Masonry affects family. There’s no doubt about it. You can’t give the paterfamilias in your brood a get-out-of-the-house-free card and not have that affect every other little things. He’s not there to dry dishes. He’s not there to help get the kids to bed. He’s not there to feed you peeled grapes and give you foot rubs (because he’d totally be doing that if he was home, amirite?). For some wives and families that’s just one day per month. For others, at least once per week. Some masons have left home for their initiation and have never been seen, nor heard from again.
…well, maybe not that last one, but still.
If affects family. It particularly affects the spouse. Our good friend, The Mason’s Lady, discussed this on her blog just the other day. It’s easy to get envious of your husband. They’re off doing secretive, cool things. They’re dressing up. Rubbing elbows. Hobnobbing. Hell, they’re actually getting out of the house! For some, that seems like a far-away dream!
Well, first, it should be said that any man who goes out regularly for a night with the guys, and doesn’t give his spouse the same opportunity to escape for the evening with at least the same regularity, is doing it wrong. But even so, envy happens, and that can sometimes turn into jealousy.
Mason Lady’s post got me thinking two distinct things that I had to get down on pixels.
First, there’s a pretty obvious reason why regular Freemasonry doesn’t allow women, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone bring this up specifically. Would you be thrilled to send your husband off to weekly meetings with other women? Particularly in an environment that encourages deep bonds, intimate discussion, and yes, even inviolable secrecy between members? Your man may be a great guy, but could many relationships survive such parameters? Even if your man is completely above board and honorable, even if he would never think of cheating, would it matter? Many people say the worst thing in a relationship isn’t the idea of their partner being physical with another woman, it’s the idea of their partner being intimate with another woman. That’s cheating, for them.
It’s something that, by and large, isn’t an issue with Freemasonry. Which leads me to my second point: sending your man off to lodgeis sending him to a safe place. You’re sending him to be with men of character. Men who are looking out for him, and yes, looking out for you too. Men who not only take an obligation to their brother, but to you and your children as well. And, if he’s doing it right, when he’s at lodge, or a masonic function, he’s working hard to become a better person, either through direct, concentrated self-examination, or just by letting go of his day-to-day stressors, and plugging his brain and heart back into the recharge socket by hanging out with his friends. And everyone benefits from that.
Again, though, just be sure he stays home with the kids while you enjoy a night out, at least as often. It’s good for you both. And while you’re out, have such a time that he’ll be a bit envious of you!
About the Author: Matt Gallagher is a Master Mason at Braden Lodge, and father of four. He has been a member of the Craft since 2010, blogs at Braden 168, and regularly at his own blog at Stones ‘n’ Bones. His opinions are his own, and do not necessarily represent the thoughts or opinions of Braden Lodge No. 168.