Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Healthy Masculinity

                                         
 What makes a man a man? Is it a fondness for booze, sex, sports, video games? Is it  the clothes he wears or the size of his bank account:? Is it something deeper than that? Is it how he treat others? His wife and children? Well folks I'd say it's many things, and I'd like to spend a little time today discussing a need for men everywhere to stand up and make their voices heard. I was discussing this very topic with June the other morning and it comes to my attention that nobody's teaching  today's boys how to be men, and frankly that makes me sad.

In the media driven culture we live in, we are taught to adopt an ideology that says  that a healthy masculinity does not exist, that a woman can't be happy unless she "has it all"... you know the high-level corporate position, fictitious waist size, the mini-van.... all of it.  We are also sadly led to believe that  men are hapless, juvenile idiots who have no hope of managing themselves let alone their families... you've seen it, you know the commercial where the husband looks like a clueless adolescent.  Even the way we educate children ... during recess (which is sadly a dying concept) boys at play are unfairly branded as troublemakers and even simple games  that where once commonplace are often prohibited or unfairly vilified (cowboys and Indians, tag, capture the flag.)  It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that  masculinity has become a downplayed and unwelcome concept in modern society.
                                                                         

 


                       



                           
 



I would call out to my HoH brothers and entreat them to display the benefits of their masculinity in their relationships.  Healthy masculinity is thoughtful, balanced, kind, and courageous. These qualities, when nurtured by the thoughtful accentuation of a loving TiH make for a complete relationship dynamic that provides for the emotional needs of everybody under the roof.  Personally the way I see it, the onus falls upon me as the HoH to ensure that I not only be unapologetic in my healthy expressions of manhood... I must also do it right... I must be an example to two growing boys and show them that the way one carries oneself speaks volumes not just about themselves, but their families as well.  I want to teach my sons that being a real man isn't about being the flashiest or loudest, it's not about treating others poorly or walking with a "swagger" it's not about being boastful, it's not about having a self-centered attitude... Being a man is about confidence, poise, intelligence, grace, kindness, RESPONSIBILITY, and with a grace and thoughtfulness that speaks to the quality of person he is.
I will also admit that I do have certain hobbies and pass-times... I am an avid sports fan.... (love basketball and football)  I love reading, I love to cook. I also understand that as the head of my home, that sometimes these hobbies and interests that I have accrued over a lifetime, need to be put aside in order for my wife and children to benefit from my presence. Family time also seems to be an area where many modern families struggle in a variety of ways.  Just as surely as a child needs a mother, a child surely needs a father. Sadly,  one does not have to look very far in order to see the evidence displayed in homes where a father or father figure is not present. It really does break my heart to see children, but especially young men adrift and rudderless without the guidance, mentoring and a strong but compassionate voice of experience that helps guide and shape them.  There comes a time when we must put away the things that distract us, sacrifice our time, energy, and attention and provide a better product to the people that depend on us. 
                                                   
Now that we've discussed the responsibilities of men, there are a few other things I would like to say to the Media, to society, to our school systems and yes even to ladies everywhere... There are some things that many men do that, to put quite mildly, are ridiculous. Being inattentive to one's loved ones is obviously wrong. Some of the things I mentioned in paragraph one go beyond basic irritation at the media and society at large.  I recognize that the male sex does have particular challenges,  but I guess my question becomes: Why do we expect boys and men not to be boys and men? It even starts at school on the playground, and I know I've previously mentioned this, but why is it so wrong to play tag or cops and robbers?  Some would say that the trouble comes when boys stay boys and never become men.  Those people would be right.

In order to galvanize and develop healthy masculinity in boys and enrich them to the point of producing quality men, we must all play a roll.  Realistic expectations, firm guidance, and leadership, both male and female is a requirement for male children.  Jumping forward to the future, men must recognize the characteristics that make masculinity important and relevant.  These are some of the things that a man, (especially a man in a DD/TTWD relationship) must espouse on a daily basis.
- Integrity
-Intelligence
-Honor
-Discipline
-Fidelity
-Courageousness
-Experience
-Love
-Thoughtfulness
These things and many more are what defines how a man is perceived by not just the world, but his family as well. By being thoughtful, thorough, and tangible we not only better ourselves and our families, we improve the world around us as well.
                                                                                             

Her POV:

      
 Ward is without a doubt the finest man I have ever known. He is kind, he is sweet, he is considerate, he is empathetic and compassionate. He is strong, and he is unquestionably the leader of this family.

