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Where are the warriors?

This past weekend, 15 of us guys were sitting around the table at man-night after a hard week in the trenches living lives where our identity as men is often under attack.   One of the guys had just lost his job of 17 years. He was the odd man out in a corporate hierarchy of women. And ot…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
This past weekend, 15 of us guys were sitting around the table at man-night after a hard week in the trenches living lives where our identity as men is often under attack.
One of the guys had just lost his job of 17 years. He was the odd man out in a corporate hierarchy of women. And others of us had been in ego-bruising battles that week.
So we were cutting loose by playing Texas Hold-em with a $20 stake. The place was starting to warm up as we cracked jokes and let down our guard.
Then a strange and awkward thing happened. A guy arrived late to the party with his wife trailing along behind him. Suddenly the tension level shot up. Had this guy not gotten the memo? The #1 rule of man-night is, “no women allowed.”
It’s what we guys instinctively do when, as boys, we build tree forts and post “no girls” signs on them. We need a safe place to rediscover ourselves. Life throws us into a lot of ambiguous situations. We’re hard-wired to provide and protect. But just look at today’s headlines: As doctors, we’re subjected to malpractice suits, as workers we face a spiraling unemployment rate, and as as warriors we’re hauled up on charges that we were too mean to the enemy when we knew that he had plans to kill our women and children.
We’ve sent our warriors packing and have exposed our backsides to an implacable and patient enemy who waits for his opportunity to pick us off.
Our hyper-sensitive metro-sexual culture is as confusing a place for young warriors as any battlefield.  And for those of us who understand the spiritual battle we find ourselves in, we know that we face an enemy whose fundamental motive is to steal and destroy the life of freedom God gives us.  We know we’re called to fight him and that we need warriors. The hard-wiring of a man to provide and protect is something to be celebrated in a sea of feminization.
Eventually, someone re-explained the rules of man-night to the guy and his wife. They excused themselves from our gathering and we let out a collective sigh of relief. The tension in the place dissipated, the sense of safety returned. It was a place to feel OK as a man again.
I hope you men reading this have got places like that in your lives. And I hope you women appreciate the importance of it. God built that hard-wiring into us men for a reason.

Comments (14)

  • We know some young marrieds who won’t go anywhere without their wives. Even when it was made clear that it was a man’s night. They just don’t get it. Can you imagine men tagging along to a women’s night?

  • I am a full supporter of Man Night, Man Hike, and other such events. I just wish the women’s ministry types would get on board too. Don’t get me wrong–I like to knit and talk about my feelings with a group of other women sometimes.

    But how about Women’s Fishing Night? Woman Hike? Women’s Shooting Night? I want a night where I can catch and gut a fish, but not feel bad about the squeeling noises I make while I gut it…you know? I hiking trip that unapologetically ends with a mattress. Adventure with a few more comforts.

    What do you say ladies…Woman Hike ’10? We’ve got a hut system where you can sleep comfortably with a bathroom and hot meals. But it’s a great adventurous trek and we can hike slowly…Any takers?

  • Hey, Kathy – it happened here!! The ladies at my church had a singalong to the movie Mamma Mia night just for fun and one of the women brought a man along – only the women didn’t kick him out like they should have done! Just too kind methinks!

    This reminds me of the Mark Gungor stuff on a Tale of Two Brains – catch it on Youtube if you have never seen it. Men and women are just wired differently – you have to have spaces to remember which one you are in this sexless culture “where the men like to be men………and so do the women!”

    But yeah, Jen – how come when the men have breakfast meetings they eat egg, bacon, the full works – when the women did it, it was muesli!! I want the fry up too!! I want to get out there and have FUN being a woman with other women. I don’t knit, I don’t sew, and I want some action not just emotional chat! I would hike with you any day……..shame I am on another continent! I like the way you think, lady!

  • Man night sounds a lot of fun. I’d love to be invited sometime. Even though I live all the way in Tucker, I’d make the trip.

  • I ‘get it’ and think it’s great to have a ‘man’s night’, and I also agree there are a lot of women who want more than knitting, sewing, and discussions about drapes at their woman’s night. (Summit Adventure who I used to work for has ‘women only’ trips for backpacking, rock-climbing….)

    You lost me a little bit though when you gave your example of how men need safe places and referred to some headlines as proof of that need. I guess if the headlines were unique to ‘men’ I would have tracked a little easier with the concept. But since the first two of your three headlines equally apply to women.

    ( 1. As doctors, we’re subjected to malpractice suits,
    2. as workers we face a spiraling unemployment rate….),

    well, I guess it didn’t seem to make as strong a point as to the unique needs of men.

    However, I do affirm with you that I actually think men, even more than women, do need those safe ‘one gender only’ places to regroup at due to the nature of our culture, and due to the fact that women do seem to ‘connect’ easier and more naturally.

  • Melinda,

    fair point – women need a safe place too. I join your argument – women’s gender-specific issues are at least as great as those of men. Society’s pressures hit them in the gut too. There’s something about relating to those of our same gender – they better understand us and we can feel safer with them.

  • Thanks for posting something that will never be popular with the “God as she” crowd clamoring for attention.

    Without being cynical, Christian women have often wanted it all and got just what they wanted. Then there are the complaints.

    Emasculated men stay that way only so long.

    Because we are created in His image.

    Great women of God get that.

  • Hey Butch, don’t tar all of us “Christian women” with the same brush!!! I have never been a woman who “wanted it all.” And we women are created in His image too ya know! LOL :)))

    I am a firm believer in the need for men to be men and women to be women – put them together and you have the image of God. You need both sides to complete the picture. Cross over the lines in either direction and the image gets blurred.

    God made us for loving interdependence because it reflects the loving interdependence within the Trinity. Great plan!

  • So, go disciple every man into a warrior that you can … and I’ll be happy to stay away from *man night* poker games! Our hearts YEARN for a man to be a man, to be crazy for God, to take the lead and be all that God intended him to be.

    That takes honest, safe community for a man just like women need. Go do it – yes, yes, yes!

    PS – Jen, I’m all for a woman’s hike! Sounds much more interesting than the typical woman’s conference…

  • Jen, why don’t we combine the women’s hike with a Beauty From Ashes weekend. That would be the best combo of Momma Mia and outdoor bonding! Let me know.

    And way to Carol, we need our down time true, but we all have use a united front in order to win the battle.

    Patti Blakley

  • I’m a full supporter of man night also, but there does have to be some balance. Some men like to use the excuse to hang out with their guy friends all the time and neglect their wives. I know I’ve been left out on all the fun many a times in the name of male bonding. It hurts and it sucks. I want a husband who has those kind of relationships and times he needs with the guys, but who will also occasionally sacrafice the bravado in order to enjoy some adventure with his wife too. I think there should be room for both.

  • lotta comments when someone brings up the genders.lol. had a woman friend wonder why she couldnt come to my friends paintball bachelor party in may. you think there might be some disconnect there? thanks seth for your heart.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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