should have been reversed? I could picture business leaders from a century ago at such a meeting behaving the same way—except that they would have all married relatively young and have households full of children. And the prisoners, males with whom no female would want anything to do with.

    I don’t watch the ‘Kardashians’ or ‘Housewives’, so I can’t comment on how they might influence this dynamic—but typically I don’t see women dumping their families because ‘there’s more out there’. Typically, I see them doing that and picking up with some male street vermin whom she ends up supporting. What I think it goes back to is the feminist indoctrination that women are superior to men: women are emotionally uncomfortable today if they are in the presence of a man to whom they can’t feel superior. Their thug-chasing is a way of bringing ego equilibrium back: they don’t feel ‘fulfilled’ unless they are dominating a man in some way.

  4. So you’re telling me my husband is wasting his night out with the guys right now talking about me and our kids?

    It’s a sweet thought, but I’d like to think he is enjoying a break from all the estrogen yammering.

  5. I think I must have mislead.

    Eric, these guys didnt marry late, they were referring to their kids

    Elspeth, if it seemed the men were talking on and on about that that would be incorrect. Olympics were on, hunting, fishing, other sports, real estate, the skiing, etc etc. Estrogen didnt overwhelm the place

  6. empath — the thing is, so much of this male space is threatened by women who want to get in and sort out what is going on and to correct what they assume the men there are all doing. Such a space, without female presence, is seen somehow as a threat when in fact these men will likely be more capable of loving and leading their families for having had the time away from the them with other men.

    As for the prisoners, it is a good catch. Sure their father’s weren’t around, but one seldom asks the question ‘why’ since male involvement in childrearing occurs almost entirely at the discretion of the female.

  7. Elspeth, if it seemed the men were talking on and on about that that would be incorrect.

    Oh, I didn’t really think that, Empath.

  8. Anecdote
    One church I attended had an Olympic athlete. On his return, he was of course asked to publicly share about the experience. His wife and son were by his side. Then his wife had a turn. If she had anything positive to say, I don’t recall. She described how their son came under spiritual attack while dad was off doing his thing.

    Honestly, I don’t recall her intent, but my impression was that she was really ticked at him for abandoning them like that.

    No hero’s welcome for you!

  9. javaloca

    That story resonates. Though not about an olympian, That ridiculous claim is geared to give her a spiritual superiority, a sensitivity to “the spirits”, a prayer warrior image, and garner sympathy as a long sufferer of spiritual abandonment. I get angry even reading about it because I can picture it.

  10. You seriously need to tag your posts, dude. I was looking for something and I can’t find it.

    Yeah, yeah I know. I should’ve book marked it.

  11. I know, my history is a mess. (wow, the layers of meaning in that statement)

    I have started and because I’m so danged pedantic I end up wanting a category for every post. Imagine what my PC file trees look like, something akin to an oleander instead of a tree.

    I sometimes read the old ones when they pop up on google under my site, and there were some decent posts written back then, before my FL myopia set in.

  12. I have that experience too. It would seem like any good experience I had: Promise keepers, Million man march, even a tour and boat ride on the Delaware river, I would come home to some sort of crisis. The youngest had croup, some in law family crisis, disorder in the ranks at the homeschool, something. Something, anything to take away the encouragement of a good day out. It’s leveled out now that the kids are self sufficient, I can go away for a day or two without the drama. Especially if I take one of the kids along. Which is a good thing, they are good kids, I enjoy their company, and they are genuinely witty and fun to be around.

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