Many men i know, myself included, have realized _ albeit later in life than they had wished _ that they are on a journey. Specifically, it’s a journey of masculinity, but it’s one that has taken many by surprise because most men have not been explicitly guided.
Some fortunate men have, but they are seemingly quite rare.
For most men it was assumed by their fathers that what they needed to know about life would somehow just be understood over time; a version of osmosis.
But one of the great gifts to men in recent years has been the writing of John Eldredge, who recently re-released his book The Way of the Wild Heart under the new title, Fathered By God.
Here is an excerpt from that book:
Like a ship at sea, you will be tested, and the storms will reveal the weak places in you as a man. They already have. How else do you account for the anger you feel, the fear, the vulnerability to certain temptations? You know what I speak of. And so our basic approach to life comes down to this: we stay in what we can handle, and steer clear of everything else. We engage where we feel we can or we must—as at work—and we hold back where we feel sure to fail, as in the deep waters of relating to our wife or our children, and in our spirituality.
Masculine initiation is a journey, a process, a quest really, a story that unfolds over time. It can be a very beautiful and powerful event to experience a blessing or a ritual, to hear words spoken to us in a ceremony of some sort. Those moments can be turning points in our lives. But they are only moments, and moments, as you well know, pass quickly and are swallowed in the river of time. We need more than a moment, an event. We need a process, a journey, an epic story of many experiences woven together, building upon one another in a progression. We need initiation. And, we need a Guide.
Much of the force driving my addiction over the years was a crisis of masculinity. Pornography is a big lie for many reasons; one is that it lets you feel like a man without actually having to be one.
No matter at what age we start, as men we must take the masculine journey. To fully understand who we are, we need inititation into our true identity as His imagebearers.