Band of Brothers

24 Jun

Bible study aficionado Beth Moore talks about the freedoms that come with a life in Christ. “Breaking free” she coins it. I want to talk about the freedoms that come not only with a life in Christ but a life in companionship with other Christians who genuinely reside in Christ. Specifically, I want to address what it is like to be in relationship (as a woman) with Godly men. I sum it up in one word: “Free.”

For most of my life the opposite sex has represented rough terrain for me. I adored my father, so I’ve always liked men and frankly, I sometimes identify more with men than with women. But I have also carried a certain hyper-vigilance towards men – or at least certain kinds of men – carried over from the past. The conditioned belief is that something will go terribly wrong if I become vulnerable to a man. I can’t necessarily tell you what – but I can tell you something will. So it is better to not get close to men other than those you don’t care about anyway. 

For me, stepping into a Christian community heals and transforms this distortion beyond verbalization, even though it is sometimes still scary. Jesus preached a new way for the sexes to exist with one another; in respect and equality and most important, in unity towards God. Jesus paved the way for I-thou relationships between the sexes vs. I-it relationships, the latter so common when it comes to gender objectification and seduction and betrayal. 

This has helped me enter a new world where I don’t pick up danger on my radar – at least not in the circles I’ve been welcomed into. Being around men who are so solid – so clean in their boundaries and so committed to God and their families – I am beginning to realize – nothing bad is going to happen. At first this is almost confusing and disorienting – but then a HUGE RELIEF.

While this may sound utterly ridiculous to someone who has never had their boundaries violated, it is the ultimate freedom to know that one can be a part of things and that nothing dark or secret or seductive is going to happen. It allows for spontaneity and exuberance and even a healthy vitality often associated with sensuality. In a nutshell, it allows one the safety of a child. In this, I am finding the love and support of a band of brothers vs. a pack of wolves. From this center, I can find me, I can find God and maybe in my own time a partner who first and foremost is my friend.

How I am learning from this group of men; by how they treat women and how they treat me. Words can barely express my gratitude. They are a special brand of brothers made up of some very good men.

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