As men pursue and reflect Christ… families change… churches change… communities change… the world changes. Unfortunately, this is not reality. It is not happening. We have a morbidly disgusting man problem in America…

We recently started going through the new membership classes at our wonderfully awesome church. As part of this first of 12ish classes, the teacher emphasized the importance and absence of male leadership in the church.

He referenced a couple really compelling resources that I thought I would share with you. Most of the following is not original, but you should read it

Resource 1 – Overwhelming Statistics About Male Leadership in the Home

Source: http://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=16-05-024-v

Some really smart and bored people in Switzerland analyzed a plethora of statistics to ascertain any kind of correlation between parents attending church and their children attending church in adulthood. Here are the incredible results.

  • If father AND mother attend regularly, 33% of their children attend regularly.
  • If father is irregular and mother regular, only 3% (THREE!) of their children attend regularly.
  • If father is non-practicing and mother regular, 2% of children become regular.

Now here is when it gets crazy…

  • If the father is regular and the mother is irregular or non-practicing, the percentage of children that attend church regularly in adulthood goes UP from 33% to 38%!

In case this is somehow missed, the purpose of this is not to encourage mom’s to stay home from church! This just highlights the influence the father has on the spirituality of his children. God’s design of the home / family structure and bestowing the responsibility of familial headship to the man was intentional and purposeful. It matters…It matters… It matters!!

Resource 2 – The Current State of “Man” in America

I don’t need to offer much introduction to this. The excerpt below is from the book Church Planter: The Man, the Message, the Mission by Darrin Matrick and Mark Driscoll. Side Note: I am a HUGE Mark Driscoll fan. He is a teacher that knows the word and isn’t afraid to unapologetically teach truth from it. This excerpt is long… but you should read it.

We live in a world full of males who have prolonged their adolescence. They are neither boys nor men. They live, suspended as it were, between childhood and adulthood, between growing up and being grown-ups. Let’s call this kind of male Ban, a hybrid of both boy and man. Ban is juvenile because there has been an entire niche created for him to live in the lusts of youth. The accompanying culture not only tolerates this behavior but encourages it and endorses it. (Consider magazines like Maxim or movies like Wedding Crashers.) This kind of male is everywhere, including the church and even, frighteningly; vocational ministry

Ban may be a frightening reality in the church, but he is the best thing that ever happened to the video game industry. Almost half (about 48 percent) of American males between the ages of eighteen to thirty- four play video games every day— for almost three hours.’ The average video game buyer is thirty-seven years old. In 2005, 95 percent of computer game buyers and 84 percent of console game buyers were over the age of eighteen.

Note: The statistic of who purchases videos games is misleading. I haven’t met many 12 year olds that purchase their own videos games. While video games are not “the devil”, the amount of time men 18-30 years old play videos games is baffling… every day for almost 3 hours!!!

Halo 3 grossed over three hundred million dollars in the U.S. in its first week, and more than one million people played Halo 3 on Xbox Live in the first twenty hours. Astonishingly, 75 percent of American heads-of-households play computer and video games.

A game released in November of 2010 blasted all video game sales records. While Halo 3 made $200+ million in the first week, Call of Duty: Black Ops grossed $360 million in the FIRST DAY and over $650 million in the first week.

It may be troubling to look at how Ban spends his money, but it is appalling to see how he relates to women. One needs only to follow Ban to “da club” to see what he thinks of and wants from the opposite sex. Again the stats tell the story.

There are 9.7 million Americans living with all unmarried different-sex partner and 1.2 million Americans living with a same-sex partner. Every second $3,075.64 is being spent on pornography, 28,258 Internet users view pornography, and 372 Internet users type adult search terms into search engines. Every thirty-nine minutes a new pornographic video is created in the United States.

These numbers were taken from a 2006 study: http://familysafemedia.com/pornography_statistics.html. With technology become more mobile, cheaper, and easier to use, I bet those numbers have significantly increased. Imagine how much good could be done in the world with that amount of money and time… Imagine how much society could be eternally and drastically impacted.

