We need you.
I, as a 30-year-old single, Catholic woman live a very joyful life. I want to get married someday, and yet my life is incredibly full—filled with so much friendship, adventure, ways God has fulfilled the desires of my heart—and I am truly grateful.
Yet in the last several years I have had countless people reiterate to me: “You don’t need a man.”
“You don’t need a man to make you happy. You don’t need a man to make you fulfilled. You don’t need a man to live the life you want to live. You don’t need a man to live out your vocation…”
I’ve been reflecting on these words for the past several years now, and this is all true to some extent. But on the other hand, I’m calling it: this is total and complete crap.
We do need men.
Yes, we women can be happy and joyful and fulfilled without you men—but that’s because God’s mercy is so big and great that it can fill anything that is lacking; and His goodness and provision are always enough for us. But it’s not because we as women are inherently not made for men, and because we have no need for you.
Men. We need you.
We need you as husbands, as fathers, as brothers, as friends. We need your leadership, protection, and provision. There is a role in our hearts, in our lives, in our society that is for you and you alone. And no matter how hard we try, no matter how much we pretend we can be just like you, or no matter how much we deny the irreplaceable role that only you can play in our lives…
No one and nothing can and will ever replace the masculine in our universe.
St. John Paul the Great said:
“Man cannot exist ‘alone’ (Gen 2:18); he can exist only as a ‘unity of the two’, and therefore in relation to another human person. It is a question here of a mutual relationship: man to woman and woman to man. Being a person in the image and likeness of God thus involves existing in a relationship, in relation to the other ‘I’. This is a prelude to the definitive self-revelation of the Triune God: a living unity in the communion of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”
While our hearts’ deepest fulfillment can only be found in God, and while some of us are legitimately called to lives of celibacy for the Kingdom, I think we need to address the reality that there is a profound lack of unity in our world today between man and woman.
For the last several years I have been trying to pretend like this doesn’t affect me. Trying to tell myself it’s okay. “It’s okay that so many of us today are single. We can be happy anyway. It’s okay if we never get married. It’s okay if we don’t have children. It’s going to be okay…”
On one hand, it will be okay. We can live very joyfully even if we’re not in an official “vocation” (In fact I just wrote a blog about this very topic the other week! See: http://www.karaklein.com/blog/living-your-vocation-when-you-feel-quite-vocation-less)
But I went into Church recently, really thinking and praying about this reality, and just for a moment, allowed myself to say, “No. It’s not okay. Because this is not what God intended. The present reality we see in our culture—the lack of marriage and family, lack of commitment and intimacy between men and women, the lack of children—is not how it was meant to be. And for just a moment I’m going to weep over this reality because it actually elicits weeping.”
Men, we need you.
So many women’s hearts today are aching for the masculine. And it’s good that they ache for the masculine because the feminine heart was made for the masculine heart. So many little children’s hearts today are aching for their fathers. Even so many men need the affirmation, the friendship, the validation of other men!
I don’t even really have an agenda with writing this blog, except to remind whatever man happens to read it of this:
You are wanted. You are needed. There is a place for you in this world that no one else can fill. Please be the man that God has destined you to be.
We need you.