Disclaimer: I am not generalizing that all males are boys, for I personally know godly, amazing men who lead and take on the things God have set before them. I also know of situations where it is the woman who messed up while it is the man who stayed and came through. So no, this is not a generalization. Rather, this is an appeal to the males of this generation.
I was looking through thoughtcatalog and got so struck by how much boys out there are parading to be men that I had to write this. I had to. I am so sick of guys determining their manliness by how many women they’ve dated or how good they are in bed. I am tired of reading articles and watching movies telling guys that it’s okay to be passive, it’s okay to be irresponsible.
I am writing this as a lady of this generation crying out in frustration and despair: man up.
No, I’m not talking about buffing up or beefing up. I’m talking about stepping into the mantle God placed upon you. I’m talking about not making excuses and not running away; I’m talking about taking on the responsibility that should have always been carried by the supposed head of the household.
I have read enough books about manhood to have an idea about how difficult it is for you, how scary it is for you to do something you’re not sure you’ll succeed at. I know you’re scared of messing up. I know you have injuries about your past and doubts about your manhood. I get that, I do.
But we have become a culture where boys are encouraged to stay boys for as long as they can by being addicted to partying, womanizing, and video games, while we have forced girls to take on big responsibilities at a young age and have taught them to shut their hearts away because boys will take advantage of such emotional vulnerabilities.
I’m sorry to say, males want the rights and rewards of being a man while taking on only the responsibilities of a boy.
The media clearly portrays how husbands act incompetent thus leaving the responsibilities to their wives and getting disrespected by their kids. We have got to stop emasculating men, and I dearly apologize on behalf of all women who have. Ladies, open your eyes. It never works to our good. Why fight for similar roles when we have been created for completely different purposes? We shouldn’t be surprised if there is a lack of real men out there – we give them an excuse to be passive anyway by how we fight for control. The fault isn’t all on them. And so I pray that as they step into manhood, we ladies are also backing them up and believing in them.
Because, all feminism aside, women need men to come through for us too.
And so guys, I am appealing to you to fight past your fears and move past your doubts. I am telling you step up and step out. I am humbly asking you to allow the pain of molding and allow God to do His work in you so He can work through you.
There are countless of households out there with absent fathers – drowning themselves in their careers or spending their time in the arms of another woman or in front of the television. Wives are abandoned, children are neglected. And so even at an early age, young girls have come to learn to guard themselves from men and to be aggressive, for no one of that gender ever comes through for them anyway. Teenagers now flirt unapologetically and dress immodestly, giving away their hearts and bodies and going through such crazy lengths to garner attention from guys they hardly even know simply because no attention was ever given to them by the man they need it most from.
I was watching a movie recently where a father was so desperately trying to be cool that he would use cuss words and encourage his son to have sex. My jaw hit the floor. Like seriously, is this what the world perceives manhood to be now? Having the most number of sexual conquests? Getting to lose your virginity before 18? Consuming the most amount of alcohol? And to think that his father of all people would support that. The word father means leader, chief. A son looks to his father for his definition of manhood. So is this worldly standard what fathers have been leading their sons to and not the standard of God? Is this the legacy you would want to leave? Womanizing, conquests, and alcoholism?
We need husbands who commit themselves to loving and fighting for one woman for the rest of their lives, not boys who think they are men by turning to pornography and “collecting” the most number of ladies as possible. We need fathers who know their priorities and are willing to take the time necessary to build intimacy within the family, not boys who hide beneath paperwork and focus so much on building a career that they risk losing their families for the sake of a promotion. We need sons who honor and respect their parents, not boys who rebel and answer back. We need brothers who set examples and embrace the responsibilities placed upon them, not boys who make up excuses and don’t take accountability of their actions. We need boyfriends who protect women emotionally and physically until they say “I do”, not boys who exploit emotions to get what they want. We need suitors who step out of their comfort zones to pursue and take risks, not boys who play it safe and wait for a door to magically open. We need friends who lead their loved ones closer to God no matter what, not boys who conform to the world to seem cool. We need students who are excellent and take leadership, not boys who copy off someone else’s work and cut class. We need workers who fight for integrity even if it means standing up to their boss, not boys who can’t say no. We need members of the community who protect, love, and serve others, not boys who think only about self-gain and pride. We need fighters who stand up for what is right even if it costs them their lives, not boys who hide behind their mommies once conflict comes up. We need Christians who lead humble, Christlike lives and are driven by God, not ego.
We need men whose lives are not defined by society, appearance, money, career, or women. We need men who allow their lives to be defined by God.
We don’t just need good men, we need godly men.
Stop looking to Barney Stinson and his playbook or Iron Man and his suits for definitions of manhood. We don’t need more boys who objectify women or boys who focus so much on their goals that they neglect their loved ones (movie reference: Age of Ultron). Instead, look to Christ: someone not only willing to fight for what is right and to die for who He loves, but someone who was willing to walk in humility and endure embarrassment, who was ready to give up everything that He is for the sake of pleasing God.
I know it’s a high standard to reach, but it’s better that you take the risk and at least try being a man rather than remain passive and thereby making sure you will never get to be one. I understand that this is unpopular opinion and some of you might already be cringing in their seats reading this. But we, as Christians, have got to stop going with the flow of culture. Look at where culture has brought us anyway, we have so many worries about the seeming loss of humanity in this generation. Instead of worrying, why don’t we do something about? Stop being complacent and start storming the gates of hell. Break the pattern. Go against the culture. Be a world changer.
It begins with you.
And don’t worry, God’s ready to guide you. He has called you. He has qualified you. He will equip you. His grace is there to catch you and to empower you. For no matter what the world has told you, you are a warrior. You are fierce. You are noble. You are worthy.
It doesn’t matter what you have been through, God can use that for good. Just let Him. Allow Him to draw you deeper and develop your character, so He can use you greater.
Fight for your destiny. Be bold. Be courageous.
I believe in you. God believes in you.
So step out in faith. The world is waiting for you.
“When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.”
-1 Corinthians 13:11
For material by men for men about being a man, I suggest Wild at Heart by John Eldredge, Act Like a Man by Dennis Sy, The Resolution for Men by Steve and Alex Kendrick, and books by Steve Farrar.