Thursday, July 12, 2012

Hanging Out With the Boys Not Such a Bad Idea

About two years ago, I had the idea of forming a men's choir at my church.


It was a little controversial because some thought it sexist to exclude women.


What I was looking for was the unique fellowship   when grown men get together to share experiences and spirituality with just men.


At the risk of getting a nasty-gram from Gloria Steinem, let me say that vocalizing with men only has been most fulfilling.


We men are really stressed.


We struggle to be breadwinners.


We struggle to avoid heart disease.


We struggle to be the ideal  for our wives, even though mother nature balds our heads, expands our waistlines, and  causes hair growth in places we never imagined, like our ears.


We men know that our fair maiden once saw us as the White Knight on a mighty steed, prepared to slay dragons in pursuit of kingdoms, presenting our plunder in tribute to our Queen.


These middle-aged men gathered in the choir loft know that the ambitions of yesteryear fade into the reality of today.


None of us are rich, but we gather to sing about God, with a little conversation thrown in.


We pray for our  families.


We pray to be moral and pure.


Imagine that, men praying for their  purity in a world where busty bikini bombshells are featured in every beer commercial.


So we congregate as men.


And it has been a tonic for  us.


We razz each other and throw barbs when one of us screws up the pronunciation of some Latin word.


We feel more and more like brothers.


Even if just for a few minutes, we feel  our difficulties  lifted from each of us as we lift our voices together.


We sense that we are not alone.


If one of us were to fall, all the rest would unite to help, no questions asked.


It's as if the good Samaritan had a merry band of helpers coming to rescue the robbery victim in the road.


All wounded in our own way,  we find peace and joy in this fraternity.


Here's where I'm going with this.


If you're a man, find a men's group and share your  hopes, dreams, and your faith.


If you're a woman, help your man find a men's group.


We men  generally don't express ourselves as easily as women do.


We tend to internalize things.


We roll along quietly, sometimes suffering inside.


In the modern age, the masculine role is tough to fulfill, especially in this confusing oversexed do-what-feels-good-culture.


So, find some godly men and start to hang out together.


You'll feel better about yourself and about your role in your family.


Then try a song or two.


Regardless of the singing, you'll make some beautiful music.


We men are more complex than the buffoons portrayed  in sitcoms watching football in front of the big-screen TV, Budweisers and Bratwurst in hand.


We  men need each other.


So listen up, baritones and tenors, it's time to unite.


Are you with me?

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