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What is Masculinity, Really?

with

Johan Khalilian, Kris Wolfe, & Ryan Gunnarson

Part 2 of our conversation with 3 incredible men. If you missed our Part 1 of this conversation, you’re going to want to go back and listen to it. We dove into what it is like being a man in the culture of the Me, Too movement. How can we embrace women? How can we do a better job of listening and acknowledging the pain of sexual assault?

This week, we are SO incredibly excited to dive into another topic, the prevalent issue of masculinity in our culture. What does it REALLY mean to be a man? Can men be vulnerable? What masks are men sometimes living in? If we could better tackle these questions and seek to be the change in this area we can have SUCH richer and healthier relationships in our lives.

The 3 guys this week are amazing guy friends who we honor and respect so much. They are not afraid to get vulnerable, cry, admit that the like pink and pumpkin spice lattes, and have an immense amount of respect and honor towards women.

Johan Khallilan is an incredibly vulnerable and compelling motivational speaker. Kris Wolfe is an amazing author and founder of Good Guy swag. And Ryan Gunnarson is an actor and motivator with a heart for treating women well.

Here are some stats on masculinity:

-88% of all homicides are committed by men.

-Men in the US are 6 times more likely to commit suicide then someone else

-All mass shooters since 1982 other than 2 have been male and white

-For boys SUICIDE is the most leading cause of death

-Between ages 20-24 there is 7x more likely chance  for suicide in young men than young women

-Men in their 50s and 60s are reported of having little to NO close relationships

What are some of the struggles you face or masks you wear as men?

"My life was a masquerade ball" - Ryan Gunnarson

  • Communication can be difficult. Ryan opens up that in his family communication was not a a solid example. He had to learn how to be a man that can communicate and communicate vulnerably which was intimating.
  • The need to perform to find worth. Convincing others that they are way more awesome in order to hide how they really felt.
  • Kris brings up that the color "blue" being for boys and "pink" for girls, was all a marketing scheme. Before, BLUE was actually the most accepted color for boys because of the Virgin Mary.
  • Johan brings up that there are certain areas in his life he shows up courageously, and certain areas where he is a complete coward. Certain areas he is really confident, and others where he is very insecure. The mask for him is letting himself ONLY be defined by the positive things he shows up as.
  • Whatever you are going to be praised for, THAT is the mask.

What about men going out and pursuing women? What about rejection?

  • Is there a line between pursuing and assaulting? Yes, girls want to be pursued, no they do NOT want to be physically assaulted.
  • There is a release to be had when you can say "no matter what the outcome is, I am submitting it to God. It does not affect my identity."
  • Live FROM not FOR. We should live From our identity in Christ, versus living FOR our identity. We already have what we need.
  • The question to ask is "is God who He says He is? Is He good?" If the answer is YES, then we can be patient even in the rejections trusting in Him.

What are some of the ways you see Christian men misusing their power over women in relationships?

  • Men sometimes expect Christian women to be perfect, and fit into a perfect box of what a "christian girl" should look like.
  • Johan says "the #1 way Christian men are misusing their power is that they are not showing UP in power. They are showing up checked out and buying into cultural ideals of what it means to be a man."
  • If Jesus is the ultimate picture of what it means to be a man, how are we showing up in THESE ways? In ways that are subversive, calling out the lies of culture, crying over the pain in the world, flipping over tables where there is injustice?
  • We loose our essence when we try to lean only on ONE end of who we really are.

What is your last nugget for MEN in what they can do in relationships?

  • Kris says, "Be willing to be rejected or accepted for who you truly are. Walk away confidently when you are being rejected when you are truly living from who you really are."
  • Ryan says, "We need to deal with the pain. That is the only way to move forward. There is a lot of pain that is affecting everything we do whether we know it or not. GO to a therapist, talk to a friend, or the Father in the sky."
  • Johan says, "Put your best foot forward, yes. But sometimes that phrase is connected to only showing the BEST version of yourself. What you want to see in dating is the WORST of them. Because you want to ask yourself if you want to live the rest of your life with THAT person. If you cannot love this person through the difficult ugly, torrential moments, walk away."

RESOURCES

We Are Man Enough series wearemanenough.com

Justin Baldoni Ted Talk “I am done being man enough”

Lewis Howes book, The Masks of Masculinity

Jonathan Grant Book, Divine Sex

Netflix Documentary “The Mask You Live In

Kris Wolfe: @kriswolfe and @goodguyswag on instagram

Johan is @johanspeaks

Ryan is @sirgunnerson and @thatonemarriedcouple

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