The lost boys of America...
(TB: this is a guest post by David Wegener.) A lot of pastoral care these days concerns the problem identified in this article: young men who haven’t grown up, aren’t growing up and don’t have much of a shot at growing up. The related problem is dealing with middle-aged men who never did grow up and have turned pouting and temper tantrums into an art form...
To summarize the article (which should be read with discretion), young men (college-age and above) are obsessed with porn and video games. They’re lazy, rootless, apathetic, vocational vagabonds who often live with their parents well into their 30s. They’re “not ready” for marriage. They’d rather masturbate to porn then coordinate sex with a live girl. What to do about such a boy inside a man’s body?
The author throws out lots of possibilities in the “who to blame game.” Compliant parents who like having their little boy back at home. Crippling student loan debt. The Pill. Facebook. Easy access to porn. The feminization of the work environment. The feminization of our educational system. Moral relativism. Poor work ethic. Too high self-esteem.
Undoubtedly, all of these are true. But where are their fathers? They’re either absent or emasculated. So pastors and elders and deacons have to stand in this gap. Fathering takes lots of time and unselfishness but its our only alternative. Years ago, David Blankenhorn pronounced vanishing fathers to be our number one social problem. Doesn’t seem like anyone listened to him.
In the countries of central and southern Africa, children are found in most homes who are not biologically related to the father and mother. Your sister died four years ago and now, after the funeral for your brother-in-law, the extended family meets in council while their children are assigned new homes. You have only three children and a good job so you get two little ones. Your younger sister also gets two and your younger brother (who is still single and has a good job) has to pay for their “upkeep and school fees.” These meetings happen every day and they are testing the social fabric of African society.
Our problem is different, but not all that much. The men of the church have to father the lost boys in their congregation, while calling their dads to repentance and obedience, preaching to their conscience and telling them to look reality in the face.
Let’s also stop encouraging our daughters to be shorter men or they’ll end up like Ann Coulter: uber-educated, urbane, potty-mouthed, successful and single at 50.