to be a man

In recent days New Zealanders have been shaken by the sudden death of 48 year old TV presenter Greg Boyed. His family reported that he had been suffering depression.

The tragedy of Greg’s death has caused a welcome and serious media focus on the suffering and isolation that many men experience. The pressure to be strong and to provide weighs heavily on men who might have a mate to drink a beer with but no one to talk with honestly and openly about the realities of life.

Too many men who have mates, colleagues and acquaintances feel that they have no real friends.

It is significant that in the first verses of the Bible God says “it is not good that man be alone”. But many men feel that they are alone not realising that it is precisely their weakness, need, struggle and failure that gives the capacity for real friendship.

People who share their successes and achievements are only acquaintances. When vulnerability is shared friendship becomes possible.

I encourage you to take a moment to read a piece written by a friend of mine. Barry Taylor is internationally renowned as having a sound experience and understanding of the challenges that men face and how to live healthily as a man.

Read Barry’s reflection (published today on Stuff NZ) at this link.

3 Responses to "to be a man"
  1. Very interesting article by Barry Taylor and certainly cause for reflection. Is their a parallel between the rise of the women’s movement and the erosion of traditional family values I wonder? I raised my sons to be protectors and providers as I was myself raised, in doing so have I set them up to fail in this fast paced changing modern world? I pray about this more than anything else currently, predominantly with the welfare of my grandchildren in mind. So far it seems to be working. But sadly this is not a viable option for so many in our society.

  2. Hi Wayne, there is no evidence of a correlation between the rise of the women’s movement and the erosion of “traditional” family values. You are correct that this is a fast paced changing world. Compared to other significant evolvement of societies, e.g industrial revolution, technological and societal change over the past fifty years has been so rapid that human ability to adapt has been severely compromised. So raising your sons to be protectors and provider hasn’t set them up with failure. The challenge is not to throw out those roles but to redefine them, as they have been redefined over the centuries, to make them relevant for living in 2018.

  3. Great piece John. It’s a societal tragedy that men can’t more freely discuss things of the heart at this level of truth. I know myself I find it hard to be totally honest and I would think I am at better end of this spectrum. We have a ways to go don’t we but I suspect it starts with inviting the Lord in and not keeping him out

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