I must admit, many of the conversations with my closest girl friends and within my most trusted relationships revolve around expressing the same frustration in about 54 different ways. I’ll simplify it for you.
“Our generation of men isn’t stepping up.”
A simple sentence, really. But wow, what a powerful statement. It’s full of assumptions, hurt, and jadedness. It’s full of disappointment, scarring of the past, daddy issues, damaged self-worth, and failure to thrive. It’s full of expectation, misinterpretation, bitterness, and pride. That is a lot of heaviness for one sentence.
I’ve watched some of my best friends get seriously damaged by relationships. I’ve watched us all grow more and more jaded towards guys in general. I’ve watched myself get more presumptuous, I’ve seen myself begin to anticipate the worst, and I’ve observed a heart less inclined to believe in men like I did when I thought love stories weren’t just from the movies.
Reality sets in, and we realize that men don’t fulfill our needs. We realize that men are also broken, scared and haven’t been taught what we think they should have been. We start to think it’s our job to save them. Or, fix them.
We have to embrace that only Jesus can fully meet our needs: ” And my God will meet ALL your needs, according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
We have to understand that only Jesus can save: “ He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all—how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?” Romans 8:32
Who made women judge of men? The Bible says, “Do not judge and you will not be judged. Do not condemn and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven.” (Luke 6:37)
I was so hit with conviction as I was discussing this issue with my mentor and her husband and they, in agreement with my frustrations and hurt, but went a step further and asked me, “What are you going to do about it?”
But did I ever stop to pray for the men of this generation? Did I ever stop to be compassionate towards the struggles and the defeats and the lies and the pressure and the growth they face? Or am I too busy being preoccupied with how it impacts me right now?
I’m growing so much as a woman in this season of life. Singleness is good for me. School is good for me. Independence is good for me. But nowhere on my radar is leading a spouse, providing for a family, becoming the spiritual center of that family, or fighting for the purity of that family. Nowhere on my radar is the pressure of leadership, in the sense that men my age are facing. Men have the unique and difficult responsibility of loving and leading their wives and families as a metaphor for Christ’s leading His bride, the church. (Ephesians 5:22-25)
We’ve got a generation of both men and women with Daddy and Mommy issues, with absent or divorced parents, with sexual abuse, with sexual sin, with guilt and shame and fear and doubt. But men and women carry these differently. Right now, in my life, I see a generation of women seeking to conquer the hurt and sin of their pasts. I see a generation of women running head-first into being disciples of Jesus. I see a generation of women laying the seed down for future marriages and families and generations. But I also see a generation of women bitter because men don’t seem to be doing their part. We’re becoming part of the added pressure, not part of the encouragement.
Frankly, I’m quite exhausted from being angry at the male population for not stepping up. Maybe we should stop being so angry and we should start affirming the men in our lives. Maybe then we would see them believe what we all know they’re capable of.
So let’s stop placing so much unrealistic expectation on men and put all that expectation on God. That He will heal, restore, and prepare our men. That He can and will change our generation. That He can set a fire in the hearts of our men to bring forth even further restoration.
Let’s pray for God to do something revolutionary in our men’s hearts- for their families, for their spouses, for their workplaces. There’s something so powerful about men and what they bring to the table. I think I’d like to stop disrespecting it and start asking God to reveal just how powerful it was made to be.
I want to be a woman patient enough to trust the Lord to do something big with our generation. I want to be a woman who believes that her prayers have a role in seeing that come to fruition. What a gift to get to pray for the men in our families, our communities and our generation!
Will you join me in praying for:
- Courage to face and forgive their pasts, to walk in and accept their identity as a new creation in Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
- Understanding of their worth as men in Christ. (1 John 3:1)
- Developing community and accountability with godly men. We’ve got to fight for men to be discipled! (Acts 4:32-35)
- Protection against lies, that they learn to walk in truth. (Ephesians 6:11)
Liz loves to cook, read, write, dance like a fool, and is infamous for embarrassing herself on a daily basis. Through it all, she strives to make Jesus famous. Currently completing her degree in nutrition, she is one of the few Dieticians who encourages healthy living and while wholeheartedly endorsing the consumption of cheesecake…