First off, I know many of you may not be Christians, or Disciples of Christ, or believers or whatever we want to call it. This is not a conversion post, just my reflections on a pretty earth shattering experience that I shared in this weekend.
I hosted a mens retreat for a few of my old college buddies, we had gotten together all 5 of us once since college, but that was with our wives and kids. This retreat, was different. This was a men only no girls allowed weekend.
Why? There are certain things that men won’t talk about in public, unless with a trusted group of friends. This is what we tried to setup, a gathering of old friends who could hold each other accountable, who could support and encourage each other. Who could tell each other what we were doing wrong.
These guys and I are all followers of Jesus Christ, we all went to college for training to be in the ministry. Three of us have gone on from there to seminary, two finished and are ordained pastors, the other two are youth ministry folks. And then there is me. The IT nerd. Yeah, what happened to me right? Well that’s another post.
So we got together and did some manly stuff, watched The Dark Knight, target shot with a shotgun, watched old college videos of ourselves, and told jokes etc. We stayed up till 4am talking, tho we admitted that we hadn’t seen midnight for many months other than NYE.
But the kicker was found in what we shared, that is, the truth about what was going on with our marriages, jobs, emotions, struggles, etc. And there were a couple of common threads going through all of our lives.
- Depression us or our spouse
- Men/Women differences in marriage (Cannot share specifics due to confidentiality)
- Mild to no effect to us from the Economy (Gas prices hurt us worse)
- Longing for companionship from old friends
- Tight budgets
- All but one of us could loose some weight
This list may not seem earth shattering to you. And on the surface it’s not, but the shock was in the details of the similarities, especially of the struggles in marriage. As Christian men we each had studied and prepared to be married, and we each love our wives. But there are just some major fundamental problems between men and women. The four of us who are married find ourselves struggling with the exact same scenario. (Flipped roles for the Stay-home-dad)
How come we didn’t know this? If the ratio holds that in a group of five guys, four of which are married, there exists this much similarity in the struggles, then there are ton of men women struggling in the same way. Once out in the open and we started talking about this we realized the encouragement it was to know that we weren’t alone. Why don’t we talk about this stuff more? Could we cut down the quantity of divorces if we men shared the truth with each-other more often? Fear could prevent this I know. But freedom from fear is a gift God promises to us.
Truth be told.
Truth was told this weekend, I pray that we would tell more truth more often.