Sometimes the articles I read end up colliding. Partly to stay up with the times, but mostly because I just love learning new things, I spend a fair amount of each day reading. My Flipboard app does all the work of gathering journal articles from various sources leaving me the joy of reading article after article every morning.
And sometimes they collide. Here’s an example. You may not be aware of Jordan B. Peterson, the Canadian psychology professor whose decision to disobey the law mandating the use of transgender pronouns pushed him into the international spotlight. His fight became the cause de jour as millions gave him their support. Consequently, he defeated the politically correct crowd, and has ridden his victory into fame and great influence. And his mantra? Simply put, he has become the “dad of the internet” by proclaiming to men they had better get their act together since a primary influencer on future generations is genuine manhood. “You influence those around you, so get your act together and be responsible” is a summary of his various writings and talks.
Some time ago I attended a lecture by a futurist who demonstrated statistically that adolescence, which used to end around age 12-14 now is seen to last, at least emotionally, up to age 30 among the emerging generation of males. They act like children, have no plan for life and success, change jobs every 18 months, residences every 12 months, and too often end up back with their parents. The problem? These males are never going to be good husbands, good fathers, good members of society until the grow up, grow a man mind, and become good men.
A second article, by Glenn Stanton of the Witherspoon Institute, took up the same subject. He insightfully wrote that we never hear someone way “hey, woman up”, or “be a woman”, or “take it like a woman.” Why not? Because girls naturally and instinctively understand, as their bodies mature and change, they are being prepared for a distinctly womanly role.
But the same is not true for boys. Turns out, while maleness is determined by our DNA, being a good man must be learned, practiced, and diligently pursued. Look around and we’ll all see the abolition of manhood brought about by a combination of political and societal ideologies. If we don’t counteract the movement to strip men of manhood, we’re in horrible trouble.
When the feminist movement blossomed, they didn’t stop to think about the consequences of building a society in which manhood would become a liability. But now they are reaping what they’ve sown. The numbers of single women in the 20s and 30s who would love to marry but can’t find a stable, disciplined, thoughtful, and steady man are burgeoning. Just ask any of your single female friends and they’ll tell you story after story about the adult jerks they’ve dated.
I think Stanton has it right. Somewhere along the line, we forgot what true manhood looks like, and why it is so needed. He states that “across virtually all cultures, manhood has largely consisted of three essential qualities: procreation, provision, and protection. If a boy doesn’t learn these things, then he is not likely to become a good, selfless, serving man.”
Margaret Mead, in Male and Female, put it this way “this behavior, being learned, is fragile and can disappear rather easily under social conditions that no longer teach it effectively.”
Apparently, we’ve already begun to lose it. The feminization of males has left us with a huge number of emotionally adolescent, narcissistic, self-focused, entitled men whose predatory sexual activities are wreaking havoc in cities and towns across our fair nation.
What we need are men, fathers, coaches, teachers, and mentors to tell boys it is good to be a man. It is good to want to provide and protect. It is good to be courageous, bold, and strong as long as it is for good not ill. And it is good to provide a home, provide for and protect a wife, and raise up children – both boys and girls – who have solid ethical foundations, disciplined lives, selfless attitudes, and a willingness to work hard and fight through all obstacles.
The days of sissified boy raising must end. If you are a man, be a good one. Be courageous, focused, and faithful. Be a planner, a builder, and a leader who keeps going even when things are rough. Don’t complain, don’t waver, and never quit. And teach your sons – please teach your sons – that strength clothed with wisdom and compassion is what it really takes to be a man, and we need all the men we can get.
David Hegg is senior pastor of Grace Baptist Church and a Santa Clarita resident. “Ethically Speaking” runs Saturdays in The Signal.