Posted by: Rolf | May 15, 2015

The Men Problem

Recently a man wrote, “When you talk about the ‘men problem,’ what do you mean?” Good question! While I’ve written extensively about it, here’s a brief summary I’ve cobbled together from my books “Pastoring Men and Man Alive…”

Men Problems 04

Much has been made about the “men problem.” You can “hear” about it from Oprah. You can “read” about it in Time. You can “watch” the destruction it creates with Dr. Phil.

School teachers can barely “educate” on the heels of it. Social services are “overwhelmed” because of it. Employers are “stumped” by it. Law enforcement feels the “brunt” of it. Many jails and prisons are “full” because of it. Politicians don’t know “what to do” with it. Candidates “avoid” it.

Authors and academics have “assembled” alarming statistics to prove it. Health care professionals “publish” convincing reports to document the “human” cost of it. Cable shows “rant” at it. Talk radio personalities have all the “answers” for it. Movies “glamorize” it. Television commercials “mock” it.

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Divorce courts are at “capacity” because of it. Families are “ripped apart” by it. Wives soak their “pillows with tears” as a result of it. Children grow up in “poverty” as a consequence of it. Teenagers experiment with “drugs and sex” to cope with it.

A lot of money gets spent to “treat” the symptoms of it. We open teenage “pregnancy centers,” start divorce “recovery groups,” establish “substance abuse” centers, increase budgets for “social services,” build homes for “battered women,” authorize more “jail space,” put extra beds in our “homeless shelters,” increase the number of “law enforcement” officers, and fit our schools with “metal detectors” to deal with it.

Everyone is “concerned” about it. Many address the “consequences” of it. Yet very few people are “doing anything” that will change the root of it. The “men problem” is among the most pervasive “social, economic, political, and spiritual” problems of all time.

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The statistics are jarring:

80 percent of men are so emotionally impaired that not only are they unable to express their feelings, but they are even unable to identify their feelings.
60 percent of men are in financial trouble, paying only the monthly minimums on their credit card balances.
50 percent of men who attend church actively seek out pornography.
40 percent of men get divorced, affecting one million children each year.

The conclusion is “inescapable.” Men have become one of our largest “neglected” people groups. As a result, they are “prone” to get caught up in the “rat” race, lead unexamined “lives,” and become “cultural,” rather than “biblical,” Christians.

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Alone, the men problem is “horrific,” but the collateral damage on “marriages and families” is staggering. Tonight, 36% of America’s seventy-two million “children” will go to bed in a home without their “biological” dad.

But perhaps the greatest cost to the “physical” absence of fathers is the “practical “absence of mothers. Essentially, one person must “now do the work of two.”

As a young woman who grew up without a dad said, “When my mom and dad divorced, I didn’t just lose my dad. I also lost my mom, because she had to work long hours to support us.”

48 percent of women are choosing cohabitation over marriage.
41 percent of babies are born to single mothers.
36 percent of children live in homes without their biological fathers.
18 percent of pregnancies are terminated by abortion.

Children in female “reared” families are five times more likely to live in “poverty,” repeat a “grade,” and have “emotional” problems compared to “families” where a father is present.

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As recently as 1970, 85% of children lived with “two” parents (US Census Bureau). By 2009, children living with two “married” parents had dropped precipitously to only 65%. Today there are 74,000,000 children in the United States “under” the age of 18.

That means 26,000,000 children, 35% of them, do not “live” with two married parents. Those children are 500% likely to have “behavioral” problems and end up in “poverty.”

That single mom “waiting” tables, working hard to make a “living,” might be on food stamps, living with her parents, and depending on her mom to take care of her child because she can’t afford day care. She’s struggling to do the work of two. In one-parent homes, it’s the dad who is absent 96% of the time.

The American family is in deep crisis; it’s not because of women and it’s not because of children. The America family is in crisis because a lot of men are in trouble. The collateral damage for women and children is staggering.

Men, if your family is in trouble, isn’t it time to ask for help from your church and some mature Christian men? If you’re in good shape, isn’t it time to reach out to a man whose family seems to be falling apart?

A man leaves. A woman weeps herself to sleep. A little girl prays, “God, why is my daddy always so angry with me?” The men problem has made Dr. Phil a very rich man.

However we got into the family crisis, the only solution is to disciple our way out.

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But wait! There’s more. We also have a Christian “men problem” with devastating results. As I wrote in my book “Man Alive,” I’d estimate that as many as 90 percent of Christian men lead “lukewarm, stagnant, often defeated” lives. They’re mired in “spiritual mediocrity” and they hate it.

Despite their “good” intentions, after they “walk the aisle” and “pray the sinner’s prayer,” most men return to their “seats” and resume their “former” lives. They don’t take the “next” steps. Almost imperceptibly, one “disappointment” at a time, the world “sucks” out their new found “joy and passion” for life in Christ.

Men “lose” heart, go “silent,” and “anesthetize” their pain. Then they “give up, burn out, drop out, or just slowly drift away.” It’s not just “getting” older; it’s an “assassination” of the soul.

And isn’t that exactly what the “enemy” of our souls wants? As Jesus said, referring to the devil, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy” John 10:10.

No man “fails” on purpose. None of us “wakes” up in the morning and thinks, “I wonder what I can do today to irritate my wife, neglect my kids, work too much, or have a moral failure.” But many of us will. And that’s the problem.

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While not an article about “solutions,” I would be remiss not to add that however men got in so “deep,” the only solution is to “disciple” them out.

Our Dearest Father…

Our hearts are grieved at the way Your holy and sacred institution of family is being gutted in our generation. Even more so, the human tragedies left in the wake of family brokenness. Lord, please anoint our pastors and leaders to help us think clearly about what we can do, to make peace with what we cannot undo, and to have the courage to stand up for the truth while ALWAYS speaking in love.

In the loving name of Jesus, amen.

Until every church disciples every man…
Patrick Morley, PhD
Founder & Co-CEO, Man in the Mirror

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