In the rampant confusion over gender roles today, I sometimes find myself wondering how long there will be truth to the saying ‘Boys will be boys.’ I wonder what measure of success will be enjoyed by the contemporary movement in Western culture towards the emasculation of men.
Every generation of Christians faces challenges that require them to reconsider what gospel-living looks like in their day. The church today needs to think deeply and carefully about the nature and significance of gender, as well as how biblical gender roles and responsibilities are to be cultivated.
Douglas Wilson has written a book (called Future Men) that will be a helpful resource for those of you with young boys. Doug is a creative thinker (which in his case means you shouldn’t agree with everything he says) and frequently exhibits the rare virtue of penetrating common sense. In this particular book he offers many thought-provoking insights. For example:
“Another important principle is that of seeing small boys as future men. The way boys learn to deal with their various immature ‘passions’ will generally be the way they deal with adult passions. A boy who is not obviously learning self-control with regard to his temper, his stomach, his video games, or his school work is a boy who will still lack self-control when sexual temptation arrives. Many times mothers unwittingly train boys to mistreat their future wives through sinful indulgence of boyish passions.” p. 84.
UPDATE: I couldn’t help but add one more quote. “Fourth, a mother needs to realize that when she gets exasperated or annoyed with her sons, she is helping them to learn how to control or manipulate her. The drill usually goes like this: A son doesn’t do what he was asked to do seven or eight times. Mom finally gets steamed and flares up over it. Mom has more of a tender conscience about her annoyance than son does about his disobedience. She consequently apologizes, he magnanimously forgives her, and the quarter ends with him two touchdowns and a field goal ahead. The solution is for her to cheerfully require obedience from her sons long before annoyance is even a possibility.” p. 85.