To every honourable man… “Thank you”

Recently, in the middle of a crazy situation involving sexual abuse, it struck me how blessed I am in our marriage. I told Tim that. Again. Our marriage isn’t not perfect, and we’ve had moments of ‘gasping for air’, so to speak, just to get through. Times it felt like we wouldn’t make it. But, thank God for grace, determination, forgiveness and the kind of love that fights through when feelings are weak and life is hard. And thank God Tim is so respectful. I’m blessed.

I’m blessed that with all the sexual perversions I see, that I can still look Tim full in the face and think, “What a sexy man of God!” (And I love his beard!) I add the ‘sexy’ part, not flippantly or even sensually, but because I truly am blessed that God has protected that ‘appeal’ in spite of all the sexual corruption I encounter when supporting victims. That is a real gift, because God intended sex to be a wonderful part of marriage, and I’ve heard of people becoming asexual when working closely with this kind of thing, or becoming so repulsed that it wrecks their marriage. So I am thankful that Tim is every bit as appealing to me today as he was 24 years ago when we made our vows.

The other thing that struck me, though, is that I see men as generally good-hearted, respectful and kind. A compliment gets a thank you. And a man who holds the door open also gets a thank you. There are gentleman in this world, who remember chivalry, and they deserve my respect and appreciation. (I also understand why some men are hesitant to hold the door). Even in my teens, a rebel among other things, I appreciated a sincere compliment. (That said, when compliments were sexualized, I responded with the lift of a finger. Just being honest.) When I think of the men I know and/or encounter, I feel respected and my general perception is that most are not corrupt to the core. I think most struggle sexually, with few exceptions. And those ‘exceptions’ are, no doubt, still tempted but have learned to turn their eyes away. Being tempted doesn’t make a person perverted or evil. It makes them human and dependent on grace. Falling into temptation also doesn’t make them perverted and evil. It makes them human and in need of grace. Excusing such behaviour, that’s a different ball game.)

That all got me to thinking about what it must be like to be a man. A few men in one community, church or club, can make the whole seem perverted and not trustworthy. If a sex predator aligns himself with that church, club or community to gain credibility or access to vulnerable people, then the whole lot become a bit suspect because victims really are not sure about their affiliates. Using those affiliations to gain public trust and respect of people and get access to vulnerable people is pretty low down. Because it makes them well buffered and virtually untouchable, and leaves victims 100% voiceless.

That is, until a few find a voice… and more find a voice and eventually the truth is revealed. But by that time the church, organization or ministry – and especially the other men there – will pay a high price for not having been more discerning and for (apparently) turning a blind eye. Sometimes they did, sometimes they didn’t look the other way. Sometimes they were just too trusting.

Being a man suddenly isn’t that appealing. (In spite of the fact that, as a little Mennonite girl I desperately wanted to be male and thought surely God could still do a miracle and transform me into a male. If he can make babies from scratch, surely turning a girl into a boy wouldn’t be that hard. Boy, am I glad He didn’t, because it would be hard being a male in today’s world.) It isn’t appealing to me, but it is honourable when stewarded well. The strength of character it must take to be a good and honourable man, when those who are brutal and abusive shape how women see you, must be immense… and discouraging. That really struck me. And I thought about men, how I generally view them, and realized that percentage wise, they have a very good track record in my life.

In my ‘close’ experience the greater percentage have been kind, gentle, empowering and value their wives, and respect women in general. And then there is that small percentage who are cruel, controlling, abusive and demeaning. Some with strong religious affiliations and presenting a spiritual image, others with no such claims. But men, in general, are blamed and shamed, because to many victims all men represent what was done to them, so they trust none.

I was blessed. Men invested deeply in my healing. As much, if not more than women. But they played a different role. They didn’t ‘hold me’ to ‘give back’ what had been taken. (That wouldn’t have worked!) Sure, a few of them gave me healthy hugs, but they pointed me to Jesus, to God as my heavenly Papa, for Him to restore that brokenness, rather than trying to be that for me. They showed me I am valuable and worth caring for. They listened, but they let God be my Hero. And most of all they loved and respected their wives and daughters.

So, to every man who is honourable (even if imperfect), to every man who does not take advantage of vulnerable women, and every one who honours his wife and respects women in general… to every one who handles his sexuality well and does not use it against women and children: Thank you. (Even if you struggle and are tempted.) I respect you. You are noble. You are the unsung heroes of our time, and I can only imagine how hard it must be to not bow to shame and defeat on behalf of the abusers. I encourage you, hold your heads up, and don’t give in. We need you. You are the healing many of us need. We see you love your wives and children well. You give us hope for our children and grandchildren.

