Kathy Escobar has a good post, Ex-Good-Christian-Women, in which she talks about the burden Christian women carry of having to meet (presumably certain evangelical) expectations of what it means to be a good Christian woman. Kathy then asks if men have similarly been burdened by false ideas of good Christian manhood. In response to this question, Michael Craft says the following (and I have edited what he said in minor ways):
“Hmm…false idea of what it means to be a Christian man. I’m going to have to blog about that. You hit a large nerve on that one! I stopped going to men’s meetings because I tired of the Christian man ideal that would be taught. I never felt valued as a man and went away feeling discouraged and condemned. Almost every men’s group I attended taught that you MUST be the spiritual leader in the family (I believed in a shared responsibility). It always seemed to be our fault in our marriages because we sucked at being a good enough husband. If I would actually share something honestly about a problem I was having, I would be treated like a child that needed disciplining. I learned quickly NOT to EVER share AGAIN. Too many insecure pompous men trying to show off their peacock feathers of macho spirituality with their inane advice! In my ministry to recovering addicts, I come alongside them in the ditch with them and relate to my fellow strugglers. I don’t give them the ‘You must victorious, brother. You must be an overcomer. You have to be the head and not the tail’ garbage that Ive heard over and over. I share my weaknesses and love them through their situation. I refuse to act above others. I easily could have been a addict if God hadn’t intervened years ago. I know now that I was going against the flow of popular Christian thought and paid a heavy price. I’m out of the mainstream church and viewed as a rebel but I see more of God out here in the wide spaces of the ‘frontier’ than in the ‘city’ of the institutional church. Thank you once again my dear friend and mentor in our wild living in the faith. You have once again lifted a discouraged heart!”
I’m looking forward to Michael’s post on this topic. Here’s the web site for his ministry.