In an “Institute for Family Studies” article, Philip Zimbardo and Nikita Coulombe have a very informative essay on the place of young men in our culture. “We determined,” the authors state, “that in our culture today, “boy energy” is at best not valued and at worst demonized. In response, young men are deciding that it’s not worth it for them to invest their time and energy back into society. Many are asking what is in it for them and only hear crickets.”
Boys in our day are getting left behind. They are “failing to launch,” evidenced in such symptoms as “a disenchantment with education, lack of motivation to work towards real-life goals, opting out of the workforce, self-imposed social isolation, and excessive video game and porn use.” The authors make reference to fatherlessness being on the rise. “… even the boys that have fathers in their lives,” notes the authors, “only spend a fraction of their time in one-on-one conversation with them versus the time they spend in front of a screen, where they see men depicted as emotionless warriors, deadbeat dads, or losers.”
Could the lack of “boy energy” reflect the absence of fathers and male mentors in the lives of boys? I think it points in that direction. My intention has been to be an encouragement to men, especially fathers.
Men need to evaluate the God-given position they have before God. “The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it” (Gen 2:15 NLT). From the beginning, God first gave man the primary responsibility of rightly ordering relationships. Then he gave him a help mate. In the fierce “gender wars” men have vacated their male relational leadership post. Who will watch out for young men?
The authors place the blame on society for the lack of boy energy. “…it is society that is not providing the structure, guidance, means or places for young men to develop themselves and thrive.” They describe, “Boys going from female-dominated home environments to female-dominated school environments, back to female-dominated home environments – where boys are being told to behave.” Can godly men admit to themselves and those closest to them that they might have abandoned the place God has for them in society?
If you are a man reading this post, and sense you have abandoned your God-ordained place in relationships, it is not to late to return and stand. What can you do? In repentance and humility come before the Lord and admit that you have left your post as a man. Cry out to God for grace and mercy. Resist the desire to leave your relational responsibility. If it is sincere, God will delight in your request in wanting to stand where your belong. Don’t give in and flee.
The lack of “boy energy” is confirming a theme mentioned consistently in this blog. Energy is something that is caught and passed on from older men to younger men. “Masculinity is caught, not taught,” has been a consistent mantra. How do you pass on this energy? By opening your heart and spirit and just being you. Walk in integrity and honesty. “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8).
As a man with an open spirit, you have male energy flowing through you. In relating to younger men, you give them “father energy.” It is something that is desperately needed in our society today. You don’t have to fight or argue; just walk it out.