Right now, our culture is obsessed with women's rights, empowering young girls and the equality of females. At this time in history, in America, in a lot of ways, it is good to be a woman. There are a lot of ads and people and songs out there that are fighting for us, or at the very least, reminding us of the fight within ourselves. We are smart. Shape doesn’t matter. We can do anything.
The other day I googled “Christian Magazine for Men” and found….nothing really. Then I googled “Christian Magazine for Women” and found many awesome things. Then I repeated that search for blogs, events, and movements (each one for men and women) and guess what I found? There is a lot of modern, relevant, powerful things out there for the ladies and…..not so much for the men.
Where is all the hoorah, you rock, we value you kind of talk for boys, not only in culture but more importantly, in the Church? Where are the inspiring, humble leaders for the young men? Is it just me or is there a major lack of encouragement and support for the male species lately?
One of the things I really love about the way God planned my life is that I grew up sister-less, with two awesome older brothers and a great dad. (A great Mom too that’s not relevant right now=)) I have encountered my fair number of loser, user and even abuser men in my dating days, but it seems that no matter my compass in regards to thinking that the male gender is actually cool and good and needed always returns to true north – where my dad and brothers (and Heavenly Father) set it.
I’m getting protective of them as a group lately. They are being attacked, have you noticed? And if you don't agree with that you can surely agree with the fact that they aren't be encouraged. I like the commercials and shirts and songs about girl power - we need them. But who is fighting for the boys? Who is filling their heads and hearts with truth that challenges them to be their best? Who is telling them they are needed, wanted and enough? Who is talking to them about courage, valor, and virtues that matter?
Who is teaching them how to use their power for good and not for harm?
Have we as women, the Church, or America, just thrown up our hands and written off men?
Here’s what I would say to them if I had the chance.
Men, young men, boys…I know that many of you are good men. I know because I have dated you and because some of you are in my family. You are “good” in that you see it as your responsibility to move towards problems and not away from them, even if you aren’t sure you can fix it; you see women as humans who are of great value to God and your life and should be both your partner and protected; you work hard no matter how much or how little you make; you are humble enough to admit you are wrong when need be; you fight inate selfishness (that all humans have) becuase you really want to love God and others than yourself, you mean what you say, and you pray for wisdom.
Others of you have lost your way a bit. Culture (let’s call it what it is, Satan) has handed a life of safety and selfishness on a silver platter. You were made for adventure and risk and yet the enemy of our soul has nurtured you with porn and too many video games and too many females who are willing to give themselves to you just because they want attention. You get all your physical needs met with zero risk and zero sacrifice and then you live your life with an underlying sense of self-hatred and you aren’t even sure why. Because you were made for more, that’s why. Because society has lied to you about what you were created for. Because way down deep you know you have more to offer. You can be a man….but sometimes it is so much easier not to be.
Especially when the whole of America seems to be telling you that you aren't necessary anymore. Why try?
I guess I just wanted to remind you guys that YOU ARE NECESSARY. Now more than ever. You don’t have to be perfect, in fact, you can’t be. Only God gets to be that. I’m sorry for the way culture plays on your every desire and then gets mad at you all for being “animals with no self-control.” I’m sorry that women disrespect themselves by giving their bodies away for nothing and then get mad at you for disrespecting them. I’m sorry that we tell you all it’s okay to hook-up, sex is casual, and then call you a deadbeat dad when you aren’t invested in your child that you didn’t plan for and didn’t expect.
Society (Satan) sets you up for failure and then makes fun of you for it…and we wonder why you retreat to your caves of alcohol and smoke and video games to self-medicate.
Maybe I’m writing this blog (on a website for women) because I think the change has to start with women. If we respected you more, would you be more respectable? If we valued ourselves more, would you value us too? If we looked to our Heavenly Father to meet OUR deepest needs and therefore set you free to just be human and not our savior, would you feel less pressure?
But here’s my final thought…and I hope it's not mean because I’m trying to encourage you here…I don’t think it’s our job as women to fix the “man problem.” Sure we can inspire….but I think the essence of what it means to be a man is that you do the hard thing, the selfless thing, the right thing, even when others don’t. You lead the way instead of waiting for others to do it. You look to God, not women, for your ultimate inspiration and fix.
Yes, girl’s rock, I love being a female, but men rock too. You are remarkable. You are remarkable because you are MALE and because your MALENESS reflects God to the world in certain ways a FEMALE simply cannot. Your MALENESS serves the world and others in ways a FEMALE simply can not.
Men…I’m glad God made you. We need you.