Where Are the Men?

Wednesday I posted about the lack of qualified husband material for many fine young Christian women today. Half the comments in response were posted here: the other half, on my Facebook page.

I found all your comments very interesting. Cati Stokes, in particular, said, ” I also know a number of single Christian men (who were home schooled) they seem to be very immature boy-men who would rather have an entry level job, play video games, and some sort of instrument.”

First, do you readers agree with Cati?

Second, if you do, to what would you attribute this “Peter Pan”-ishness . . . this lack of desire to become real men who take leadership in their own homes, businesses, and communities?

I have a few theories on this matter.

First, our society has been emasculating men for quite some time. I’m not just talking about the overt feminist “men are bad” propaganda in schools, university, and the family-court system. I’m referring to our “Mother, May I” culture, where kids are brought up to believe that you have to obtain permission for everything, from raising rabbits to putting a shed in your own back yard. Overblown safety consciousness has also crushed many boyhood adventures that we, our parents, and/or our grandparents pursued without a second thought – for example, this last winter, there was a strong push to ban sledding entirely in some locales! (Read the comments after this article to see what folks who grew up in the “old days” think about this.) An overbearing state also puts men in their place; the perfect example is the TSA, who feel free to molest a man’s wife and children right in front of him, knowing any resistance can be met with hefty fines plus up to 20 years in jail.

So, what’s the upside to growing up into a man, if you can’t BE a man?

One response is to drop out. Work as little as possible, play lots of video games.

Another response is to rebel. In part, the felt need to reject overbearing authority has led to the huge popularity of rap music and the gangsta culture. The problem here is that biblical authority is thrown out right along with unbiblical authority. Macho posturing, and the resulting crime, in turn provides an excuse for yet more government overcontrol.

The third response is to see the problem, admit it’s beyond our control, and neither give way to hopelessness and fear (like the slackers) or brash fist-waving and lawbreaking (like gangstas and gangsta wannabes). Be like Davy Crockett and other real men of the past: determine the right thing to do and just do it, trusting God for the results and not fearing the consequences. This means training our sons up to a high level of biblical knowledge and conviction. But it’s possible. As 2 Timothy 1:7 says,

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

12 Responses

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  • Paul says:

    Mary, I can understand why this is a problem for young men who attended the government schools, but the homeschooled ones too? What are they doing playing video games. Perhaps my wife and I have controlled our home environment more carefully than other homeschool families; no video games or television in our home. (Actually, we have a television. It’s unplugged in the garage being used for one side of a saw horse so that I can cut wood.)

    • Mary Pride says:

      Paul, I hear what you’re saying. We got rid of our TV shortly after marrying 35 years ago. And if the personal computer and the VCR/DVD player had never been invented, that would have been the end of the story. Also, if the Internet had never been invented, videogames wouldn’t be a problem.

      But here’s what happened. Want to use educational videos (first) then DVDs (second)? Need a VCR, then DVD player. Not a problem – you can totally control the physical media that enter your home.

      Need a computer for work? Again, if the kids never come near it, you’re good. (But the lure can be strong with this one!)

      Educational software was not a problem before the Internet. Again, it came on physical media, and there was no need to tote games home. (Most of us found that any “real” game would instantly kill the desire to play “educational” games, at this point.)

      Then behold . . . the Internet. If kids are allowed to use a computer for online courses, or research, or for homework, or for any educational purpose, they can ALSO easily find online games. Kids aren’t the only ones, BTW – how many adults waste hours on Farmville? :)

      So the choice is stark. (1) No computer. (2) Locked-up computer only accessible by parents. (3) Computer accessible by kids to some extent . . . with parents desperately struggling to supervise, add filters, etc., etc.

      I suspect most homeschooling families fall in category 3.

