As a generation, we are staring daily into the void caused by the lack of strong, godly men in our culture and our homes. Whether it is the recent news about rampant sexual assault on college campuses or violent, abusive young men who commit mass shootings, we are seeing the consequences of a generation of men who have not been taught to use their strength to live for the good of others, but instead have been trained to use other people for their own selfish gain. How have we ended up with this sad state of affairs and more importantly, how do we turn the tide with the next generations of boys?
The truth is that one of the effects of sin in our world is the selfish passivity of men. Without strong mentoring of the next generation of boys by the current generation of men, the default belief of young men is that they are supposed to be cared for by women. So, instead of learning from an early age to use their masculine energy and strength to be servant leaders, boys learn to use women to get their own needs met. This selfish passivity is destructive to the family, the church, and the culture at large.
What we desperately need today is a renewal of selfless servant leadership among men. We need a generation of boys who learn (by watching and hearing) to use their masculine strength to lay down their lives for the good of the women around them. We need a new generation of men who live to protect women, honor their bodies, and treat them with the respect and dignity they deserve as daughters of God and sisters in Christ. We need a generation of men who will reject the selfish consumer passivity encouraged by our culture and who reject the violent, abusive treatment of women displayed in pornography. A generation of men who make the decision to be faithful, loving husbands and fathers, who work hard to provide for their families, and who commit themselves to a life of character and honor.
One of the oft-repeated proverbs of pastoral leadership is that “everyone attends church on Mother’s Day and everyone goes fishing on Father’s Day.” While its obviously an overstatement, it reveals the core issue I’m writing about today: that moms too often carry the heaviest load for spiritual leadership and direction in the family. This should not be. Dads, where are you? Where are the fathers who don’t check out on Father’s Day, but instead tell their families, “what would honor your father the most this year would be for us all to be in church together worshiping God as a family”?
It is too easy for us as men to sit back and condemn the culture for its lack of moral compass and mistreatment of women and girls. But here’s the truth: if we sit back and do nothing, if we keep our mouths shut and say nothing, if we fail to train the next generation of boys to honor God above all and treat women with love and honor, then we are perpetuating the very problems we hate to see. Men, we need your strong, servant leadership in the home, the church, and the culture. We need you to tenderly love and serve your wives in front of your kids, to treat the women at your workplace with dignity and respect, to use your gifts to serve women in the church, and to use your strength to protect your daughters.
Men, our world is crying out for a vision of masculinity that is not selfish, passive, abusive, and consumed with lust and games. Where are the men who will lay down their selfish desires, their sexual urges, and their violent anger at the altar before God and pick up the mantel of Christ-like love, service, and kindness toward others? Give me a tribe of these kind of men, and by God’s grace, the next generation of boys will have a vision of manhood worth giving their lives for.