Op-Ed: The Rise of Adult Boyhood

Op-Ed: The Rise of Adult Boyhood

As a parent to my college-aged daughter and a Bible study leader to five high school girls, I often hear complaints about young men lacking masculinity and leadership qualities.

Today, boys seem hesitant to approach girls in person, relying instead on digital communication for attention, often struggling with assertiveness and the ability to honorably pursue women.

Likewise, a lack of manhood in this generation of boys and young men is reflected in their work ethic. I’ve witnessed this in my own business with employees; in fact, males are often surpassed in position by their female counterparts due to their irresponsibility and lack of motivation.

So, where does this problem begin?

A significant factor contributing to this trend is the prevalence of helicopter or bulldozer parenting styles, wherein parents excessively shield their children from challenges and failures.

Consequently, many boys turn to unhealthy outlets such as pornography and video games to cope with their lack of direction and purpose, thus perpetuating cycles of instant (and fleeting) gratification, avoidance of interpersonal connection, and absence of motivation.

During a recent interview on “Uncommon Sense in Current Times,” Brian O’Shea, a U.S. Army veteran and private detective, echoed these observations.

He emphasized that modern boys lack meaningful outlets for their energy and need mentors to guide them in understanding true masculinity, which involves facing challenges head-on and learning integral life lessons from both victories and defeats.

How Do We Rectify This Issue?

As parents, educators and mentors, we must acknowledge our role in this cultural shift away from biblical masculinity. While some of this deviation may stem from our desire to protect our children, much of it arises from our own uncertainty in navigating ever-changing societal norms.

So, what is godly masculinity?

It can be so easy to jump to an array of assumptions when considering this question. We might automatically think that masculinity looks hyper-macho, commanding and dominant. And while I’ve certainly known godly men who have possessed positive aspects of these traits, this is not how the Word of God defines masculinity.

Rather, true masculinity comes from a place of surrender, servanthood and vulnerability.

1. Relational with God: Obedient and Fearful

Amid the ever-changing uncertainties within our society, one constant remains — the timeless truth found in the Bible.

Biblical masculinity transcends superficial attributes like bicep circumference, clothing choices or profession. Instead, it begins with a man’s relationship with God, requiring humility, integrity and a commitment to moral values. This relationship is deep. It goes beyond attending church on Sunday morning; it is reverent, obedient and surrendered in love to the Father.

“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you” (Matthew 6:6).

2. Servant-Hearted in Leadership: Courageous to Lead and Love

Men are called to be spiritual leaders within their homes, setting an example of faith and righteousness for their families.

Wives are led by their husbands — either in righteousness or astray; likewise, children learn from their fathers. Failing to fulfill this distinguished role with honor leaves a void that worldly influences readily fill, leading children away from biblical principles.

When children witness their fathers loving their wives well, serving their families selflessly in the unglamorous tasks of life, and honoring God in all they do, this actional, leading love permeates their hearts incomparably.

“Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant” (Matthew 20:26).

3. Covering Over Family: Protecting and Providing

Men have a solemn duty to protect and provide for their families, both materially and spiritually. This entails not only physical protection and tangible provision, but also nurturing a loving and supportive environment where faith flourishes.

Godly men create spaces for their families to grow emotionally and spiritually by being vulnerable themselves, intentionally teaching their children biblical values, and working with purpose in all their tasks as if they are working for the Lord.

“Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Timothy 5:8).

Teaching boys biblical masculinity starts early and encompasses a range of everyday actions, from caring for pets to showing godly affection to standing up against injustice. By instilling these values from a young age, we lay the foundation for future generations of men to embrace their God-given roles as leaders, protectors and servants of Christ.

Starting within the home — each of our homes, surrendered to Christ Jesus — is how we change the culture.

Without a firm foundation in God’s Word, a personal relationship with Jesus, and intentional purpose within our families, we can only blame the culture around us for being unbiblical. And aren’t we apt to do so? Without going back to the Word of God, it can be easy to adopt the “red pill” mindset, entirely blaming the culture, women and liberals for men not being men.

Instead, what if we each earnestly examined our own hearts and actions regarding this issue? Might we also see our own shortcomings in biblical leadership?

It is never too late to be transformed by the power of God. It’s never too late to become masculine by the standards of the Bible, teaching our sons to do the same and teaching our daughters what they deserve in godly men.

This is how we change the culture at large: within our hearts, homes and churches first.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Related Articles

Support His Glory

His Glory NEWS Newsletter

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.