A while back I read a disturbing article titled, “Have we forgotten how to raise boys into men?” The article stated, “Boys need heroes to embody the everlasting qualities of manhood: honor, duty, valor, and integrity. Without such role models, boys will naturally choose perpetual childhood over the rigors of becoming a man – as many women, teachers, coaches, employers, and adults in authority can quickly attest to today.” And, I have to agree. Too many boys and young men waste time in pointless activities, unmindful of their responsibilities, uncaring in their pursuits.
You might ask, what is your proof of these accusations? Statistically, today there are more women better educated than men. Women are becoming more successful than men, and they are demonstrating that they are more aggressive in the workplace than men. Note that these statements are not to bring any slight to women – for it demonstrates that women have ascended in all aspects of society. But, it does speak volumes as to the decline of men. Just ask young women about men today, and they will likely tell you how many believe their male counterparts are more like male children, refusing to grow up. Many women are asking, “Where are all the good men?” They are referring to solid men who exhibit confidence, who have ambition and drive, who will be good providers, helpers in the home, not a child couch potato.
Now you might ask, “How did this happen?” It has been a gradual happening over the last twenty years. Fathers have been absent from the home, mothers have been the head of the household. Thus, there has been no role model for the boys. Boys are missing all of the cultural signals about what it means to be a man. Boys are enthralled in video games, television, and music – and this continues on into adulthood. There is no ambition or drive. The foundational virtues – industriousness, marriage, and religion – which are still very important in a man’s life are missing due to the lack of leadership from fathers and other men in a boy’s formative years. And this cycle continues to breed fatherless boys having no compass in life.
So, how do we right this demise of boys to men? First, we must turn to God’s Word for the answers. Concerning “marriage”, the Scriptures teach that a young man is to be taught to leave his parent’s home and to cleave unto his wife.
“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”
A young man is to be taught to be “industriousness” and to provide for his family.
1 Timothy 5:8,
“But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”
A young man is to be taught how to treat his children, and to train them up to know the Lord.
“And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
A young man is to be taught to be “strong in his faith” toward God and to be a role model [if you will, a “hero”] for his children.
1 Corinthians 16:13,
“Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.”
But it must also be understood that the teaching must come from several places. First, as stated above, a father has the responsibility to train up his son to become a man. Secondly, men in the church have a responsibility to help in the training of boys becoming men.
“But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.”
“Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.”
If boys are to be raised to become men, there must be role models who embody everlasting qualities of manhood: honor, duty, valor, and integrity; otherwise, boys will remain boys. Pray for our boys’ manhood.