Mannerd is a response to our societal drift away from open, vulnerable, and real male friendships. The lack of honest discussion of difficult topics has lead to a lonely crowd of stoic and emotionally disconnected men. This void of true brotherhood has proven detrimental for many of us. Our marriages have suffered or failed. We struggle to connect with our children. We try to maintain our “friendships” through social media and small talk, only to feel less known by those we seek to engage. We see younger men clamoring to be seen and heard using material possessions and perceived status as their instrument. We seek to reinstill the value of a man’s character over the height of his rank and the worth of close knit friends over a hoard of treasure.
Mike is proof that men can change. Being raised in a “stable” home gave him the false impression that his parents had it all figured out, and that marriage wasn’t that difficult. When he was caught in an affair, he quickly and painfully learned that none of his assumptions about relationships were correct. His prideful life of secrecy and facade came crashing down, and he was forced to address the man he really was behind the curtain. It was ugly…HE was ugly. His marriage did not survive, and the path to healing has been, and still is, long and emotional. And emotional isn’t an easy thing for us as men. The fear that emotion will be viewed as weakness pervades our culture, and poisons our relationships. Mike was fortunate enough to have a handful of men of character jump into the trenches with him during his battle to redefine himself. Mannerd is the manifestation of the vision and hope we have for ourselves and the men around us. Join us as we gather in community to become the men we were created to be. You are not alone.
Brian is a man in progress. He often wraps his sense of manhood up in superficial outward displays of manliness like how awesome his beard is (it’s pretty awesome), or how much he can squat. Growing up surrounded by modern male culture gave him a false sense of what it is to be a man. To him, men were stoic and emotionless, particularly in their dealings with other men. It was not until he found a group of men who pushed him to more meaningful relationships that he realized that this was a deep and longing need. A mentor of his once said, “So, if you find yourself saying, ‘This message can’t be for me because I’m a man and men aren’t into this artsy, emotional, touchy feely stuff.’ I would ask you today, to reconsider. And perhaps your disengagement of your God-given emotions might actually be killing you and hurting those you love most.” Brian learned this lesson the hard way — through divorce. Brian’s hope is that he and the rest of the Mannerd community would be able to help other men learn this lesson before it is too late, and to help heal those who have learned it the hard way already.