Redefining Manhood in the 21st Century: The Struggle for Identity and the Need for Fathers in the Home
There was a time when the man went off to work, he was the breadwinner, and the woman stayed home nurturing the children. Not so much anymore. It was easier then to define the man and women’s role. It’s not as easy today because the roles are not as clear-cut.
The roles have changed in our generation. Our grandfathers and grandmothers lived in a different time. Before World War II, the man went to work, and the wife stayed home and raised the children. When the war hit, the men went off to fight, and the women went to work in the factories. After the war was over, the men came home finding the roles in the family changed. Government welfare programs also helped change the role of the family. Today it’s possible to have the birth and caring of children subsidized by the government. This means the man is no longer needed to provide finances and a home. This, however, does not change the biblical role of the man as spiritual leader of the house.
Some men have lost their sense of importance and authority in the home. They are afraid to raise their voice in the house when the children curse them and declare, “You’re not my daddy.” There is little authority in the house. The average man is confused. He doesn’t understand himself, what the woman wants or what society wants. He is frustrated, angry, and wants to give up. He says in his heart, “What’s the use?” This turning away from relationships can be seen in the Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW) movement.
It used to be the man went to work, the woman managed the house and tended to the children. The man bought the food, the woman cooked it. The roles were clear. The man was respected because he worked long and hard hours to provide for his family.
Today, some women are making more money than the man is making. This tends to undermine the man’s felt value. In the past, the couple needed each other. Today, she already has the babies, owns the house, the furniture, and the car. If she needs help with the children, she looks to the government, not the man. The man doesn’t feel wanted, needed, valued, or respected anymore. Now you can understand why men are struggling with identity. Scripture asks, “How long will there be an attack against the identity of the male?” (Psalm 62:1-3).
STRUGGLE FOR IDENTITY
The struggle for man’s identity affects society. When the man is not needed, there is no father in the house. The truth is, a woman can never be a father. Where there are no fathers in the home, society suffers. In the Book of Malachi, God has fathers turning their hearts toward their children least the Earth be cursed.
“And he shall turn and reconcile the hearts of the [estranged] fathers to the [ungodly] children, and the hearts of the [rebellious] children to [the piety of] their fathers [a reconciliation produced by repentance of the ungodly], lest I come and smite the land with a curse and a ban of utter destruction” [Luke 1:17.] (Malachi 4:6).
DAVID’S INSTRUCTION TO HIS SON
When David was on his deathbed, he passed on some crucial counsel to his son. What a man says at the end of his days is essential. Let’s read what he said.
“Now the days of David drew nigh that he should die; and he charged Solomon his son, saying, I go the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and shew thyself a man; And keep the charge of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself: “ (1 Kings 2:1-3)
2.Shew thyself a man
3.Keep charge of the Lord
4.Walk in His ways
5.Keep His statutes, commandments, judgments, and testimonies.
These five keys King David passed on to his son. He said, “Show thyself a man.” To act like a man means to grow up, to become accountable, and responsible. David knew if his son would take his advice Solomon would prosper.
Even thou some roles have changed, that doesn’t mean men are not needed. Men are still called by God to be spiritual leaders within their families, protectors, providers, and terrific fathers. Don’t give up men. God’s plan has not changed. He has sent the Holy Spirit to turn the hearts of the fathers toward the children and the hearts of the children toward the fathers. Be strong, take your authority and walk in His ways.
(c) Apostle Jonas Clark
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