Machetes clash, spears make their airborne curves, and gleaming bodies crash to the ground. Yells ring across the valley as streams of men rush in from both escarpments. They are at it again, the display of might that determines to whom a whole village will pay allegiance at the setting of the sun: so fight they must. Skill with the spear and strength to endure strain is what wins out. The victors march home in triumph; they march to ululations of waiting women and children. Tales of valor have, by this time been stored up for the future ears of grandchildren. Such, was a man’s life.

Times have changed and war no longer is as the days of old knew it. It no longer calls for heavily muscled arms but a swift mind and an intelligent mind. Not the kind of intelligence that guesses the path of a flying javelin or that of an upheld machete but one that can read screens and look out for lurking land-mines. The bigger change has been easy to notice but not the subtle shift that has come along too.

Relationships are no longer as they were; at least in the foundational sense. Winning a sword fight or a wrestling match might get one somewhere but emotional connection and support carries the day. We no longer serve a deity who is all about deeds and animal sacrifice. The Lord, our Father, asks us to come to Him with a broken spirit and a contrite heart.

Society has shaped us men to be macho – tough people who go through life without a flinch. What with the circumcision rites where one stares at a gleaming blade and when one swipe is done, no sign of a tear is expected. We have been socialized to be providers, protectors and heads of homes. So much lies on our shoulders but as things change we have to learn to change too. Because some of us are not embracing this, or maybe don’t know how to, emancipation of women is driving us to a corner.

Our ladies are getting good jobs alongside us and as some say, are performing better. They have come together to form support networks and for the most part, are well-meaning. I wouldn’t want to touch on the other extreme.

God has called men to be priests of their households, to love their wives as Christ loves the church. To effectively carry out God’s will, we have to surrender to Him. This means, slacking the tight cord of our kites of pride so the kite may come down and His glory soars instead. We must learn to be vulnerable.

Being weak in God we are made strong. We become men after God’s own heart. We get to know that there is nothing that could ever vanquish us because we are hidden in Him who holds the universe. By holding onto a machismo spirit, we uphold the very pride that God detests.

I desire a society where men are free to open up to each other, to help one another through the challenges that are there to be faced each day; be it the struggle with sexuality, inferiority in relationships, inability to do whatever activities well – we need each other. We need to lean and learn from each other so that we are men of integrity and those who are able to uphold the dignity of everyone entrusted to our care and be instruments of Godly leadership.


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