To honourable men: I am sorry I even need to write the blogs I write, speak out about the abuse…. I’m sorry for how that must, at times, make you struggle with your manhood. Know that I honour you, and I believe there are more of you (by far) in my world than there are abusers. And if I am wrong and you are outnumbered, I honour you yet more.

As always, and with deep honour for these men…

~ T ~

© Trudy Metzger 2018

Spiritual Abuse Part 11__ Men of God: Rise Up! (….Continued…#2)

As time passed, the man missed the companionship of his wife more and more, and grew increasingly lonely. He stayed faithful to the marriage, praying that one day his wife would return.


He read his Bible. He prayed. He dressed right. He didn’t smoke. He didn’t drink alcohol. He did all the right things, and followed the formulas he was given, but, still, he was lost in grief. He was a good man. And saved. But he struggled, because he was human. And he was lonely.

Years went by. Finally, the man desperately needed someone to understand, to be there, so he went back to the leaders. He told them how much he missed his wife and how he struggled. How deeply he desired companionship, and a wife to share life with. But the only answers they had were the ones they had already given him. Except the Bishop. He knew the answer, how to help him and fix his problem.

So the Bishop gave the man some information on a paper—maybe a business card, I can’t recall for sure. The information told the man where he could go to be emasculated and remove the struggle permanently and make him a eunuch.

The man didn’t take that advice. Instead, he left that church because they couldn’t help him get through the struggle. They couldn’t walk that lonely path with him. The path they had forced him to walk by interfering in his marriage and abusing their power, not only in his life, but also in his former wife’s.

But that’s not the end of the story…. He continued to pursue God, to read his Bible and develop a relationship with Jesus. He saw that what religion could not do for him, God could do.

Today this man knows the real Jesus.


This is a true story, nothing fabricated. If any part of it is inaccurate, it is only because the details have faded in my memory.

After this man left the church he received ongoing harassing phone calls for what seemed an eternity, telling him he would go to hell for leaving them.

Of all the stories of abuse I have heard, this one has always topped that list. I expose it because of the extreme shame it imposed on the victim, and so that, if your story is ‘unbelievable’, and you have carried it in silence, you will know that you are not alone.

To be told, “Why don’t you just quietly go remove your manhood? You don’t need it anymore”, is to have your very core identity attacked.

And that, figuratively speaking, is what religiosity and spiritual abuse has done to men for years. One of the most tragic things in the world, and one for which we are paying a huge price, is men being stripped of their manhood.

Adam was placed in the Garden, as a leader, a protector, a caregiver. Eve’s role was one of partnership. Yes, there was equality—she did not have a ‘lesser’ role. Adam’s role was one of leadership and responsibility at a level different than Eve’s but not better, greater or even more powerful. They empowered each other, without competition, complimenting one another in every way.

Together they were the most beautiful reflection of God.  And then along came sin.

Through the knowledge of good and evil we lost that intimate relationship we were created for, because of a shift in focus. We went from knowing only good—God—and focusing only on Him, to knowing good and evil—sin and Satan—and pouring our energy into trying to determine what is good and what is evil.

That shift in focus is the cause of judgement, religious arrogance, pride in our humility, and many other evils in the church, as we compare with those who see things differently than we do. Immediately when someone disagrees with our doctrine these ‘more Christian sins’ come into play, and we don’t even recognize them.

The reason they have such power over us is because we look to our goodness to validate ourselves, rather than looking to God, and we have determined these things are good. And that shift in focus is the very thing that has robbed men of their masculinity.

What if Jesus came to restore what we lost? What if raw, real and intimate relationship with Him, rather than butting heads with religion, defined us? What if we were not distracted from what is truly good—relationship with God—by the war between differing views of good and evil?

Evil exists. Just watch the news. Sin is prevalent. And the church should not turn a blind eye. Sin should be confronted—that is biblical—but if repented of, it should be quietly forgiven, without causing a scene. No shunning. No exploiting. No humanistic ‘righting of the wrongs’, with an agenda to make the church look squeaky clean and ‘good’.

Why settle for ‘being good’ when God is offering all out redemption? There is so much more to life! God has called us all into dynamic, spirit-filled living.

Men, you are called to lead the way. God is offering to restore your masculinity, to again breath His life into you, as He did in the garden and give you your rightful ‘warrior’ spirit.

Will you accept that gift?

© Trudy Metzger 2012

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