I think it’s weird when we ask this question. And by we, I mostly mean us girls. So listen up ladies; as one of you, this funny-not-funny question needs to quit showing up in conversation, especially with each other.

Let me start with a bit of background, so you get where I’ve come from before I lay out my case.

My mom was given an ultimatum when she was pregnant with me. Apparently two  kids was company, and three was unnecessary. “Get rid of the kid, or leave me,” he said. Thankfully, my mom chose the latter. She chose me. Not that she didn’t want to choose my whole family, but that wasn’t the option.

My step-dad attempted my mother’s murder.

As a kid, I (literally) watched a church elder sexually abuse my mother.

As a teen, I endured the sexual assault of boys too.

As a youth, I watched my church youth group leader get arrested and charged on nearly two dozen counts of sexual assault over the course of nearly 20 years.

As a woman, I would learn while we were married, that my ex-husband used ‘spiritual retreats’ to sleep with women he met pubs while using a fake identity.

As a sister, I’ve watched men use and leave her and their children.

As a friend, I’ve cradled too many girls who’ve fallen for what they thought was love to be left in the dust with what turned out to be lust.

As a mentor, I’ve heard the stupidest stories of what qualifies men to be men, and their acceptance of a less than worthy life.

I’ve witnessed a lot. I should probably, according to the world, wonder where are the good guys have gone.

And if you’ve gone through some of this stuff, maybe you do wonder that question. Let me start by saying it’s okay to wonder. It’s alright if you’ve witnessed some shady stuff to ask what is happening to some of our men. It’s called wisdom to consider what is going on around you. And, it’s called wisdom when you turn those questions into action too.

Treat your soul

Most of the time, the problem lies within us as the individual. While we cannot change people, we can change ourselves. Those of us with tattered backgrounds are not responsible for what guys in a bad spot have done to us. However, we are responsible for our response.

If we’ve been hurt, it is impossible to see the good guys, no matter how hard we try. Our eyes, mind, heart, and soul have been calloused, and need a little spa time. It isn’t that the good guys don’t exist, it’s that we’re hurt.

So, treat your soul. Sometimes we will need to cut spiritual ties, other times we will need to cut physical ties, but every time, we need to cut stuff out of our life after we’ve been hurt. If you don’t cut ties, you create ties. These will only serve to imprison us, they will never empower us. Cut it off, and let it go instead.

Once we’ve cut ties, it’s really important to fill up on the truth. And we cannot do that if we continue to look inside ourselves. Look instead to the character of God, and of Jesus. Write them down. Review them. I found not having a trustworthy male role model can really mess up the psyche. So I wrote down the characteristics of God, and let those guide me until I felt confident in what was truly good.

Watch your words

It’s important that we recognize the importance of our words. Let’s use our ridiculous question for a start: where have all the good guys gone. Why do we say all, as though there are zero good guys? That is a fallible statement when inclusive of all men, and a poor response to bad personal experience.

Next word: good. Are you good? Are you good all the time? Have you done something shady to someone? Ever? The qualification of good in our mind as women who have experienced a couple guys in a bad spot cannot resolve to our belief that good should or must equal perfect.

I remember a counsellor telling me one time to stop saying ‘never’ or ‘always’ even for a week. It was an intense week, relearning how to communicate. Both can be such intrusive words of the truth, and dramatizing situations lead to an inaccurate point of view. Allowing ourselves to say ‘all men’ leads to a misrepresentation of the truth. Don’t allow your heart to be misguided, and understand your words have influence in the life of others.

Where the good guys went

The good guys are out there. They’re everywhere. And maybe that’s tough to believe, but that typically happens when we can’t see outside our tainted perspective.

Once we’ve had sufficient time and patience with ourselves in treating our soul, we are able then and only then to start looking outside ourselves. And, when we do, we notice the goodness in men!

Make notice of it to your friends, your family, to them. And when there is failure around you (did you hear I said when, not, if), rather than revert to old habits, remind yourself of who God is. Invest in praying for that person and that failure.

I’ve got two of the most incredible men on the planet as my brother in-laws. I’ve watched them grow in wisdom, love my sister, and their children so well.

My ex’s father still writes me emails and signs, “Love, dad.”

I’ve watched my pastor storm around a church building just to protect God’s daughters.

I’ve watched my grandpa crumble to tears after picking up his great-granddaughter.

I’ve witnessed husbands praising their wife publicly, not for good merit, but simply because they’re good.

I have some of the most dependable guy friends who teach me about strength, respect, and how to chill out.

I’ve supported guy friends who let go of the bad stuff just to find their own good again.

I’ve seen men cry for the sake of strangers’ redemption, and make funny jokes to see their woman smile again.

I’ve watched good men lift their hands high in humble praise, or drop their head down low in true surrender.

I’ve walked beside men courageously fighting for the freedom of women caught in the sex trade.

I’ve seen it all. Sure there’s been a bunch of bad but, there’s been a pile of good too. So next time you’re about to wonder where the good men are, take care of your own heart instead. And then, make notice of the good, and don’t keep it quiet. Ladies, our words have incredible influence.