“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil,” (Eph 6:11).
While riding the Blue Line to Uptown Charlotte a couple weeks ago, I overheard two women in their late thirties lament about their husbands expending all their free-time at home playing video games. Since I don’t own a Wii or a PS3, I thought it seemed odd for grown-men to park themselves in front of the tube and fight virtual enemies endlessly.
I decided to research the matter, and consulted a local expert: my ten-year-old neighbor.
“What’s the most popular video game out there now?” I asked him.
“MW3,” he said without flinching.
“Translation?” I responded.
“Oh, Modern Warfare 3. If you’re a serious gamer, that’s what you play.”
The kid was right. When I Googled “MW3,” I learned the game broke all kinds of sales records when it was released in November 2011. However, my most astonishing find was that the average age of video game players is 37, and almost 60% of them are men.
Then I asked myself: “What would posses a man my age to spend quality time gaming, instead of romancing his wife and bonding with his children?”
The answer can be found in a man’s spiritual DNA.
Men are born to fight.
We are born to fight a spiritual battle against the unseen forces of evil, and guard our hearts from our natural inclination to sin.
A few years back, I read a book called, “Wild at Heart,” by John Eldridge. The book is geared for men and has become a spiritual classic in contemporary Christian circles. Eldridge, a Christian counselor, proposes that God created men to live an adventure, to fight a battle and to rescue a beauty. MW3 and all the other slew of its genre are all about fighting and killing an enemy. And that’s why war games are so enticing and borderline addictive for a large number of men. It feeds on our spiritual killer instinct.
Our masculine soul recognizes we are at war, but we’re unsure who we’re called to fight. That’s because the Enemy works in secret, and his attacks are insidious. The Enemy wants to destroys our families by undermining our Christian values and twisting society’s gender roles. We men are commanded and empowered by Jesus Christ to be the spiritual leaders of our households. Because our homes are the primary battlefields where this war is waged.
On Saturday, February 18, the Second Annual Catholic Men’s Conference will be held at St. Matthew’s Catholic Church in Charlotte. This is an excellent opportunity for all the men in our diocese to come together and pray, receive the sacraments and recharge our spiritual batteries. The Conference has a dynamic line-up of national speakers, and Bishop Jugis will celebrate Mass during the event.
Gentlemen, I invite you to prayerfully consider attending the Men’s Conference because this battle we are fighting is real, and we need God’s grace to engage in it. “For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual host of wickedness in the heavenly places,” (Eph 6:12).