If this was an isolated case, it might not be blog-worthy. But I have heard these questions for ten years as I’ve walked with women. I should start a match-making service because I have been honored to walk with outstanding, hard-working, motivated, Jesus loving women. But when I look around for available men to be good husbands to these women — the list gets quite short. Instead I find mamas boys, porn addicts, leeches, gamers, and stoners. And, might I add, they are quite content to stay that way.
These women are not perfect. But the secret lies in they know they are not perfect and seek health and wholeness in God. They are working on their stuff to build a better future. But so many of the guys we have seen are stuck in this perpetual teenage boy stupidity:
I want to play. I don’t want to commit. I want sex anyway I can get it. I want to escape.
These Christian women are saying this is the best they get INSIDE the church, let alone those outside the church. One women aptly asked the question, “are my only options to stay single, or, take on a life long project of helping a guy get sober and learn how to get a job and be a husband and dad?”
Listen, before you blast me, I know some outstanding men too. Those guys don’t last long on the marriage market. They are in high demand. But if we are honest, the good men shortage is reaching epidemic levels.
I readily admit I am old school. I come from a heritage of men who know how to work, hard. The passage of my brothers and cousins into manhood was bailing hay as teenagers. Nobody cared if those boys were tired, or sore, or unhappy, or horny. There was work to be done. And you worked full out until the hay was up in the barn just like all the other men did. They were changed by this calling out. We need more of this. A lot more.
Many Christian men I know today, married or single, are walking through life crippled at worst or undeveloped at best. They are lacking fathers in some cases, but in many more cases, they are lacking wise mothers.
If you are a parent to men-in-the-making, may I make a few suggestions for raising them strong:
1) Stop babying your boys.
They will rise to the standard you set. If you do everything for them from laundry to finances to cleaning to cooking, you are setting an expectation that “someone else” will always do the dirty work. In fact, they will let you do all the work, all their life. I heard someone say once “never do for your child what they can and should do for themselves.” This is a powerful gift of personal responsibility. Believe it or not, taking care of yourself begins at a much younger age than most of us like.
2) Men are here to serve others.
Women seem to get this naturally. It is part of our maternal, relationship DNA I suspect. But many young men carry this attitude that “I am the center of the universe.” This does not make for a successful employer, employee, husband, father or friend. You have to teach them to care for others from a young age, and emphasize it all the more when the hormones start raging.
3) Strength must be tested.
The absence of strength is fear of weakness. It doesn’t even mean they are weak. But they fear they will be weak, that they don’t have what it takes in work, life, and family. Obviously, I mean more than just physical strength, but mental and emotional as well.
In the same way a woman constantly assesses her beauty, and man is constantly assessing his strength. If he is never allowed to test his strength, or develop his strength (ie, mom is afraid he will get hurt) then what grows instead is a distorted weakness. This is debilitating to adult males. I believe this is a root cause to most addictions.
He lacks confidence. He lacks initiative and drive. He lacks the ability to be the Man for his family. So what happens? They marry strong women who try to carry both buckets of man and woman inside their families. It doesn’t take long for these marriages to be strained beyond survival. We need strong men and strong women to have healthy families.
The current culture has a lot of bad definitions of men and women. We can’t let those become the norm in our homes. We are kingdom builders. We are co-heirs with Christ. We need godly men and women raising the next generation.
God give us wisdom and power from on high to this noble calling.