Hang Em High


Iconic Posters from My Past

I remember several popular posters from my Christ-less days of middle and high school. First was the iconic (1976) Farrah Fawcett poster so many of my middle school buddies proudly displayed, which back then was a gateway into pornography even though she was wearing a full one piece bathing suit!
        Then there was the classic overweight, shirtless man, sitting on a keg of beer with the caption, “No Pain. No Pain.”
        I loved that one!
        But my favorite was the desperate 1970’s poster of a cat, suspended in mid-air, while hanging on for dear life captioned, “Hang in there, Baby!”
        I laugh whenever I remember it.

Hang in there Man

Recently I’ve encountered men who remind me of that desperate cat. But this time I’m not laughing. Some are hanging onto their marriages by a thread, the result of secret sins discovered. Others are battling to recover reputations destroyed by immoral behaviors. More are fighting to recover the respect they lost from an integrity breach. While several are barely hanging onto a child who is in rebellion.
        Secrets are serpents. Darkness destroys.
        Tragically, almost all of these suffered alone in darknesses they created. It didn’t have to be that way.
        There are many organizations to help men barely hanging on if men would simply ask. Listen to the hundreds of experts we’ve interviewed on the Men in the Arena Podcast such as Dr. Doug Weiss and Heart to Heart Counseling Center, Steve Etner at Extreme Mind Makeover, Jerrad Lopes at Dad Tired, Regi Campbell with Radical Mentoring, and many more.
        But it all starts with confessing that you’re barely hanging on.

Catholics—1 Protestants—0
Now that I’ve got our attention let me speak some truth into our stubborn man brains. One thing I appreciate about devout Catholic men is their willingness to confess their sins to a complete stranger—in this case a priest. While you may or may not agree with the medium, you must appreciate their willingness to expose darkness following James’ admission in James 5:16 “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.”
        Here’s what I have practiced for years.
        It is humbling.
        It is helpful.
        It is healthy.
        It is hard.

Of Clotheslines and Men

In our garage stretches a clothesline from one end to the other. Shanna hangs delicate wet clothes to dry. She hangs them in the air. And walks away.
        Find a man you know, love, and trust—a brother who, as friend David Dusek says, has your six.
        Do this.
        Prepare him ahead of time that you need to share something confidential. Then share your darkness. Hang it to dry like on a clothesline. Spit the darkness out. Let it hang there in the air. Shut up and let him process your confession. Wait for it. Wait for it.
        Congratulations brother. Your darkness is now in the light. You are on your way towards your best version in Christ.

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