Waiting for Boys to Become Men

waitingboystobecomemenby guest blogger Liz Franklin

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 

 I don’t know when the moment was that we, as women, decided it was fair to become so overly critical towards men and their struggles. Is it fair that things are different for our generation when it comes to marriage? Absolutely not. Is it fair that the men of our generation are hitting some of the biggest challenges in society possible? Absolutely not. But, do we really believe that because of those things, God isn’t working for our marriages, for our future husbands, for our covenants?
 

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… 

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3 thoughts on “Waiting for Boys to Become Men

  1. I wholeheartedly agree!! I am guilty of slandering men in my life and treating them with contempt and disrespect. If we ladies want to have a change of heart, mind and behavior towards men then we must start by confessing our sin to God and asking forgiveness from men we have sinned against. We can’t change ourselves, so we must fall on God’s grace and ask Him to change us in this area!
    Thank you so much for speaking truth boldly. God bless you and the readers!

  2. Too many men feel like they’re the moles in a game of whack-a-mole. Whenever they step up, they get hammered down–whether it’s divorce law, active and sanctioned discrimination against men in college, workplace, unfair rape or abuse allegations, political support for a violence against women act, but no support at all for domestic violence against men. If it’s not accusations that chivalry is discrimination, it’s accusations that they’re not sacrificial and chivalrous enough!

    Thank you for this post. Men don’t need more guilt-tripping or accusations. They need support and appreciation for sacrificing life and limb to make our world go around and keep us safe. By far the vast majority of workplace deaths and injuries are men, and almost all of our military deaths are men. Instead of making them feel guilty for their place as CEOs, engineers, scientists, inventors, bankers–we should be grateful they’re smart enough, hard-working enough, and dedicated enough to their families to do all those difficult jobs!

  3. I very much appreciate the spirit of this post. Judgement is not the answer. Woo. 🙂

    However, I cannot relate to the frustration with which this post begins. I know so many absolutely marvelous men. They are kind, they are understanding, they believe in romance, and true love. They are curious, intelligent, and becoming wise. But funny thing is, they have all had troubles with women hurting them. =/ So I have to wonder if there is more to all of this than the idea that men aren’t stepping up. What if there’s just a lot of hurt going on in general?

    None of these men are Christians, though, and I don’t know any Christian men, so perhaps there’s a different situation in the Church, I wouldn’t know.

    As much as my boyfriend is a hero to me, I don’t put as many expectations as you do on your future spouse. When my grandmother got married, she provided for her family just as much as her husband did, because if she hadn’t, there wouldn’t have been enough food (they worked together as farmers). That is what I expect I will do. And as much as he is there for me emotionally, I am there for him too. Caring for one another is a mutual thing, and to have one partner do the majority of the carrying is far too great a burden.

    So maybe that’s why there is a different situation in the Church? Too high expectations? I dunno… I’m not saying the things you want are bad necessarily, but there are probably quite a few really nice and wonderful guys who are too poor to support a family alone. Shrug.

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