The gravest challenge our culture faces today is the crisis of masculinity. The American Psychological Association has labeled traditional masculinity - strength, aggression, stoicism - as something “toxic.” The APA is saying that our problem in America is with traditional American masculinity. But it’s what the APA calls “toxic masculinity” that enabled us in 1776 to defeat the British Empire and stake our claim to be one of the sovereign nations of the world.
It was “toxic masculinity” that enabled us to do the hard work of carving a nation out of the wilderness and defeating dozens of hostile nations along the way. It was “toxic masculinity” that enabled the Fighting Leathernecks to defeat the Muslim armies of Tripoli in 1804 in our first battle with Islamic jihad. (They got the nickname “Leathernecks” because they wore thick strips of leather around their necks for the simple reason they knew the Muslims would try to cut off their heads.)
It was “toxic masculinity” that enabled us to fight a bloody civil war - at the cost of 600,000 American lives - to bring the diabolical institution of slavery to an end in America. It was “toxic masculinity” that enabled us to lead the effort to defeat the Nazi menace and free the word from its scourge in the 1940s.
The problem is not that there is too much masculinity in America, it’s that there’s not enough. An absence of biblical masculinity, which is simply men using their strength to lead, protect, and provide, has left too many homes fragmented and broken, leaving spouses abandoned and children to fend for themselves.
According to the United Nations Population Fund, 40 percent of all births in the U.S. now happen outside of marriage. But if you go back to 1970, that figure was sitting at just 10 percent.
At this point in our history, approximately one out of every three children in the United States lives in a home without a father. The damage to our sons and daughters caused by fatherlessness is catastrophic. How are the boys of today supposed to learn how to be the men of tomorrow, the husbands of tomorrow, and the fathers of tomorrow?
A recent study revealed that the main problem with boys and violence is not poverty. It is the absence of a father in the home. Says Prof. Richard Vatz of Towson State University, "Fatherlessness is a core cause of virtually all societal ills.”
Sarah Hall, a British writer, makes this profound observation. What matters is "not whether or not the father lived in the family home" but whether the "biological father maintained a close relationship with his son” (emphasis mine).
In this study, 55% of the “good boys” lived with their biological fathers, compared with only 4% of the ‘bad boys.'" Almost 80% of the "good boys" spoke of being close to their biological fathers.
Boys who had a father who showed an interest in his son "gained a sense of being loved and approved of, and the fear of jeopardizing this proved enough to deter them from crime" said Dr. Jenny Taylor of the British Psychological Society in Birmingham, England.
The U.S. Census Bureau concluded that children from fatherless homes are more likely to be poor, become involved in drug and alcohol abuse, drop out of school, and suffer from health and emotional problems.
The problem is massive and overwhelming. What can we do? I believe the solution is for the fathers of today to invest themselves in their young sons, and give them an example to follow in life, work, and family. We need dads who will mentor their young sons so they will grow up to become the mature, masculine men America needs to lead the next generation. The dads of today need to equip their sons to be the leaders, protectors, and providers for the families of tomorrow.
Who else is in a position to get this done? The churches of today often seem more interested in entertaining young boys than in training them. Government schools long ago abandoned even the pretense of character education, and the entertainment media is hopelessly corrupt.
Maybe you are a dad reading these words, and finding yourself stirred to be the kind of mentor your young son needs. If I may be so bold, I have written a book, “The Boy To Man Book,” which is designed for a father to read with his 12-year-old son. The chapters are brief, stocked with anecdotes, and filled with insight from Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived. And each chapter concludes with a prayer you can pray over the life of your son.
Every day 5000 young boys in America turn twelve. Make sure that your son is one of the lucky ones who had a father committed to raise him in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
As columnist and family expert Mike McManus says, “Children need their fathers. There is no substitute.”
(You can find out more, and order a copy of the book for yourself or for others, at https://afastore.net/the-boy-to-man-book-by-bryan-fischer)