Over the past few months a simple irritation has become a deep concern. It has always bothered me how seemingly slow /unconcerned the men around me seem to be when their brothers are in need. When He is lonely, depressed, going through a loss, in some sin of one kind or another, having trouble in a marriage. The answer that has been most common as to why this is has not sunk in or clicked as true. The most common responses I get when I urge (or maybe I am nagging), a brother to help out another brother, is a form of “Men don’t handle things as women do.” Ok, I get that, I think. For sure we generally have different ways of approaching an issue, and I am not necessarily expecting you to have coffee, cake, a box of tissues and cry through it together (would that be so bad.) But some action needs to be taken in whatever way Men are there for other men, in the good and tough times. And this is what has lead me to be concerned, there is no action actually taken after you have let me know men deal with things differently from women. My heart cries for people in pain and so I am biased to want to help when anyone is in any emotional or mental turmoil. However I have learned in my short years on this earth that there are times when it is more effective and for the greater good of the body of Christ when a man is there for another man, rather than for me to step in.
The kind of inertia that I have seen has really caused me to weep and wonder if it truly is God’s way with men, or if I truly am the one who needs greater understanding of how He made you wonderful men. And you are, I would never want to change you to be like us, I would never want you to strive to handle things as we do. And this is not another man bashing article ( those who know me will tell you, I would probably be at the head of an anti-feminist march), so please hear my cry for you, rather than about or at you.
Another argument would be that maybe men don’t really need other men, or the support I am crying out for. But the kind of despair and disillusionment that comes out from situations where support has not been given, leads me to believe otherwise. Women are more communal than men, but God made humanity as a whole, to seek and enjoy community. The Church is exactly that, a community of believers, you are not and cannot be church/ the body of Christ on your own. In fact we know we are not to forsake fellowship. But maybe the love we are called to is too general and can be handled in a church service rather than the one on one/small group, bearing of one another’s burdens I am calling for…
But then again, my heart is disturbed by the difference in what I see played out before me, and what I see in the Bible. Par Exemple, David and Jonathan. By the time Jonathan could be able to stand for David against his father, the King, with full knowledge that David was going to take his throne, there must have been some serious level 1 communication that had gone before the establishing of such a friendship. I would like to believe encouragement, rebuke, sincere love in words and action was a hallmark of this relationship. Of course done over some serious blood hunting, and death defying horse races.
Then I see Christ with His Disciples, His friends. He told them He loved them, and so He was there for them in their needs, feeding them, teaching them, rebuking them, and healing their relatives (A mother in law at that), He was in their Business. So why the inertia dear brother? Truly I ask why is it so hard to be in your brother’s Business, help me understand.
Now there is a flip side to this that can be used as an excuse by the former, but should not, which is many men don’t let others in, they isolate themselves or certain areas of their lives completely. Although I must admit this is true of both sexes. Isolation and not seeking out Jonathan-David or early church style fellowship is a sure way to make yourself a target for the Devil. There is the part of other believers to seek you out as part of their love walk, but also there is you part as well to seek out Godly friendships prayerfully.
And so, my brother, do talk to me I really am open to hear, why are you not your brother’s keeper.
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