The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Men who believe in love

We need to develop more of them and we can

From the time they are young, most men learn to believe in power. Often they grow up defining themselves in terms of certain kinds of power, as the surrounding culture tells them to do. From an early age, they get the message: Be the strongest, the smartest, the richest, the hard workingest and what ever you do — win! The important questions are: Who's on top? Who's the best? Who won?

For boys, affiliative power — the power of love and belonging — tends to be neglected, devalued as unmanly and relegat ed to the realm of the female. Young boys are often punished by peers for showing affection and rewarded for expressing other types of power. I have seen 5-year-old boys on the playground ridiculed by their peers for displaying affection or emotion. The ultimate insult is to be called a "baby" or "girl" for behavior that is simply part of the human condition.

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March issue

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