Perpetual male adolescence and what it means

“Pajama Boy” – the effeminate, hot chocolate drinking meterosexual in a recent ObamaCare promotion – has brought forth waves of derision among conservatives, but this is something we should be concerned about. What our nation needs and is sorely lacking is real men. Without boys deciding to become real men – and without fathers to train their sons to be real men – our nation will continue to spiral downward.

This is something I addressed back in October – specifically that the cases of teenage boys openly sexually assaulting teenage girls in public is a symptom of the lack of real men. Had there been teenagers at that infamous party in Steubenville who had been trained to be real men, they would have either stopped the assault or they would have taken a beating trying to stop it. They would not have allowed it to happen without intervening, and they certainly would not have laughed and took pictures.

A few years ago, the men’s group in my church were instructed to leave “Guyland” behind and this became a recurring theme of David’s Mighty Men. Guyland, described in an excellent book by Michael Kimmel, is an extended period of adolescence. Rather than maturing into responsible and respectable men who are fathers, husbands and productive employees, “guys” instead hang on to the trappings of adolescence – a life focused on video games, hooking up, pornography, and drinking. Many of them live with their parents, unemployed or in dead-end jobs.

(For more, see here and here and here and here.)

We should not be surprised, then, when adult men are willing to resign themselves to a lifetime of stocking shelves, avoiding marriage, and avoiding responsibility. Avoiding children is the most important thing, because the one thing that will break a man’s self-centered worldview is taking care of a baby. Sharing the load of comforting a crying infant at 3:00 am, feeding that baby a bottle and changing a diaper in the middle of the night so your wife can sleep are all behaviors that cannot exist in the perpetual adolescence of “guyland.” Guys can biologically reproduce, but only men can be fathers.

We should not be surprised, then, at the fact that the majority of university undergraduates are women, or that women are making significant gains in the workforce while guys are being left behind and left out. What real woman wants to marry a guy when she could be with a man instead? What woman wants to take on a mental and emotional teenager that she has to care for and clean up after? That woman would be better off by herself than taking on that kind of burden.

I do not believe we could win World War II today. The kind of sacrifice and commitment required to do something of that magnitude is not something that Generation X or Millennials are capable of doing. (Or for that matter, much of the Baby Boomers.) But that is no reason to be depressed or to give up. There is always hope of revival, but it must be a multi-pronged approach that involves, public policy, culture, family and church.

From a public policy standpoint, we have to pull back on welfare benefits. Helping people who genuinely need help is one thing, but welfare has destroyed the family (and not just the black family) while enabling irresponsible behavior by boys who never become men. Our culture needs to be less tolerant of irresponsible guys and hold manhood in higher regard. Our families need to train their sons, grandsons and nephews to be men and not guys. Our churches need to preach the value of Biblical manhood and the God-given commandments to be responsible and to be fathers in the community.

All of this, from a human standpoint, is completely impossible. The only hope we have for all of the above to happen is for God to send a spirit of revival on our nation. We should all be praying that He does so.

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