In order to counter worldly influences, scores of parents made the conscious decision to be “family oriented.” This was prompted by many factors, including the grim statistics among second generation Christians. Desperately concerned for their children, parents are now home schooling around two million children in the United States. Like any reactionary movement, excesses and deficits are not uncommon.
I would not question the motives of any who have chosen to be “home centered.” However, necessity dictates that we take a long, hard look at the young men we are producing. The problem here is not beer-drinking, party-going, and wild-living; the problem in some cases is a lack of masculine men.
Over-Mothered / Under-Fathered
Back in grade school there was a boy in our class who was a sissy. He acted like a girl. His mannerisms were girl-like. No boy in the class could relate to him because of his feminine characteristics. The guys could not stand him. However, the girls all loved him because he was just like them.
There are inherent dangers when boys are raised primarily by female care-givers. Well intentioned mothers tend to be overly cautious, risk averse, and overly protective. Since women think like women, they would naturally influence their sons to think like women, unless they are counter-balanced by the influence of a strong father or other male figure. Yes, sister, we all want our sons to be gentlemen, but we emphatically want them to be “MEN!”
Meekness, while a very important virtue, is only one of the desired character qualities for young men. “They that knew their God shall do exploits.” Anyone who accomplishes exploits must have initiative, aggressiveness, creativity, boldness, and courage. One of the marks of the judgment of God is when men become like women (Isa. 19:16). You have just got to wonder how non-involved, passive fathers and over-bearing mothers have contributed to the on-slaught of sodomy.
Over Taught / Under Worked
Education is important, but it is not all-important. Young men must be taught to work, and to work hard. God said that men should earn their living by the “sweat of the brow.” I am simplistic enough to believe that work therefore is the prerequisite for “sweat.”
Young men need to be challenged. They need to learn endurance, perseverance, and ingenuity in accomplishing their goals. There is something right and something rewarding about learning to work with your hands. In the divine order, achievement creates a sense of purpose and satisfaction.
Those who live in the suburbs are at a distinct disadvantage in regards to teaching their sons to labor with their hands. Those fathers who are not in a position to have their sons work side-by-side with them also face a dilemma. Although difficult, creative parents will find ways to train their sons to work. Physical work is just as important as academics in the training of young men.
Over Indulged / Under Disciplined
Child-centered parenting is a failure. I seriously doubt if running from one sporting event to another is the pathway to maturity. Most people, including children, follow the path of least resistance. Children need guidance and direction and it is our job to lead them. The parents must take an active role in the lives of their children.
Someone said that the main thing missing in child training is the trainer. Somebody will be in charge. It is our responsibility as parents to establish our authority and carry out our mission rather than satisfy childish indulgences.
I do not believe that all competition is of the devil. It is almost like some Christian parents are training socialists by encouraging their children to be non-achievers. This “attempt nothing,” “do nothing,” “say nothing,” and above all “don’t excel” approach is contrary to the “dominion” mandate that God gave to Adam. Surely there is a balance between achievement and the way we relate to others. Practice, preparation, and the discipline in perfecting skills should be viewed as allies, rather than adversaries.
Parenting is hard. Worldly churches and an immoral culture make it even harder. Caution must be taken in regard to pendulum swings and imbalances lest we produce successive generations of “girly men.”
- Fathers, work with your sons as much as possible.
- Set them up for success by giving them tasks and allowing them to figure it out.
- Start a home business and allow your sons to take it over.
- Let your sons apprentice with godly tradesmen.
- Use projects like building a shed, house, or other structure as a training tool.
- Wives, allow your husband to lead, and by all means, DON’T murmur.