  • Lori Ryberg says:

    Wow, interesting subject. I have 6 sons and 4 daughters. My eldest will be married in 6 weeks,he has worked full time all through college, lived at home and he does play video games. We too have had absolute troglodytes who have approached us about our eldest daughter. So I know what you are talking about, she has many friends who are struggling mightily with this problem. It actually reminds me of when I first read your first book, The Way Home. The couple that gave it to us got divorced soon after reading the book. He decided he never wanted to have children because raising them was a lot of work. It just goes back to sin. I don’t think that any system (NO tv, no computer, no pg-13 movies, homeschool,etc) is going to do the trick. It has to come from the heart. All we can do is do what we are supposed to do, and always stand between our children and suitors. Male and female. We also deal with very assertive girls, who scare me. And one more thing, Cati Stokes is a friend.

    • Mary Pride says:

      You’re so right, Lori, it does go back to sin. I’m glad you and Cati are commenting. Anything you can do to get more friends contributing will be appreciated. I have tons of saved articles and books on all these subjects – now I’m hoping to get a better feel of other families’ experiences.

  • Mary Pride says:

    Patrice Lewis has a GREAT article out on WorldNetDaily, in which she brings together what I’ve been talking about in my last 3 posts and makes an important point. I’d love everyone’s thoughts on her article as well.

  • Uriel says:

    Hello, i’m Uriel, a 21 year old guy from MI now living in the Philippines as a missionary focussing in church planting and church revival. I’m from a broken family, was homeschooled and only care about the Church (body of Christ) and being the best man i can, to be the man that God made me to be both to my mom and family (4 brothers 4 sisters mom, dad, step dad, step mom and ex step mom) and to my wife (though i’m not yet married) and to be the dad that God knows i can be (also have no kids yet). I wanted you to know me before writing my comment.

    Okay, first off thank you for sharing your concern and disapproval for the “new” men today. I feel the same way, except you are luckly not looked at as one of them. I am ashamed of my generation (both the guys and girls) I hate having to be included with them, when someone meets me the problems of the “new” men of today become something the people see in me, until i show them otherwise. I am not like those boys, and i know so many others who are also not like them. We may be out numbered, but we are here! keep looking and you will find us! Please don’t give up on us!

    Let me tell you how and why we got here (in my eyes). First our parents have been bad parents, plan and simple. You may not want to hear it but it’s true. We’re we shown how a man should act? NO we were not! Where we shown what being a real man (man of God) looks like? No we were not! Our fathers were mostly not there to show us that. Our fathers showed us that work is number one and then comes fun, then spending time with family. Most of us “new” men were raised by our mothers. Is that how we become real men? Yes, we haven’t done much to show we want more, but you (our parents) haven’t shown us that you even care.

    I have no idea why i am the way i am, i didn’t have a male to look up to until i was 14 and he betrayed me and everyone else. then next one i had was when i was 19 years old, 19! I’ve never cared about video games (just a thought who’s that ones who got the guys into video games? Who didn’t stop them from becoming what they are now?), i never cared about sports, partying, cars, drinking or guns. my passion has only been God. But no one showed me how to be i was lift to do it myself (my family was christian, but when i was 13 i become the spiritual leader of my house, is that right?).

    Who has shown us what being responsible looks like? where are we learning our work ethics? i’ll tell you, from the only thing thats consistent in our lives, TV shows and movies. I’m sorry, but I’m getting tiered of hearing how bad we are, who we’re not real men. If we had been shown what real men are we’d know, and if you (the parents) had brought us up right this wouldn’t have happened, so my question to you is what are you (the parents) doing about it?

    Young ladies, DO NOT SETAIL for these 13 year old “men” they will not change when you marry them. You should wait for a real man who love you and God, and who will be the man you need as a husband and what your kids will need as a father. We are out there! There are real men who love God and want to be all God made us to be. Seek us out!

    One last thing, as to what you call the “Peter Pan”-ishness…yes we need to grow up and be the leaders God made us to be. But He also called us to have the heart of a child. Our hearts shouldn’t “grow up”, you “adults” have no fun, passion or careless trust. I long to have a Peter-Pan heart, its the mind that needs to mature not the heart.

