Of Dolphins, Hazings, Boys, and Manhood

richie-incognito

The “bullying” story coming out of the Miami Dolphins locker room has dominated the news for the last few weeks.  Though the details still aren’t fully known, it hasn’t stopped the public debate over hazings and bullying.  The responses to Jonathan Martin leaving the team over alleged bullying by his teammate, Richie Incognito, have illustrated the confusion we have in our culture over how boys and men interact with each other, how they become men, and how they prove their manhood.  (As an intere … [Read more...]

Why Should the Church Care About Reaching Men?

Asleep3

I was interviewed the other day by a newspaper reporter on the topic of men and the Church.  She mentioned the statistics about how men are leaving the Church or not attending church in the first place and then asked, “Why does it matter? Why should the Church care about reaching men?”  The essence of the question was: If men don’t want to go to church, so what?  It wasn’t asked negatively.  The reporter followed up with great questions.  But the initial question had that undertone of why should … [Read more...]

Can’t Girls be Superheroes, too?

iStock_000010304538XSmall[1] - boy superhero

You get the best out of a boy by stimulating his desire for greatness and then telling him he has a long way to go: that he can perhaps achieve something marvelous but he must be humble and work hard for it.                                    --Roy F. Baumeister, Is There Anything Good About Men?I receive some occasional pushback on the connection between boys and heroes, and my emphasis on calling boys into heroic manhood. The pushback goes something like this:            Why does b … [Read more...]

The One Thing A Man Can Do that A Woman Can’t

father-Son

If we do not provide a sacred role for our boys as they grow, they are more likely to join a gang, abuse their lovers, abandon their children, subsist in emotional isolation, and become addicted, hyper-materialistic, lonely, and  unhappy.  A boy needs structure and discipline in which to learn who he is.  He needs to live a journey that has clear responsibilities and goals.  He needs a role in life.  Without these, without the role training that accompanies these, he does not know his sacred and … [Read more...]

The New “Gender” Math? More Women+Less Men=A Better World?

mathgirl2

A few weeks ago, in the early days of the latest Government “crisis” over the shutdown and debt ceiling, Piers Morgan interviewed two women, one of them actress Sharon Stone, about a documentary they were promoting focused on bringing equality to girls and women around the world.  It was an insightful, positive interview about a very important global topic.At one point, Piers asked a question that lately has been asked a lot: Would the world be better off with less male leaders and more fema … [Read more...]

When a Son “Hates” His Mom

African-American single-parent family

When our son was little, he and mom had a very close, happy relationship.  Mike was a sweet boy who had no problem giving mom hugs and asking her lots of questions.  He was her little boy.But then Mike moved into the early stages of puberty and the relationship changed…dramatically.  With tears in her eyes, Jan asked me one day why her son hated her.What Jan didn’t know at the time was that Mike was at a crucial point in his life—the point where he had to start moving into manhood.  And t … [Read more...]

“Re-Stereotyping” Boys, Part 3: The Divine Stereotype

crucified-jesus-carole-foret

Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness…”  So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.  (Genesis 1:26-27) (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God…(Colossians 1:15) (Jesus) is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being…(Hebrews 1:3) Stereotype is the new four-letter word in our culture when it comes to gender.  Understandably, we don’t want to impose anything on … [Read more...]

“Re-Stereotyping” Boys, Part 2: Character

DownloadedFile

As I mentioned in my last two posts, in our well-intentioned desire to rescue our boys (and girls) from boy stereotypes, we have unintentionally robbed boys of any vision for what it means to be a boy.  And with no vision for boyhood, boys have no sense of what it means to be a man.Just because something is a stereotype doesn’t mean it’s not true or that it can’t be helpful.  In fact, one of the ways we can reclaim the “boy” in “boyhood” is to re-embrace some powerful, life-shaping stereotype … [Read more...]


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