In the United States, 1.3 women are raped every minute. That results in seventy-eight rapes each hour, 1,872 rapes each day, 56,160 rapes each month, and 683,280 rapes each year.

One out of every three American women will be sexually assaulted in her life time. The United States has the world’s highest rape rate of the countries that publish such statistics. It’s four times higher than Germany thirteen times higher than England, and TWENTY TIMES higher than Japan.

This pisses me off and deeply breaks my heart beyond words.

Unfortunately, many young women today have given up trying to find Mr. Right. They are coming to the stark reality that they are probably going to have to settle for Mr. So-So. Ban is good at selling himself as a man, but the reality is that he is just a “man wannabe.” Ban typically doesn’t like absolute truth, but he proves its existence through his continual devolution into junior-high behavior and its accompanying consequences.

It is a transcultural reality that assuming the responsibilities of husband and father makes a boy into a man, but Ban doesn’t like responsibility; so he extends his adolescence as long as humanly possible. And by delaying having a family, which is the rite of many cultures’ progress into manhood. Ban is able to set his focus squarely and supremely on himself.

My petition to all women… DO NOT SETTLE for a Ban. It is not worth it. You will absolutely end up dissatisfied in a mediocre marriage that does not reflect God’s design.

As Ban puts off adulthood, he also puts off marriage. Why bother with a wife and a mortgage when you can live in your parents basement, play video games all day; participate in adult sports leagues at night, and barhop every weekend? Hymowitz notes that in 1970, 69 percent of twenty-five-year-old and 85 percent of thirty-year-old white men were married; in 2000 only 33 percent and 58 percent were, respectively. And the data suggests this trend is not slowing.

I think this is one of the reasons young men love watching mixed martial arts. They project themselves onto these “superheroes,” men who are everything they are not: incredibly disciplined, courageous risk-takers who have the genuine respect of their peers. It’s as if watching real men in danger taps into the brain chemistry responsible for what we call masculinity. Curiously, the testosterone and adrenaline that encourage men to seek danger and risk are rarely tapped into for honorable purposes like lifelong marriage and parenting. Instead Ban settles for virtual reality and virtual relationships.

Some men cease fondling themselves (SEE NOTE BELOW),” the game controller, or the TV remote and actually participate in adult sports leagues, including the child playground game kickball. Perhaps one major catalyst for young men’s love for recreational sports is that it replicates the kind of challenge and competitiveness sorely lacking from their own personal, professional, and spiritual lives.

Note: A footnote from the book states that according to a Kinsey Institute study on American sexual practices conducted nearly sixty years ago, 92% of American men of all post-pubescent ages reported they masturbated regularly. See: http://www.teenhealthfx.com/answers/Sexuality/1056.html

One author called team sports a “civilized substitute for war,” which would explain why so many men only seem to come alive emotionally on the inside and feel connected socially on the outside to their fellow “weekend warriors.” It has become mainstream to be an adult boy.

The masculine journey from boyhood to manhood lies largely in the transition from engaging physically by inflicting pain to engaging emotionally by absorbing emotional pain and persevering through it. Boys must learn how to use their physical strength more passively than actively as they progress to manhood and become what David Gilmore calls “real men.” Real men “give more than they take … are generous, even to the point of sacrifice.” Being a man is about being tough and tender.

I don’t really have much to add to that powerful passage.

God intentionally created man in His image…

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them. Genesis 1:26-27

I know God didn’t design man in the image depicted above; I can’t picture Christ living in that manner. He didn’t.

This deplorable depiction of manhood changes ONLY when men pursue God. Again and supremely important: As men pursue and reflect Christ… families change… churches change… communities change… the world changes.


Discussion Questions

  1. Men… Did any of the statistics and information impact you? Why?
  2. Men… Where are you spending your time and resources? What needs to change?
  3. Men… Are you fighting for and leading your family? What needs to change?
  4. Single women, are you settling for a “Ban”. Why? Is a mediocre and painful marriage worth the fleeting feeling of acceptance? Yes, that is a leading question.