Thursday, March 27, 2014

Men Need to Talk, Too

ADVERTISING has a lot to answer for. According to a recent Australian advertisement men don’t need to talk with words. As a person with a stake in the mental health of Christians, and even those yet to believe and looking to the church for help, I’m appalled. There seems to be this massive movement in secular life – and the Media is its champion – that is bent horribly in the direction of deceiving the hands that feed it.
Besides acceding to a rebellion – a revolution against the powers that be – a state of anarchy against the dogs of this silent, spiritual war – we have a role to make a noise; in this case, for men.
Men need to talk, too. Men need to talk with other men; about significant matters, and especially about matters of life and death. Here are some Australian statistics to ponder:
“Of all deaths classified as suicide in 2010, over three-quarters (77%) were males (1,814), making suicide the 10th leading cause of death for males. Male suicide occurs at a much higher rate than that for females.” [1]
Let these statistics sink in a little.
Much of the time men will suicide because they felt they had nobody to listen to them; they felt isolated and boxed in without options. Not many people will suicide easily. For most it’s the last resort. It comes after a long struggle in a foreign world.
But this isn’t just about suicide. Many men are sick of the silly macho stereotypes that label men a tough bunch without the need to connect meaningfully with other men. Whilst this is true, there will always be a great number of men prepared to believe the lie that they don’t need to ‘talk with words’.
If we have problems we can’t sort ourselves, and many are those in this twisted life, we need to talk with words – whether we are men or women or children; of all ages.
Our society faces a great crisis when it promotes that men don’t need to talk with words. Men do need to talk with words, especially to other men, about their irreconcilable problems – for we all have irreconcilable problems. How else are we to come to an efficient acceptance of those things we cannot change?
Men need to speak because they have something worthy to say. As everyone has something worthy to say, about the matters of truth occurring deeper within them, we must, as a society, open the space for such crucial dialogue.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.

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