Our generation has lost what it means to be a man. This problem is well-noted by many in society, from churches to social commentators to websites like Art of Manliness that focus on teaching modern day men to recover what has been lost. Men have become accustomed to being takers and not givers, which has helped contribute to the breakdown in the family. Many of society’s ills can be traced back to this breakdown, especially considering that the greatest indicator for poverty is marital status. Men have abdicated their responsibility, so I thought it would be beneficial to look at three important ways that men have failed women, especially in this generation.
#3. We Stopped Working
The Problem: We treat our lives outside of a “job” as a recreational opportunity, devoid of responsibility.
The Analysis: Brett McKay of Art of Manliness has written how modern man’s dilemma is that he no longer strives to take responsibility for everything in his life. We may work in the sense that we have the 9-5 job that brings home the bacon, but the temptation is so strong to just “tune out” and ignore our families and communities. Sometimes, the tuning out is just a way of life, to the point where we become so completely adverse to responsibility that we become completely unproductive human beings. It gets so bad that we outsource our usefulness to women, which is ultimately a disservice to them, because now they have to be twice as productive to compensate for deadbeat men. We abdicated our responsibility to women, who now feel that they have to be the responsible adults in relationships (whether romantic or otherwise). On every level, it is pathetic for a man to implicitly force a woman to carry the weight that should rest on his shoulders. In a very real sense, it’s sexism because it forces a woman to balance to roles, even if the woman feels empowered for having more power in the relationship.
The Cure: Own up to our sin of laziness and apathy and learn the lessons of Proverbs 6:6.
#2. We Fueled the Internet Pornography Empire
The Problem: When we decided that a woman was not a worthy thing to fight for, we began using them.
The Analysis: Porn is a big problem. Like, a really, really, really HUGE problem. The average age of exposure for porn is 11 years old. For every 10 men in church, 5 are struggling with pornography. And to give you an idea of the prevalence of this problem, 70% of 18-to-24-year-old men visit pornographic sites in a typical month. 66% of men in their 20s and 30s also report being regular users of pornography (Source). The fact is that this generation of men has grown up with instantaneous access to every kind of hardcore pornography in existence. It’s not just on our computers anymore. It’s on our mobile devices and every other kind of Internet connected gadget. Porn teaches us that women are objects to be used for our own conquests. It kills our instinct to protect those who are weak and vulnerable and instead exploits people for profit (it’s no coincidence that modern sex trafficking has kept pace with the porn industry). Not to mention it does tremendous damage to personal relationships by eroding trust and intimacy. There is a lot out there on why porn is insanely destructive, and it’s not the purpose here to delve into all of the reasons why it’s destructive. But the fact is that we have once again abandoned our responsibility to guard our hearts and our eyes and protect our sisters. We have absolutely failed women in this regard because we have done the worst possible thing: we have turned women into commodities.
The Cure: Get on your face before Jesus and learn the lessons of Psalm 118:5 and numerous other verses that feature crying out to God. Cry out to God and he will hear you. And if you’re in real trouble, visit Setting Captives Free.
#1. We Stopped Caring About Kids
The Problem: Along with using porn as a cheap substitute for love and intimacy, men decided that kids were a burden that needed to be abandoned.
The Analysis: Fatherlessness is another huge problem. There are studies upon studies that document the damage done when a father walks out on their kids. Numerous Hollywood blockbusters feature main characters that have “Daddy issues”. The truth is that there is no greater responsibility than caring for a child. Since men in this generation are experts in avoiding responsibility, ditching children is a no-brainer for the footloose and fancy free man. And what’s the easiest way to ditch your kids? For many, the answer is abortion. (The recent campaign known as #brochoice is a perfect summary of men who want to shirk responsibility and use women purely as sexual objects). Boyfriends pressuring their girlfriends to get an abortion is a fairly frequent phenomena. They want to avoid the responsibility, and if they don’t succeed in convincing their girlfriends to get abortions, they leave, and even when they do get it, they still leave. Some sources say that up to 70% of romantic relationships end after an abortion (Source). Fatherlessness is a growing epidemic, with as many as 1/4 of all children living without a father, and in many minority communities, the number is much higher (Source). The result: men have failed women by creating legions of single mothers, who are the most likely in society to live in poverty.
The Cure: Own up to our responsibility to be husbands and fathers. Learn the lessons of Psalm 127: 3-5.
I’m in no way suggesting that these problems are new (using women as objects is a problem as old as Adam). But in some ways, they seem to have particularly potent influence on this generation, and something needs to be done about it. Men need to grow up, take responsibility and turn to the only one who can really change them: Jesus Christ.
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