Psychologists will talk about the natural crisis that a man finds himself in because he was a man born in a woman’s body. They say that a man must find his manhood, while a woman has already been nurtured into hers. A man must grow into his manhood through the help of other men, and through his own suffering. The tragedy, I believe, that we find in Christianity, is that we are not producing good Christian men. Brad Pitt’s character Tyler Durden in the movie Fight Club seems to get the picture when he said this, “We’re a generation of men raised by women. I’m wondering if another woman is really the answer we need.“ Unfortunately, Christianity is producing men who are either violent tyrants (who abuse their children and wives (in many forms), and start wars in their Church over theology and politics), or we produce good boys, who just follow the rules and try to skate through life without causing problems.
When we look at the one of the greatest disasters in our modern era, we must look at the role of relationships between fathers and their sons, or lack there of. When we look at our modern American context of fatherhood, most fathers are either physically or emotionally absent. Both of these are causing extreme damage to our homes. Families are not provided with the necessary masculine energy that both boys and girls need. What we now have are mothers left to initiate their sons into grown men. With this happening, we can see why so many men have attachment problems with their mothers (which causes problems in their marriages because only one woman can hold the space of primary woman). It also helps us to see why men are not given the necessary wisdom to move through their struggles properly. They were not provided a proper masculine identity.
When we recognize the absence of men from a little boy’s life, we can see why the world is filled with so many problems. The world and the Church have created men who not only don’t know how to treat women, but how to treat other men. We have produced far too many sexists, warriors instead of peacemakers, all because of a shortage of mature and wise men.
What does being a man mean? How do we help boys become men?