You will have heard me say before that he is possessing of quiet command. He is not loud, he is not boisterous, he is not vulgar. He doesn't have to be. The man only needs to walk into a room to garner attention. He exudes confidence and a certain very masculine magnetism.

He would, as the song says, walk on water, walk through fire, and literally give up his life to be all that he could. My Daddy is a man who does not need to sing his own praises (I'll do that for him), he proves in every thought, every deed, every word, ever action what kind of a man he is, and the great capacity of his heart.

He took a woman so broken, and he made me whole. He took two children with greater than average challenges, and he loved them in a way they have never, ever been loved by another man. He is teaching them about truth and integrity and honesty, and what a man's word means. Daddy is the greatest gift I have ever been given, and because the creator saw fit to put him in my life, I am able to give our children a gift of immeasurable value.

The ripples of my Daddy's strength and goodness will spread gently through the future in the actions of our sons, who learned what it means to be a man in the heart of this man I love with my all.

22 comments:

  1. All I can say is.....AMEN!!! Once again you eloquently write about what needs saying. Thank you.
    hugs abby

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for reading abby.

      It is important to us that we provide folks with real life, actual information that they find useful, informative and relevant.

      Delete
  2. Awesomely written. As we have and are raising 4 boys, I can't tell you how blessed I am that The Man is well a man. He's not a bully, macho or arrogant. He is faithful, honorable and decisive in his leadership. You are absolutely right. It sends me through the roof when women use their husbands as "straight" men, or reduce them to the status of their children. If we as women want men, then we need to encourage, allow them to be just that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Dana :)

      Thank you so much for reading! Support, unity and growth in our families is what it's all about!

      Delete
  3. Absolutely agree! Before I met Dragon, I thought men were all abusive. I lived in fear. He had to teach me what a real man is. Kind, gentile, giving, honest.

    A real man doesn't need to be a bully. He leads by example not force. I hope my daughters find real men. I hope my son grows up to be a real man. With so many negative role models in our society it is hard to guide them in the right direction.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Rose,

      I concur, The way a man walks, handles himself speaks volumes about how he will handle his family, and that is one of the most important things a man can ever accomplish.

      Delete
  4. Ward and June,

    This was amazing! It demonstrates the kind of character you both possess.

    Thank you both <3
    Hugs,
    mouse

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you mouse!

      June and I are honored to see you comment here!

      Delete
  5. Ward and June, this is such a great post and as always very well and eloquently written. I totally agree with you about how the media and advertising portray men. I know this is something that really grates Rick's nerves and it does mine too.

    Hugs,
    Roz

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Roz,

      Thank you for reading, it really is disgusting how the media portrays men and it does grate the nerves!

      Delete
  6. A very thoughtful post that I consider spot on. Thanks for sharing it with us. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for reading it Grace!

      Delete
  7. Replies
    1. Thank you for reading Blondie!

      I am just glad that I am not the only person with these thoughts in mind.

      Delete
  8. Yes all those qualities say strength of character. Aren't we lucky and blessed to have
    such masculine men who are strong with inner strength!!!

    much love
    sara

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Sara,

      It is a true blessing to lead my family and to be June's friend, lover, partner, man, and husband.

      Delete
  9. You guys are so awesome! This was such a great post, well written and all encompassing. There are so many important attributes that need to make a reemergence. I'm so glad you guys were able to find each other and strengthen not only your relationship but your family as a whole. Great role models.
    <3 Lily

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Lily!,

      A strong sense of family identity is important to us as is the all encompasing love that guides us!

      Delete

We love to hear your thoughts. Thanks for being part of our chosen family!