In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes (Judg 21:25)~~ Men are more zealous to assert and support their own authority than submit to that of God. They would act better to repent of their rash oaths, bring sin-offerings, and seek forgiveness in the appointed way, rather than attempt to avoid the guilt of perjury by actions so wrong. That men can advise others to acts of treachery or violence, out of a sense of duty or loyalty, forms a strong proof of the blindness of the human mind when left to itself, and of the fatal effects of a conscience under ignorance and error.
There’s a growing phenomenon of ‘men’ who don’t seem to want to grow up. They drift from job to job, live with parents or run with a crew of buddies, and focus much of their energy on drinking, carousing, watching sports, playing video games, and chasing women. What makes this generation of men different from previous ones is that many are delaying maturity longer than before, and our culture is encouraging them to prolong adolescent behavior. It is a stage of life where guys gather to be guys with each other, unhassled by the demands of parents, wives, girlfriends, jobs, kids, and the other “nuisances” of adult life. In this topsy-turvy, Peter-Pan mindset, these men shirk the responsibilities of adulthood and remain fixated on the trappings of boyhood, while the ‘boys’ they still are struggle heroically to prove that they are real men despite all of their actions and evidence to the contrary. It’s as if these ‘men’ have developed a warped idea of manhood. They think becoming a man means getting to do whatever they want. So for them, being a man means giving up their cherished independence.
With that type of mindset, you wonder what type of husbands and fathers they will be when they finally set aside their childish ways. Our sinful, human nature craves independence; we want to go our own way, and avoid the responsibilities of commitment to God and to other people. As Isaiah 53:6 tells us, “All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way.” We live in a culture that celebrates youth and beauty and independence—even at the expense of growing up. Many of the men today immerse themselves in a world of media entertainment and diversions that tell them it’s okay to live a self-centered lifestyle, free of commitments to anything beyond endless and mindless pleasure. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them (Rom 1:28-32). A man cannot be brought to greater slavery than to be given up to his own lusts!!
In a world like this, where can men—young and old—learn how to become real men? The simple answer is: From other men. Whether we are young or old, we need other men in our lives who will teach us, model for us, and encourage us to make the right choices. Boys growing up without fathers need men who will step into their lives and mentor them. And young men who refuse to grow up need peers and mentors who will exhort them to act like men. There is a constant call by the species of “man” for “men” to be what God calls us to be…Men… in more senses of the word than being over 18 or having the ability to make a baby, pound our chest and seek freedom and independence to go out and act … childish because we can! While none of us ever outgrow the need for having other men to mentor us, it is an absolute essential for those who would seem to have their teenage tendencies still pretty strong inside. Every man has a need for people around him who can call him up and even call him out.
Being a man means taking responsibility—for your choices, for your family, for your community, and for the next generation. Men, husbands and fathers: WE need to step up and take responsibility. Boys – it’s time to MAN-UP!