Dear Christian Men,
This letter is for you.
Whether you have come into my life already or will in the future. Whether I count you as a really great friend or will never meet you. Whether you're a country music listener or an avid alternative music fan. Whether you pour over books or don't even pick them up if they aren't school assignments. Whether you get to things five minutes early or ten minutes late.
This letter is for you.
Saint John Paul II once said, "Precisely on the level of this language [of the body], man and woman reciprocally express themselves in the fullest and most profound way possible to them by the corporeal dimension of masculinity and femininity. Man and woman express themselves in the measure of the whole truth of the human person.” (TOB Aug. 22, 1984).
You guys are awesome. You can grow a beard (huge fan), have great cologne that smells amazing hours after you put it on, and in general have very comfy shoe options for formal events. Which I hugely envy.
In all sincerity, thank you. Thank you for the times where you've let me truly appreciate my own sense of femininity by honoring who I am as a woman. For little things, like holding the door for me, walking me to my car after a late night shift or that night class, or being a great lead in swing dancing.
And for the bigger things, like leading me spiritually, challenging my views and urging me to be a better person. For inspiring me to be a better Christian by your example of loving the Lord.
American author Norman Mailer once said, "Because there is very little honor left in American life, there is a built-in tendency to destroy masculinity in American men."
He's right. And I'm sorry.
I'm sorry for all the times that I've fallen back on the old slams of "girls rule, boys drool." Yep, those were mature times. I'm sorry for the culture that we live in. I'm sorry for the struggle you have to go through each day of your life, bombarded by a hyper-sexualized society that uses the objectification of women as a means of advertisement.
For the times where I've used you for my own emotional benefit. For nailing on you for dealing with visual chastity while indulging in emotional lusting all day without you knowing. For trying on your last name before even finding out your favorite thing to eat for dinner, your best memory, your passions and desires for life and for the Lord.
For the days where treating you as a brother in Christ fell to the wayside in favor of treating you as a potential...for valuing you for what you could do for me. For the times when I've made the interactions between us a "me vs. them" instead of a journey towards Christ together.
And, on the flip side, for putting you ahead of God and idolizing what I thought would make the "perfect" man and projecting those dreams onto you.
"Relieved of moral pretense and stripped of folk costumes, the raw masculinity that all men know in their gut has to do with being good at being a man within a small, embattled gang of men struggling to survive" (Jack Donovan)
Thank you for the struggle.
A striving sister in Christ