Grandpa used to tell me that there were 2 types of hats: “winter” hats and “summer” hats. Winter hats had cloth all around them; summer ones had the mesh. I thought he was making it up. Sure enough these are universal terms…leave it to me to question the wisdom.
There are more than just 2 types of course. Cowboy hats (straw for the spring/summer; felt for fall/winter; palm leaf for a Kenny Chesney concert); stocking hats; welders caps; pirate hats…the list could go on and on. The hat fits the job being done. What hat you have on is important.
“You are a man of many hats” so the saying goes and nothing is more true of men.
This came across my twitter feed minutes ago.
Trust me, I understand that women have the same deal going. The job description of a Mom is endless and often times overbearing. What hats women wear are too numerous to count. But here in lies the difference, women hats are all viewed the same. If they are changing the oil in the car; it is viewed in a caring and nurturing manner. If they are changing a diaper; it is viewed in a caring and nurturing manner. A woman, regardless of whether they have children or not, are viewed the same way.
Men on the other hand are not.
In a recent study, two groups of people were given a list of the same traits (i.e. “caring”; “aggressive”; “confident”). One group labeled the traits ‘positive’ and ‘negative’. The other group was asked to rate how much of the trait was shown in men, women, mom’s, and dad’s. Two conclusions were revealed:
- Men had the most negative traits attached to them in the study.
- The deviation between men and dad’s was far greater than that between Mom and woman.
So men are bad and father’s are good? At least that is how this study concludes people’s views. It’s like trying to wear two hat’s though.
To be a father is to be a man.
Wounded father’s raise wounded men as John Eldredge’s book Wild at Heart reminds us.
“Every boy, in his journey to become a man, takes an arrow in the center of his heart, in the place of his strength. Because the wound is rarely discussed and even more rarely healed, every man carries a wound. And the wound is nearly always given by his father.” (62)
If the gap in how men and father’s are viewed widens, then fatherhood will become more like motherhood. Let me explain. In his book, No More Christian Nice Guy, Paul Coughlin conducts a similar experiment with his readers. Two columns of traits are given and asked which ones apply to Jesus. The exercise is to show how Jesus is portrayed as a meek and mild…dare to be said “feminized” man. But a case study of Jesus full identity would lead another direction to a dangerous and confrontational Savior. The same has been done for Dad’s at Church and in Society.
This is why in David Morrow’s words: “Men Hate Going to Church”. Churches knock all the danger, excitement, and passion out of the Gospel to keep it safe and grounded.
One of the worst things that can happen to Fatherhood would be to lose the very meaning of being a man. Unifying the two, fatherhood and manhood, is the only way to raise a family. Healthy women/wives/mothers; healthy sons; and healthy daughters. Hat’s off to the men leading families with their heart!
Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent?
Who may live on your holy mountain?
The one whose walk is blameless,
who does what is righteous,
who speaks the truth from their heart;
whose tongue utters no slander,
who does no wrong to a neighbor,
and casts no slur on others;
who despises a vile person
but honors those who fear the Lord;
who keeps an oath even when it hurts,
and does not change their mind;
who lends money to the poor without interest;
who does not accept a bribe against the innocent.
Whoever does these things will never be shaken. (Psalm 15)