For some time now, I’ve been trying to understand why a majority of guys seem so non-committal in their faith and in church. Their faith in God barely goes past attending church. This perspective is somewhat generalized because I realize there are definitely men who take their faith and service to God seriously. But those guys seem to be rare. From my observation, most guys see faith as something not for them, like it’s boring. Why is this?
It starts with how we are wired as guys. John Eldredge hits it spot on in his book Wild at Heart when he says “Deep in his heart, every man longs for a battle to fight, an adventure to live, and a beauty to rescue.” This innate desire is why we are drawn to violence, become workaholics, and are drawn to the damsel in distress. It’s the feeling of accomplishment and affirmation that drives us. So this faith stuff appears to be against those desires. It calls us to die to self and put others first. “First will be last and last will be first” appears to be counter to our God-given spirit, so we minimize the importance of it. We rationalize faith to be for women or the super spiritual, or because our kids should grow up with morals. But, outside of those reasons, it’s not for us. It’s a small-minded perspective which robs us of purpose.
We have been lulled to sleep by the enemy. He conquers us every time we roll our eyes and choose to stuff God back in a box. We fail to realize the true adventure we seek is only found in dying to self and carrying our cross. “Adventure, with all its requisite danger and wildness, is a deeply spiritual longing written into the soul of men” says Eldredge. But every time a man refuses to step up, the enemy wins. Families suffer, churches becomes less effective, and our culture plunges further down the crapper. The greatest tragedy, however, is the guy who turns his nose up at God ultimately misses out on an incredible adventure.
The problem is we’ve missed the heart of the message, either because we haven’t paid attention well enough or it’s been poorly communicated. A war is going on around us, brothers, between good and evil. Sometimes we see it, other times we don’t. But I bet almost anyone can feel it. Everything going crazy around the world are just battles in a much bigger fight. The war is over the human soul, every single one on this planet. The battlefronts are the social, political, and cultural fights we see in the news. But those are not the battles we’ve been called to, men. It’s in the fight over the heart, every heart we encounter each day. Like a Navy Seal, we must engage in battle and rely upon our training to carry us through. But we can’t go it alone. We need our brothers beside us in battle, pushing us on and carrying us when we fall.
Hear the call to arms! Don’t be a dead man walking. Wake up from your slumber and put away your mindless pursuits. Get into the fight by engaging your heart and opening your eyes to the warzone around you. Love your wife like never before. Raise your kids with the teaching, attention, and affection they need. Stand in the gap in your community wherever needed. Recognize that the battle to fight, adventure to live, and beauty to rescue is already in front of you. And finally, band together with other brothers in Christ.