“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” —Proverbs 27:17 ESV
Proverbs is a book of the Bible that contains words of wisdom that have held up for centuries. Proverbs 27:17 always stuck with me and was an inspiration for this blog.
If we took a 10,000-foot view of society over the last few decades, it would be safe to say that we have been spiraling downward. Masculinity has been painted as toxic, chivalry is often seen as disrespectful, and the notion of “mansplaining” just further degrades the role of men in our culture. Can men do anything right? As Proverbs 27:17 implies, we need men today who will sharpen each other’s strengths and dull each other’s weaknesses rather than bring each other down.
Unfortunately, competitiveness, social pressure, and the alpha-dog mentality lead us to become at odds with one another. This can cause us to be focused on others' successes and our own shortcomings. When this happens, our own mental health takes a back seat. I’m fully aware that encouraging men to focus on their own mental well-being, boost each other up, and thus benefit society, is a big ask, but it is essential.
This blog is meant to be a place where men and fathers can go to get a boost, recharge their batteries, or get some tips to help with various mental health issues or parenting challenges. To that end, I intend to include topics such as: mental health issues for the modern man; the importance of men in the family and the community; fathers' post-partum mental illness' and other social issues men face throughout the lifespan. There are very few resources available for men and fathers and I am hopeful that together we can make a change.
Until we meet again, I’d ask you to keep a couple of things in mind:
- All men are going through it. What is “it?” Well, “it” is different for everyone. Divorce, relationship stress, struggles with the kids, loneliness, depression, anxiety, suicide, too much work, no job at all—"it" can be anything. We each have some sort of weight that is pulling us down. Remember to be thoughtful of this when you are out in society and know that you are not alone.
- Not all men are created equal. I don’t mean this in terms of having equal rights. I mean that we all have strengths and weaknesses but there isn’t always balance between the two that leaves us feeling competent or worthy. In 1 Corinthians it reads, “All of them will take care of one another. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it. If one part is honored, every part shares in its joy." (v. 25-26) These verses refer to the relationships of those who follow Christ, but the oneness of manhood is also relevant here: Some of us are strong, others are weak; some have intelligence, others struggle with the complexities of life. Remember to help everyone you come across to genuinely feel their worth.
Men, we are iron. Let’s sharpen each other up.