“Never give a sword to a man that can’t dance.” That’s an old Celtic saying I heard recently and it really got me thinking. 

Now, the saying doesn’t mean what the surface suggests. The meaning is much deeper. According to John Eldridge, it’s the idea of not trusting the warrior in a man that’s not in touch with the poet. 

That makes sense to me. 

See, men are created to be protectors and providers and lovers and poets. The idea that men aren’t in touch with their feelings isn’t a natural-born phenomenon. Rather, it’s a cultural construct. 

But the other side of that is the idea of a Beta Male. Read here emasculated. And the road to emasculation truly began in earnest in the 1960s. And that man has been taught that his warrior spirit is bad. 

The fallout from this has been horrible. And we’re reaping the benefits today. If you want to call them benefits. 

Just look at the world around you. We have growing fatherless homes. We have rampant porn. We have rampant crime. Not to mention the social disease that is drug abuse. We seem to be falling apart and a big factor is men not being men. 

And then we have advertising companies making up what a “real man” looks like. Tattoos, a beard, big truck, MMA…you get the idea. Not that any of that is bad in and of itself. I have a tattoo, beard and a truck. But to understand it we have to understand the why. 

My generation of men and our struggles was best depicted in the movie “Fight Club”. It’s an incredibly violent movie and it certainly isn’t for everyone, but it shows a generation of lost men trying to find their place in the world and trying to tap into their internal warrior. 

The generation below me is struggling even more. 

But, let’s back up to the MMA thing for a minute. I’ve watched fights. I don’t enjoy it. It is a sanctioned street fight. And I see no honor in the sport. What I see is over the top brutality. In boxing, when an opponent goes down, you go to the opposite corner and wait to see if they get up or get counted out. 

Not in MMA. In the octagon, when a fighter goes down, the opponent jumps on them and tries to beat them through the floor. 

But I get the appeal. It looks manly. It looks like the men are warriors. 

Now, before you get twisted in a wad, I’m not against MMA. I don’t care who watches it or flights in it or profits from it. I’m merely illustrating what I see. 

So we have two, maybe three generations of emasculated men, raised mostly by women and taught in primary schools mostly by women. And we have a crisis-level lack of warrior poets. Is it any wonder?

Women play an absolute vital role in raising men. I’ve watched it with my sons for over 20 years. But they can only do so much as boys need men to show them the warrior path…and the path of the poet. 

I look around and I think the only way to combat this is for men to step up. Coach a sport, mentor a young man at work or church. Help teach them to be a warrior poet. Help them see a clear path to authentic manhood. Help them understand life and their place in the world. 

We can turn this thing around but it takes effort to bring men into the brotherhood of men. It takes intentionality. It takes men who can dance with a sword.