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Male Leadership in Crisis - Part One

By Barrington H. Brennen, June 2001

 

Parts One    Part Two    Part Three    Part Four

 

Barrington H. Brennen

Barrington H. Brennen

Question: Dear Sir: I think there is a male leadership crisis in the world today. What can we do to get more male leaders in our homes, communities, schools, and churches?

Answer: Dear reader, you are correct. There is clearly a male leadership crisis in our country. However, the problem is not the overwhelming presence of female leadership, but the diminishing force of male leaders. Male leadership should not be in competition with female leadership, but in cooperation with it. Also, it is a mistake to believe that all males are destined to be leaders in the home, community, school, or church. Leadership is a gift not based on genetic or hormonal makeup. Leadership is a calling not a biological structure.

TRADITIONS OF THE PAST  We are reaping the traditions of our past–a past that so glorified the power of male leadership--that we have never learned how to collaborate, co-operate, or effectively negotiate with the leadership strength of our female counterparts. In fact, the male ego internally defuses the recognition of any possible female gifts of leadership. What segment of our society has been mostly affected by this tradition and the lack of collaborative male-female leadership? It is the home. It’s the home that rules the nations, not the man nor the woman–the home.

What is most frightening is that as recent at June 1998, the Southern Baptist Southern Baptist Church felt the need to amend their essential statement of beliefs to include the declaration that a woman should "submit herself graciously" to her husband's leadership. According to their newly elected president, the amendment was a response to "a time of growing crisis in the family". Wow! Wouldn’t it have been better for that same body to vote that males should learn how to better negotiate with females, become partners with them, and how to truly love them?

WE NEED THEM BOTH   Men, if we want a better society with less violence, more productivity and growth, then we must be willing to sit at the bargaining table with our females counterparts and learn how to respect, appreciate, and value our differences. Thus, creating a unifying and stabilizing force that can stem the tide of family dysfunction.

God designed it so that society, community, and the home, cannot survive without male-female collaborative leadership. During ancient Bible times when a man got married, he was not allowed to go to war with the army for at least one year after the wedding ceremony. He was to remain at home with his wife. Today, men are doing the opposite. They are trying to get out of the home after marriage.

Our elementary schools are badly in need of male leadership. Not as opposed to female leadership, but in collaboration with it. Our boys are in crisis because the fathers are not in the home, neither are they in church or school. The mother is then left to carry the load. This is causing us to raise a society of angry, empty, and desperate males, whose leadership skills are centered on armed machine guns, drug sale, sporty cars, sexual escapades, and a pocket full of money.

Please dear readers, let’s not make our forefathers’ mistake: Making our men feel that their task is to take over leadership, and that if they fail to do so, then society will suffer. This is a formula for a sick society. In today’s post-modern society, our task is to teach our men to lead their own lives first, not the lives of others, and to become productive, happy, well-balanced persons. Another important task today is to teach our men to collaborate with female leaders. Thus, creating what I call the "male-female collaborative leadership force." If we continue to train our sons to believe that women are in competition with men and that their style of leadership is not as effective, then we will continue to have war and not peace.

Barrington Brennen is a marriage and family therapist and a board certified clinical psychotherapist (USA).  Email: question@soencouragemengt.org  or call 242 327 1980  or  305 767 4976  or  242 477 4002

 

 

 

 

 
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Permission is granted to print these pages and to make the necessary copies for your  personal use, friends,  seminar, or meeting handout.  You must not sell for personal gain, only to cover the cost to make copies if necessary.    Written permission (email) is needed to publish or reprint articles and materials in any other form. Or you call at 242-327 1980.  Copyright © 1999 Sounds of Encouragement. All rights reserved.   Articles written by Barrington H. Brennen, Counseling Psychologist, Marriage & Family Therapist.  P.O. Box CB-13019,  Nassau, The Bahamas.     question@soencouragement.org