1 Peter 3:7 – …husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.
As we recently celebrated Father’s Day, I wanted to give what I hope is ultimately an encouraging word to men in various stages of life, encouraging you to be godly in each stage and move into the next one God would have for you in the appropriate timing.
For the single men, this may not start off as sounding encouraging but don’t worry, we’ll get there.
Men today are statistically both physically and mentally weaker than ever before, as men’s average testosterone levels have dropped by 1% every year since 1980. Up to 75% of men don’t even quality for the military because of physical, mental, or emotional issues. According to the CDC’s most recent “Youth Behavior Survey”, young men are four times more likely to commit suicide and a record 55% of millennials (born 1981-1996) are having kids before marriage.
This is, of course, not to chastise those who have legitimate physical, emotional, or mental issues but much of these alarming stats regarding anxiety and depression among young men are due to preventable circumstances. They’re spending eight hours a day doing leisure activities or online like playing video games and watching porn. COVID worsened this problem, sending out government checks so people could continue to stay home and not pursue work.
Ok, young men, here’s the encouragement. There is a better way. Bradford Wilcox, one of the leading scholars on marriage and family, came up with what’s called “The Success Sequence”, leading to virtually zero poverty. If millennials would graduate, work a full-time job, get married, then have kids (in that order), they would set themselves up for success and have likely a 10-year head start over their peers. It sounds simple but it’s very much in the minority in today’s day.
For those young men who have learned to shower, put on some deodorant, get out of their mom’s basement, and find a godly woman to fall in love with and convince to marry him, congratulations! That’s a huge step in the right direction. My encouragement for you is to continue in the success sequence we talked about by having kids when it’s the Lord’s right timing for you and your wife. Don’t fall into the lie that the world is too overpopulated and doesn’t need more children. It absolutely needs more children that have loving, godly fathers who will teach them to do the same and continue this pattern.
To the fathers out there, the world is lying to you when they tell you there’s no difference between Christian and non-Christian men. Bradford Wilcox wrote a book called Soft Patriarchs, New Men and found in his research that the best husbands and fathers read the Bible, love Jesus, and are protestant men who attend church and take their families to church. This group had the lowest rates of abuse in both their marriage and parenting, lowest rates of divorce and abandonment, and highest rates of involvement with their kids and marital satisfaction with their wives.
Finally, the last group, the grandfathers. This is the season I’m moving into (and am so excited about) as our daughter and daughter-in-law are both pregnant and giving birth within the next few months. Just because your kids may be grown and out of the house, there’s still a place for you. There’s still work for you to do and younger men for you to mentor and help into their next season. Don’t give up. Your sons, sons-in-law, grandkids, church, and nation need you.
Men, which stage of life are you in right now? What do you need to do to move to the next stage or live in a godly way in the stage you’re in now?
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