Over the years of dealing with families, family issues, parenting, and the challenges that come with it, I’ve noticed a trend developing.It was true in my home, and it’s true in so many others. Here it is: Fathers who are either passive, afraid, or just totally disengaged in the parenting process.
Now let me be honest. I have three daughters. And when they were infants I felt pretty useless. But as they grew, particularly from girlhood to womanhood, I had a deep interest in the outcome. I always had four goals that I wanted to see as my girls grew up to be young women. I prayed constantly for these four realities to be displayed in their character. Here they are:
- That they would be smart so that they wouldn’t have to depend on boys to tell them how things work.
- I wanted them to be strong so they wouldn’t give in to the pressure of some guy in the back of a car, or some lie or manipulation.
- I wanted them to be good in that they lived their lives to honor God and seek truth.
- And I wanted them to be caring; not cold, distant, arrogant, or aloof.
In my case, God has answered that prayer. Erin, Lindsey, and Paige are smart, strong, good, and caring. I wanted them to be marry-able; not just date-able.
So here’s my letter to fathers with boys. I have never fathered a boy, though I’ve been a boy, and not been fathered. Men, we’re raising a generation of boys who are not marry-able. Here’s what I mean. They don’t know how to take responsibility. They have no clue what to do with their lives even though they have private school and college degrees. They have loads of debt. Many of them still live at home. They are passive, display little initiative, and want to sit around and drink coffee and discuss the deeper things of life.
I’m calling out all you men out there raising boys. Your sons need you; not just your money, not just your presents, but your presence. We are raising a generation of young boys who are experience-rich and relationship-poor. By that I mean they’ve been given a ton of things: trips, privileges, advantages, experiences that maybe you didn’t have. But what they don’t have is the engagement, influence, wisdom, and input of their dads.
Fathers, raise your boys to be men; not buffoons, not weak, feminine boys, but men – strong, virile, good, man-up men who know how to treat women with respect and honor; who know what it means to work hard and sacrifice; who are willing to work to go to school rather than financing it by Sallie Mae and paying for it with their future wives’ income.
I really am fed up with the boy-men that I see. Where are the real man-up men? I’m not talking about mean and nasty. You don’t even have to own a gun or play golf. I’m talking about real, strong, good, virile men who know what it means to wow, woo, and win a woman’s heart.