Disconnected men hide out in plain view: in our churches, in our families and in our communities. But who are these men? And what hinders them from connecting with others on a deeper level?
Jim Turner was once a disconnected man and he offers insight for anyone who might be struggling to connect with their husband, father, relative, or friend. Jim points out that disconnected men don’t always know that they are disconnected.
“A disconnected man is typically a good man and he’s just unaware that you’re trying to get to something that he doesn’t know he has. He’s got the emotional, relational equipment because he’s made in the image of God, but he doesn’t know you’re trying to get to it. He doesn’t know how to use it even if you do get to it.”
“A disconnected man is somebody who hurts somebody because he’s unaware that they have a need that he should be meeting and he’s not. A narcissist hurts people because he uses them for his own ends and he’s got a selfish motive there. So the difference is this unawareness of the disconnected man.”
He describes a few of the characteristics of a disconnected man.
“He’s a good man; he works hard, he does his duty, he does the things he’s supposed to do, he shows up for his kids’ activities, he’s there at church on Sunday and all of that. But for those who are closest to him, and it may not be his wife, it might be his adult daughters or a son trying to connect with their dad, it could be his sister, it could be anyone that’s trying to connect with them, they would describe him as disconnected.”
As a family member or friend, we can gain a better understanding of the barriers that disconnected men face and help them to build deeper connections with the ones that they love.
Disconnected men want to do the right thing, but they don’t always know how to get there. Instead of expecting them to know how to connect, Jim suggests we become teachers and start teaching him how to access the emotional connection we’re looking for.
We need to be willing to walk alongside him and help him understand what the need is.
Jim Turner has been in pastoral ministry for twenty-five years and has personally experienced the battle to overcome disconnection. A father of four young adults, he is remarried and living in the delight of being truly connected with his wife. Jim is the author The Disconnected Man: Breaking Down Walls and Restoring Intimacy with Him.Jim Turner on the disconnected man