Welcome to our third episode of Manly Monday! Our new bimonthly video series for Your Other Brothers.

In this episode, Tom talks about the first of our five YOB values — hope. Though hope often feels frail, even a little bit of hope is just as potent and powerful as a lot. Watch the video below for more on our first value, including why Tom likes to write this word on himself.

As always, feel free to give us feedback on our YouTube (YOBtube) video or in the comments below. Check out our About page for more about our five values, origin story, and FAQ.

OUR VERSE FOR THIS WEEK

Lamentations 3:24 (ESV) —

“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”

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DISCUSSION

Does hope feel frail for you? What virtue is hard for you to summon? What active step can you take this week to not just summon it but embrace it?

  • My mother was very big on us not writing on ourselves as kids so I never did anything like that. One thing that God worked out for me is a keychain that I have on my keys. It’s a piece of leather in the shape of a flag with a word stamped on it. There was either a courage one or a hope one. Going through high school and college, the tv show glee was airing. Kurt and Blaine are boyfriends in the show. One thing Blaine would do to encourage Kurt as he was being bullied was he would text him the word “courage”. Kurt later makes this into a sign he puts in his locker from cutout letters of magazines. I made my own courage sign while in college and taped the letters to my wall. I went to a Christian liberal arts college but being very introverted it took time to find friends and people I could trust and be totally honest with. Courage for me related to a time in my life of being side A and giving into my sexual attractions. I chose the word hope because I can have courage because my hope is in Jesus Christ. Hope has always been a theme God has placed on my heart. I didn’t feel hope from the church I was attending in high school. I felt like they didn’t have the answers to my situation nor could I be open about what I was going through and not be judged. That’s what led me into a 3.5 year relationship with another man. Another thing I find encouraging and moves me emotionally is the company that makes the keychain is called Twin Sparrow. I easily connected it to Elliot’s sign off on the YOBcast “You are not alone. Even the sparrow finds a home.” Their logo is stamped on the back of the keychain. God just amazes me that He is both the God of the big picture and the God of the little details.

    • I like your “courage” story. Words are so powerful. The power to build up and destroy. I’m trying to be even more intentional about sculpting them for my eyes and heart to see and absorb. On my wrist. In my journal. On sticky notes. On the bathroom mirror. Everywhere I can place them. Everywhere I need to know them. Which is everywhere.

  • Hope is a difficult virtue for me as well. I find that often (but not always) sharing my story with a fellow brother or sister in Christ helps me to grow and strengthen my faith. Usually when I am vulnerable with them, they, in return, will share their struggles and challenges with me. Realizing that I am not the only one who has hard times, and even those who I may put on a pedestal and “worship” (by thinking their life must be near perfect while I am just awful and stuck in the mud) face their set of trials. I can find hope in the determination they have to go forward and not give up, and I can give them the same boost as well.
    I’m not a fan of writing on myself- but I will try the notes around my room and other places to remind me.

    • It sounds like a silly idea, but words are powerful things. I’m a big fan of them — either on my body or scattered about my house. I hope you find more hope along with me, Bryan.

  • Thomas Mark Zuniga

    When I don't wander away for weeks at a time, I live in Asheville, North Carolina – the Jewel of the Blue Ridge. I'm YOB's cofounder and editor, and I also host our two podcasts. I've written a couple books, including a 2013 memoir in which I came out to my readers. Once upon another universe I anonymously blogged about my faith and sexuality under the Xanga username "twoBeckonings." I'm an INFJ, Enneagram 4w5, and my spirit animal is the buffalo. My favorite place in the world is the one where coffee and vulnerability meet.

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