Series 43: For the Love of Conversations | Episode 04
For the Love of Conversations: Jen & Kelly on The Men They Love
The past few weeks have been so nurturing to the collective soul of this podcast community. We have gotten together with a friend, and caught up on all that matters in our worlds (as friends do) and talked through the changes we’ve both faced recently, on finding and keeping friendship alive at this season in our lives, and how we’ve each evolved in our own beliefs. And we’re always a little sad to say goodbye to friends, but we know that the bonds we’ve built here will keep us going til we can meet again. For the last episode of the For the Love of Conversations series, Jen and Kelly share about the men in their lives–from their friends, to their sons, their brothers, fathers and their partners—we speak to the unique relationship the opposite sex brings to our lives. And right now in our culture, in some ways that are fair, and other ways that aren’t, men are getting thrown under the bus, somewhat carte blanche. And this is rightly so in many cases and much overdue in some areas. But it still stands that there are good men and boys in our culture, men that defy the misogynistic stereotypes, and they do lift up women and are there for their sisters and their wives and their daughters and their mothers. Jen and Kelly poke at the view of men where they are portrayed as wild and rough and emotionally unregulated–those traits can sometimes be found–but they share stories of their fathers, brothers and friends that show the reverse can be true (Kelly’s story about her dad is a 10-kleenex-er, so get ready), and that the men in their lives have truly taught them how to love better.
Hey, everybody, Jen Hatmaker here. Welcome to the show, you guys. I’m so delighted to have you here this week as we wrap up this little gem of a series called For the Love of Conversations with Jen and Kelly. It has really been a gift. We had these conversations originally over on my good friend Kelly Corrigan’s podcast, and I loved them so much. She said, “Hey, why don’t you take these and let your community hear them as well if they haven’t already.” So thank you for that, Kelly, because this is right in our wheelhouse in our community here.
So I am so tickled to add new thoughts and takeaways here. So there’s some fresh content that I added into all four episodes just for us. And if you’ve missed any of them you guys, go back, go back and pick them up. We have really built an incredible little body of discussions here in this series, and I think you’re going to love every single one of them. This week included. This week we’re talking about the men we love. And I’m going to explain a little bit about that right now. This is something that Kelly and I have long shared. If you listen to the very first episode that we did on change in the intro, I talked about how Kelly and I met and the sort of centrifugal force that pulled us originally together was her memoir called The Middle Place, which is one of my favorite books. And in it she gives the story of her dad, Greenie. And Greenie’s energy is so similar to my dad’s, so similar.
I called my sisters and my mom and I went, “stop what you’re doing. You have to read this book immediately. Kelly’s Greenie is our dad.” And of course, we’ve lost Greenie at this point. But he had this exuberant, positive glass half full energy in the world, when his love is directed at you it’s like the sun is shining on your face. My dad is just like that. And so that originally brought us together. And so it was really fun for us to dream up this conversation about the men we love because we have long talks about the men that we love together. So for me, as a leader of primarily women, I am drawn to lifting up women and creating spaces where they can thrive and share their worries and their fears. But hands down, one thing that has routinely made my life better is the men that are in it.
I mean, my brother, my dad, my best friend’s husbands, my sons, some of my work friends, they have taught me how to love better and have added so much value and joy into my life. And right now, in a lot of ways and in some ways that are fair, but in other ways that aren’t, men are just getting thrown under the bus, carte blanche a little bit in our culture. Obviously, again, sometimes very rightly so and much overdue in some areas. But it still stands that there are good men and boys in our culture, men that defy the misogynistic stereotypes and lift up women and are good for the world. They’re there for their sisters and their wives and their daughters and their mothers. I think oftentimes we see men portrayed as wild and rough and emotionally unregulated and unattached. And of course, those traits can sometimes be found. But what I’ve experienced most often is that the men in my life are mostly tender and caring and loving and connected.
They care deeply for other people and will do whatever it takes to keep them safe and happy and well-loved. I can name a number of times in these last two years that the men in my life have made sure that I was supported and cared for and loved by them, not just by their wives, by them. If there was anyone who may want to bash men, it may be someone whose marriage ended in a heartbreaking way. But I don’t want to go down like that, and I don’t even feel that way. I don’t feel bitter. Instead, it makes me reflect about the men in my life who have shown up in the most beautiful ways since then and before, frankly. And the men who modeled incredible, compassionate, and good behavior, integrity as fathers and uncles and brothers and sons. So Kelly grew up with three older brothers, and I grew up with one who was ten years younger than me, who I consider to be my own personal baby. More about that in this episode. She and I both benefited from having wonderful, caring fathers, as mentioned. And when push came to shove in her life and her dad was nearing his last days on this earth, the men of his generation showed up for him and the wife he was about to leave behind and all their children.
And you guys. Kelly shares a reading from a book that she has written that has yet to be published about the day her dad died. And all I can tell you is do not be in public and have your tissues ready. It’s hard and it’s sad and it’s just beautiful. And we both cried. Look, I’m about to cry just remembering it. Sorry. It’s a doozy, but it’s so lovely. So, here’s to the men in our lives, the ones on our shortlist to call that we know will be there. The ones who are so deeply connected to their people and their people’s people. Those who can cut through the crap and get right to the heart of a matter at just the right time. Those that were raising the sons in our homes who we know to be tender and true and good in their little souls. I’m so grateful that I get to do this life with all of those men by my side.
They have made me who I am today. They are precious to me. Yes, I love their wives and I love their daughters. And I love all the women that surround them. But man, do I love the men in my life. They are a gift to me and to everyone in my life and in my family. And I really cannot imagine weathering the rest of my days without them. So, please enjoy this absolutely lovely and emotional conversation with my friend Kelly Corrigan as we wrap up our incredible For the Love of Conversation series featuring Jen and Kelly.
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Thanks for listening to the For the Love Podcast!
XO – Team Jen