Imagine you are in a room and two different type of men walk in. One is encouraging, inspiring and vulnerable. He’s not just there physically, but he has shown up emotionally as well. He’s connected to those around him. And because he shows up this way, others will feed off that and grow. He’s what I call a life-giving man. But the other man is there only physically, not emotionally. He’s not connected to those around him. He tends to be critical, lives in fear, and is often quick to anger or be impatient. He’s someone who sucks the life out of those around him…the total opposite of a life-giving man.
In this episode I share briefly this idea of life-giving man which I have written about extensively, but I also dive into 3 important messages that life-giving men communicate to those around them. In this episode I talk a lot about the father/son relationship, but just because you may not have a son, there are probably other men in your life that need you to be a life-giver. And if you are woman listening to this episode, then I talk about the importance of having this insight into the men in your life.
In my book What it Means to be a Man, I quote a passage from Richard Rohr’s book, The Wild Man’s Journey: Reflections on Male Spirituality. In this quote you get an essence of these two very different men.
“When a father tells a child that he can do something, he can do it. I don’t know why that is, except to say that there is some mysterious energy that passes from the male to his children. It is some sort of creative energy that can make things be when they are not, and without which things cannot come to be. When male energy is absent, creation does not happen, either in the human soul or in the world. Nurturance happens, support and love perhaps, but not that new ‘creation out of nothing’ that is the unique prerogative associated with the masculine side of God…Without the father’s energy, there is a void, an emptiness in the soul which nothing but that kind of energy can fill. I have seen it in too many people, men especially. It is a hollow yearning that feeds on praise incessantly and is never satisfied. It is a black hole that sucks in reward after reward and is never brightened by it. It becomes a nesting place of demons–of self-doubt, fear, mistrust, cynicism, and rage. And it becomes the place from which those demons fly out to devour others.”
In this episode we explore:
- what a life-giving man is and isn’t.
- the three questions that a father “needs” to communicate to his son according to Larry Crabb in his book The Silence of Adam.
- how men can use those three questions to be life-givers to those around them.
- how to look for opportunities to be a life-giving man in your relationships whether in marriage, parenting, the work place, etc.
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The Wild Man’s Journey: Reflections on Male Spirituality by Richard Rohr and Joseph Markos