Men Not Behaving Badly

Lately, as I’ve come through the past few years producing Among Women, and the last few months preparing the manuscript for Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious, I’ve done a lot of thinking, writing, and speaking, about women and their inherent dignity, gifts, and mission… call it a job hazard. The flip side is that while I’ve thought so much about the gifts and virtues of womanhood, I’ve really come to appreciate the men in my life all the more. And I’ve been on the look out for those moments when I see men doing good things, even great things for others, and for God.

I know a lot of men miss the mark, as do women, in living out the call to holiness. I agree with the Pope’s and Cardinal Donald Wuerl’s assessment, on the eve of the Year of Faith, that we’ve got to turn the tide on the “tsunami of secularism” that has flooded into our western world, and send out the life boats in terms of the new evangelization. I expect this blog to be busy with its own observation of the Year of Faith, too, but I digress.

Lately, I’ve taken to noticing little glimmers of the greatness of masculinity, in some of the music that is popular at the moment. Songs about men stepping up, taking a stand, especially for women and families and friends. I’m not commenting or making judgments on the lives of these singer-songwriters or trying to lift them up as role models. I can’t speak to that as I don’t follow the lives of these stars or the tabloids. I’m just saying these songs — their lyrics — are resonating at the moment with many people, including myself. Let’s look for the good, the true, and the beautiful where we can find it, and let’s use it as a starting point for sharing our faith with others.

The new album from Mumford and Sons is making a lot of noise with the twenty-somethings I know. Some are saying this song “I Will Wait” is a call to chastity before marriage, (and I would add, within marriage when you get right down to it, though in a different form in terms of self-mastery and fidelity)… but you can decide. Here are some of the lyrics:

Now I’ll be bold
As well as strong
And use my head alongside my heart
So tame my flesh
And fix my eyes
A tethered mind freed from the lies

And I’ll kneel down
Wait for now
I’ll kneel down
Know my ground

Raise my hands
Paint my spirit gold
And bow my head
Keep my heart slow

‘Cause I will wait I will wait for you
And I will wait I will wait for you
And I will wait I will wait for you
And I will wait I will wait for you


Here’s a song that really speaks to that line of scripture from John’s gospel (Jn 15:13) … Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. The singer, Keith Urban contemplates if he could really do that, and concludes that for the love of his life, he  thinks he could but he has’t been tested yet. The song lyrics of “For You” are very powerful in any setting, but this video is filmed in a military setting… in a war zone where lives are at stake every day… as it was one of the songs from the film, Act of Valor. That may not be to your taste, but the life of our military is certainly one of those situations that brings that scripture to light. Here are some of the lyrics:

All I saw was smoke and fire
I didn’t feel a thing
But suddenly I was rising higher
And I felt like I just made
The biggest mistake
When I thought about my unborn child
When I thought about my wife
And the answer rang out clear
From somewhere up above
No greater gift has man
Than to lay down his life for love

And I wonder, would I give my life
Could I make that sacrifice
If it came down to it
Could I take the bullet, I would
Yes I would, for you

I’m a music lover. I pay attention to song lyrics that move people toward doing the good and the right things, even if the content of the songs does not directly speak to the cause of Christ. Hats off to what these men are singing about. I pray they will live it and inspire other men to seek the higher things for the greater good.

I’d love to know what songs speak well of men, and call them to greatness, that you could name.

1 comment on “Men Not Behaving Badly

  1. bego says:

    beautiful! those are lovely songs. it’s hard to examine femininity in isolation. without its counterpart, masculinity, it doesn’t make sense. the whole complementarity thing 🙂

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