“We are not interested in generals who win victories without bloodshed…sooner or later someone will come along with a sharp sword and hack off our arms.”- Carl Von Clausewitz (On War)
What is a man without his sword? – Robert Bly (To Be a Man)
Back in the day there were men that had a fight within them. Men in their twenties would still be filled the fight of a rhinoceros. (A rhinoceros is an animal that gets raving mad, charges massively, has two-inch thick skin, and runs over anything and everything in its way.) That is where most men in their twenties should be. The concern today is that we see men in their twenties that have already given up the fight. The warrior within has left them. Is it from dysfunctional backgrounds, divorces, lost jobs or what? They are dead. It is a sad day indeed when we see young men have given up the fight. They have lost their sword. Here we have an excerpt from Robert Bly:
“The warriors inside American men have become weak in recent years… a grown man six feet tall will allow another person to cross his boundaries, enter his psychic house, verbally abuse him, carry away his treasures and slam the door behind; the invaded man will stand there with an ingratiating, confused smile on his face.”
Young men who are fighters show it proudly. You see it when you are on their turf. You will see the trophies of the victories they have won. The glory of young men is their strength regardless of where it shows, it could be on the football field or it could be in a business meeting.
If you talk to a young marine that just got word his position was canceled and now doesn’t have to go in harm’s way they are disappointed. You would think they might be happy or relieved to be home safe again. It may surprise you that most will be disappointed. The mind-set of a marine – of the warrior is to exist for battle. That is what they train for and that is what their lives are all about. Semper Fidelis is about the warrior. Always ready, always faithful-to the Corps. That means to be always ready to be first ashore and first to die if need be.
There is popular rejection of the warrior in our society today.
The warrior has been devalued. Women have decried this as violence! It is very interesting however, that women say they hate violence but they love a conquering hero. They like their hero to provide a safe home and security. Is it possible women just don’t want to know about the psychological violence a man must deal with in the process of becoming successful? Women love the decorated hero’s their military husbands have become but they don’t want to know anything about what happened to get them the medals. They simply want a normal and peaceful family.
Much of society today wants to condemn the warrior. It is the anti-gun lobbyists, the feminists and the liberals that would totally dismantle our military in the name of peace. But much of the growing men’s movement in America is about the recovery of the warrior. This comes with dismay of the feminists.
Robert Bly, the guru of the men’s movement said, “The disciplined warrior, made irrelevant by mechanized war, disdained and abandoned by the high-tech culture, is fading in American men. The fading of the warrior contributes to the collapse of civilized society. A man who cannot defend his own space cannot defend women and children.”
Gibbor: The Hebrew Warrior
The Bible is a timeless book and it never changes. It is not affected by changes of culture or fads, or trends. The Hebrew word for warrior is gibbor and it is associated with the concept of maleness. Gibbor stands unapologetic through the Bible as one of the primary stages along the male journey. When men reach this stop they are at warrior station. Any men that do not discover the warrior aspect of their being are not real men. They are as Bly calls them, “mother-bound” boys still in need of a sword to cut them away from their mommies.
The Meaning of Gibbor
Without getting technical to save time, the root idea of Gibbor is that of “power, or strength with an emphasis on excellence and superiority.” The word lends itself to the idea of gaining an upper hand or to be prominent, important, or have significance. (To be distinguished.)
Some of the communication problems men and women have in marriage comes because men speak in a language of gibbor and women speak in a different language. What I mean is that men use a language of a warrior. That is how we perceive the world, engage people and talk about any subject. I experience this very struggle in communicating with my wife. We men, speak this language mostly unconsciously. Our language in our world is negotiations, one-ups or one-downs, it’s trying to achieve an upper hand to protect ourselves from others. It is a conquest, a struggle for independence and a struggle to avoid failure. Women cannot understand this and they understandably get annoyed and feel put down. (Understandably) It serves me well to work at being aware of this in my communications with my spouse. (When I can.) And trust me… I am often in trouble with it. But I refuse to be “mother-bound.”
To be likened to a woman is a major putdown for a warrior. “Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness?” (Jeremiah 30:6) It is men over 30 that are called gibborim, because men in the twenties did not yet qualify for the honor. “Now the Levites were numbered from the age of thirty years and upward: and their number by their polls, man by man, was thirty and eight thousand. These were the sons of Levi after the house of their fathers; even the chief of the fathers, as they were counted by number of names by their polls, that did the work for the service of the house of the Lord, from the age of twenty years and upward. For by the last words of David the Levites were numbered from twenty years old and above.” (1 Chronicles23:3,24,27) The Bible intertwines the concepts of strength and warrior as the Psalmist confesses, “I am reckoned among those who go down to the pit; I have become like a man [gibbor] without strength.” (Psalm 88:4) Like the successful young businessman with the fight of a rhinoceros young men at this stage of life are pretty much right on pace.
It is the warrior in us men that keeps us going, that keeps us pressing toward our goals that keeps us standing our ground, that allows us to defend our personal values even to the point of risking our lives.
The male warrior instinct is alive! It cannot be dead, no way, because it is intrinsic, it is woven into the very fabric of our being. This is normal and it is a natural stop on the male journey. It is not to be despised or devalued by women, or men for that matter. Men that are abused and defeated by life, take note that God is very much a warrior. And to the feminists and those that have an agenda to make sissies of men and feminize all the males you can to try and turn them into mother -bound boys…IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN! It is intrinsic, it is in our creation. Forget about it.
Yes, many men today are so abused and defeated by life, (and in the defense of some women I must say many men simply gave up their positions because of weakness) they do not have enough warrior left in them to defend themselves or their families or their society. For you men… the place to begin is looking at God and leaning on the strength of God. God is very much a warrior.
GOD the WARRIOR.
PS: The entire credit for this material goes to Robert Hicks and The Masculine Journey.