    Staying true to the call of Christ

  • Mary Pride says:

    Wow. Uriel, that’s some comment! Let me recap your main points:

    1. Who is raising the “new” men: “Our fathers were mostly not there to show us [how to be men]. Our fathers showed us that work is number one and then comes fun, then spending time with family. Most of us ‘new’ men were raised by our mothers.”

    2. Where are the young men who are TRYING to be men learning their work ethics? “From the only thing that’s consistent in our lives, TV shows and movies.”

    3. Peter Pan-ishness is not all bad . . . if it’s in the heart, not the mind.

    Uriel, you seem to have overcome your lack of male role support. What do you think made the difference for you?

    • Uriel says:

      I have no clue why I’m the way i am. There is no logical reason for anything about my life. I like it that way, God gets all the credit. I put everything i had into Him and knowing Him more. I care nothing for the things of this world.
      All i can say is, despite all the hard work of the devil, despite the lake of good Godly men in my life as a child, Despite all the things of this world, I turned out different the the world. I’m not the norm in anything.

      If you take anything from this, take this…that no one can expect the young men to grow up and take their place as providers and leaders if everyone is just complaining about them and doing nothing to raise them up to be true men of God, true men of Faith. Dont give up the the young men around you, take the time to build them into the men God created them to be!

      For the Kingdom of God

      • sarah says:

        Uriel, I am very encouraged to see your comment. Some of the young men I know whom I most respect are also from homes where the father betrayed his family. I just want to say that, as you probably already know, you have nothing to prove before God. You are not destined to become your father; every person’s story is different.

        I’ve started to see this culture a bit better as men see it over the last few years, and I realize that there are plenty of men out there asking this exact same question about the women. Where are the young women who have their heads on straight enough to see past unreasonable romantic ideals to the reality of actual men? Young women who are willing to seek out and pursue what their calling is before God, so that they will be able to even know what would make a good, pragmatic match? Again, we cry, we exist! But everyone is afraid of everyone else.

        • Uriel says:

          Sarah, I’m Glad the comment could encourage you. I do want o clarify, the man that betrayed me was not my father, it was my minister. My father wasn’t there for me really, mainly do to us living so far apart. But He did not betray me. i wanted to make sure that was clear.

          And thank you for telling me i have nothing to prove. My biggest fear is that i will ten into my dad or step dad (not that their horrible men, but they are not what i want to be), or any of the other men who’ve been in my life. I fear that I will change as so many of them did…i know my dad never wanted to be like his, but he is…many girls marry guys and after a year or so the guy is just not the same. He becomes mean, controlling, unreasonable. My fear is that this will also happen to me, and I truly dont want it to.

          Trusting in the only Truth

  • Maria says:

    As a mother of adult HSled children, I want to chime in that Uriel is right on the money. How do you think these kids get hooked on video games? Why do you think they don’t want to work? It’s the parents! Our children turn out how we raise them. This seems to obvious as to go without saying. But in the last 20 yrs, a new breed of HSler has arisen, one who didn’t go thru the battle of pioneering. These parents are wrapped up in themselves, may not own a tv but have 3 gaming systems (only nonviolent games, mind you), cell phones for each 12yo and up, internet access for 5yo and up (which is extremely time-consuming to police)and etc, etc, etc. No chores, really. Few HSlers having large families now. The women STILL raising the sons…this one really makes no sense! Did no one learn 20 yrs ago how horrible this is, from the products of it even then?? HSlers today are just another kind of way to be yuppie. Susie now takes ballet, does cheerleading (at age 7!) and oh yeah, we HS too. This is the root. Men will not be men if they don’t have to. And they can’t be men if they don’t know how. Parents are failing in droves on both accounts.

    • sarah says:

      I do notice that those of us who are facing relationship struggles now are the children of the first homeschoolers, not these more mainstream ones, who are mostly still waiting to grow up. I bet they all won’t have the same struggles — their own, no doubt, but not the same.

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