What are the male figures like on our favorite TV shows?
What about on movies?
Why does it seem like men are almost always portrayed as distant and passive or as fumbling idiots?
I think it is because the writers know what will connect with the audience–an aloof, selfish, disinterested, male character will connect with the viewers.
STATISTICS REGARDING THE IMPORTANCE OF MALE LEADERSHIP
This ongoing trend is called “The Decline of Fatherhood and the Male Identity Crisis” by to Psychology Today. In their study, the lack of male leadership in the home is partially responsible for many of the problems in our society.
- “Fatherless children are at a dramatically greater risk of drug and alcohol abuse, mental illness, suicide, poor educational performance, teen pregnancy, and criminality, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Center for Health Statistics.
- 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes according to the U.S. Bureau of the Census;
- 85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes according to a study by the Center for Disease Control;
- Daughters of single mothers are 53% more likely to marry as teenagers, 111% more likely to have children as teenagers, 164% more likely to have a premarital birth and 92% more likely to dissolve their own marriages.
- 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes according to the National Principals Association Report on the State of High Schools;
- Children from low-income, two-parent families outperform students from high-income, single-parent homes. Almost twice as many high achievers come from two-parent homes as one-parent homes according to a study by the Charles F. Kettering Foundation.
- In a longitudinal study of 1,197 fourth-grade students, researchers observed “greater levels of aggression in boys from mother-only households than from boys in mother-father households,” according to a study published in the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology”
THE GOSPEL AND MANHOOD
Not just the fabric of society hangs on this, but the ability to understand God’s love can either be helped or hurt by a male role model.
Ephesians 5:25b-27, 29 “… Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. … For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church,”
The gospel story from Ephesians 5 tells us that Christ came to this earth and gave himself—not just his stuff—for us. He sacrificed everything to be punished for our sins. This great act of initiative, sacrifice, and love cleanses us from our sins and brings us close to himself.
The hope of the gospel is that, although we have been scarred, wrinkled, beaten, and spotted by sin, Jesus Christ can cleanse us and make brilliant and majestic. No matter what we have done, through Christ’s sacrifice, we can know that we are accepted and loved by God. He cherishes us as something unique and precious to him.
It is no mistake that people who have been burned by a man—through abuse, through unfaithfulness, through aloofness—struggle to understand these points of the gospel.
“You mean, God is interested in me?”
“You mean he is faithful in his love?”
“You mean he loves me for my good, not to use me?”
“You mean he sacrifices for me?”
“You mean God is more than a sleeping angry powerful force that I don’t want to wake up?”
“You mean he is consistent with me?”
“You mean he loves me?”
Those without a male role model, or with a bad one, struggle to understand that God loves instead of uses, sacrifices instead of demanding service, and pursues our good instead of his hobbies.
On the other side, a loving, sacrificial male role model can profoundly impact a family. When my father was a teenager, my grandparents started to save up money to buy him a record player (for those born after 1985, it’s kinda’ like a big iPod). During a rebellious phase, my dad snuck into my grandparents’ bedroom and stole some of the money so he could buy drugs and alcohol for a party with friends. When my grandparents found out, they were heartbroken because my dad had abused their love for him. My dad still remembers how disappointed and sad my grandpa was when he found out.
The next day, my grandpa came home from work with a brand new record player under his arm. This sacrificial act of faithful love helped my dad to understand more about God’s faithful love for him. Within a few years, he asked God to forgive his sins and trusted in Christ as his Savior. Shortly after that, he decided to become a pastor and has now spent over 30 years sharing God’s love with others.
Our society desperately needs good male role models, and our families desperately need to understand God’s sacrificial love for them. Husbands play a vital role not only in America, but also in God’s plan to illustrate his love for mankind.
The story of God’s love is not just another way to show us (Husbands) how we don’t measure up; the gospel forgives us for our failures as husbands. It reminds us that, through faith in Christ, we are absolutely loved and accepted by God. We need to experience God’s precious love for ourselves every day and then share that proactive, sacrificial love with our families.