Bored, unsupervised, fatherless boys are to policemen what “unaccounted for” uranium represents to counter-terrorism worldwide—a threat to peace, to innocent people, and a major problem that demands attention. Among boys all it takes to “weaponize” the plentiful supply of youthranium in our country today is a really bad idea offered in vacuum of moral convictions. Deep within the brain of one our nation’s fatherless at the center of the latest “boys gone evil” news story, a spark was felt, a neuron fired, and words were expressed. “I got it!” he says. “Wouldn’t it be cool if… we killed someone?” The idea is welcomed and executed without filters or objection. This is gonna be fun.
Meet the Lost Boys.
They have been on their own since they were little and have remained on their own as boys hoping to become men. Raised by single mothers, they have been unsupervised and un-mentored by any male figure as long they can remember. The macabre and toxic excitement rising from this deadly brainstorm is not just about a lazy summer, it’s about becoming men in a cesspool of broken male culture, character, and conduct that becomes the norm for lost boys. This broken culture produces beliefs (about self and others) and behaviors shaped by peer angst and self loathing instead of fatherly concern and modeling. The result: broken male culture that trains young men to act selfishly and separate their hearts from their heads when a decision they make impacts others negatively. It’s called alexithymia. Look it up. The root words that form the word mean to “repel” (alexo) and “the soul” (thumos). It is a picture of being emotionally dead.
“I was lied to.”
These strong words and the attached feelings flowed forcefully from the tall, super intelligent and beautiful woman responding to my talk on third wave masculinity and femininity. I replied, “How so? What do you mean?”
“I bought into the whole feminist message of power femininity, power sexuality, and power economics for women. Then I met the man of my dreams who swept me off my feet. A good man. A strong man. A loving man. A ‘keeper.’ But I had spent so much time focusing on being strong, blaming men and being independent that I did not know how to partner, enjoy, and affirm him to build a strong marriage and family. I now am re-learning what feminism failed to tell me about men and marriage.” She had met a third wave man and is now joining millions of women on a similar journey that transcends the narrow elements and borders of feminism. She is becoming a third wave woman (i.e., a blend of traditional and progressive) that:
• Acknowledges the glaring shortcomings of both traditionalism that devalued the female voice and vision and feminism that overvalued the same as the end-all
• Recognizes that men have a vital role, real value, commendable strengths, and the ability to be great partners with women
• Appreciates and is not afraid to advocate for healthy male culture that benefits women, children, and justice in the world
• Stops blaming, labeling, accusing, and bundling the male gender into a group who cannot be morally driven, emotionally mature, and relationally disciplined
• Starts encouraging, partnering, respecting, honoring, and leveraging positive masculine strengths toward individual, marital, and family health
Third Wave Masculinity Is Coming and It’s Going to Rock Your World
I felt like an arsonist at a firefighters convention.
Two hundred women were seated in front of me. I did not know any of their stories. I did not know one of their names. I did not have any insight into their relationships with men. I could only assume that there was plenty of painful chapters connected to a man, some man, or multiples of men whose character or conduct has impacted them negatively. When you are a “men’s expert” and you are talking to women knowing this makes every discussion an uphill battle from the start. The topic? Gender wars, the failure of “traditional” masculinity, the lies of “reactive” femininity, and the emerging “Third Wave” of men and women blazing a new trail of respect, honor, partnership, family, and impact that will be changing the world. I am shaking inside. Never fails. But I know what’s coming and they don’t.
Fast forward two hours. It’s over. We (my audience and me) are victorious.
Less Middle Ground Forces Faithful Men to Choose
No way out.
The military term is called encirclement. Think Thermopylae, Little Big Horn, Dunkirk, or Stalingrad. No supplies can be received. No reinforcements are coming. No retreat is permitted or possible. One side has lost its freedom of maneuver because the opposing force is able to isolate it by controlling all ground lines of communication and reinforcement. No man, no unit, and no army intentionally chooses to be in this position. It is usually the result of the tide of battle turning.
Three (and only three) options are available to you: break out, fight to the death, or surrender.
Deciding not to decide is not an option.
You may not be deployed in Baghdad or Kabul or along the Korean DMZ at the moment but make no mistake: as a man of God your back is against the wall. Your personal world may have avoided direct exposure to the growing cultural conflict for now but it’s coming to every believer’s porch. For some of you it’s coming “Next Day Air” and you don’t even know it. In this hour, no amount of complaining politically or cocooning socially with fellow believers will be enough. You will have to stand.