Boys Will Be Boys… If We Let Them

“The warrior must learn to yield his heart to nothing. Not to kill his heart for fear of falling into temptation, but to protect his heart for nobler things, to keep the integrity of his heart as a great reservoir of passionate strength and holy desire.” John Eldredge

Because I am on that crazy Twitter thing, I get a front row seat to the latest cultural outrages and moral lessons du jour we all are supposed to be having big opinions about. The latest brouhaha being the Gillette razor company and their new ad challenging men to confront their innately barbaric behaviors and act more civil. Depending on your personal views, it’s either touching or pandering propaganda. Regardless, for some reason it’s going down as one of the most ‘disliked’ ads in internet history. In an interview, the president of the company said,

“By holding each other accountable, eliminating excuses for bad behavior, and supporting a new generation working toward their personal ‘best,’ we can help create positive change that will matter for years to come.”

It sounds nice and good on the surface I suppose. Lots of buzzy buzzwords, but it’s not horrible. Everyone should at least aim to not be a jerk to others in life, right? A new generation y’all… working toward their personal best, whatever that may be. We are holding each other accountable for what, exactly? The criminal behavior of some? Or just behavior we deem unsavory and disagreeable? Who decides what everyone’s personal best should be? 

Some in the Twitter-verse called this ad “breathtaking and necessary”, jumping on the idea that toxic masculinity has ruined basically everything, and a new kind of modern masculinity needs to take it’s place. Others say the condescension is just too much… imagine a shampoo commercial asking women to rise above their innate manipulative cattiness… I don’t see that succeeding in the same way. See the problem? It’s not that anyone is actually threatened by a silly razor commercial, or even against the idea of respecting one another… it’s the continual, relentless message to men and boys that something is inherently wrong with them because they are male, and the one-sided argument that they (never women) contribute to a toxic kind of society. The Dove commercial parades women of all shapes and sizes around and tells us “you’re fine just how you are!”, while the message to the guys is, “men, you have some work to do.”

As a mom of two boys, it is definitely NOT my goal to raise hyper-aggressive, emotionless man-bullies. My basic dream in life is that they grow up to be godly men of character, integrity and morals. I just don’t believe in neutralizing or stifling what makes them who they are and replacing it with something completely unnatural.

Men are born warriors. Whether we like it or not, whether it offends us or not, they have innate drives in them to protect, to compete and well… be different than us women. Just last night my teenage son “accidentally” kicked his foot through a wall in our game room because he lost a ping-pong game to his little brother. A foot through a wall you guys. My first words were, “Whyyyyyy would you do that?!” My brain can’t comprehend it. Of course I don’t want ragey, angry boys parading through the house punching things when they don’t get their way… but I know that sometimes boys will be boys. (The Gillette commercial says I can’t use that phrase to excuse terrible behavior, but I’m using it.) There is biological stuff happening here, and if women can use the hormone argument, so can growing boys. It doesn’t mean it’s excused or that there isn’t a consequence – he’s going to pay up for the new drywall, I assure you. It doesn’t mean my kid is a neanderthal either. No, a girl would probably not kick a hole in a wall over a ping-pong game, but you know what? My boys would never spread gossipy rumors about people the way some girls at school do on a daily basis. Pick your poison, because it goes both ways. Masculinity run amuck is indeed harmful, and so is its feminine counterpart.

Just last week, The American Psychological Association  came out with what they say are very well-researched ‘guidelines’ regarding what they think makes a healthy man. Being adventurous, taking risks, stoicism and competitiveness are out. It’s scientifically acceptable for a man to want to become a woman, but abnormal for a man to pursue the innate drives that make him an actual man. What garbage. 

So, to the John Eldredge quote and why I am addressing this topic: we can’t kill our hearts just because we don’t know how to completely control them. Yes, we humans have a terrible knack for veering off course with our God-given abilities and drives… but if we would yield to our Creator and His purposes… if we would channel all that passion into a great reservoir of holy desire as he calls it… wow. A change of heart, not a change in gender roles, makes men and women Godly and effective. Trying to squash boys down to fit some new idea of masculinity won’t lead to a better culture. Showing them how to protect their heart for the pursuit of noble and better things though, that makes a man. In fact, it makes us all better in the end because we are being who we were created to be.

Hooray to a razor company for wanting to raise the bar a little in our bottom-feeder culture… but no to thinking that the way to do it is by taking away the very things that make men (and women) who they are. God created us to be different. It’s a shocker, I know. Our hearts don’t need to be tamed, they need to be directed. Full-steam ahead, passionate men and women with a holy desire are a force to be reckoned with.

“Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:13-14

15 thoughts on “Boys Will Be Boys… If We Let Them

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  1. This is a great post and lends itself to the demise of the Godly order of mankind. Somehow the feminist movement has invaded every area of our culture. The advertising companies are now filled with “forward thinking” woman who enjoy putting men down. Our politics are filled with those same kinds of women. I pray that there is a return to family values as I knew them. I’m not asking that women give up their rights, but to stop trying to become men.

    1. Thanks so much for your thoughts! Agree… it’s become militant and unhealthy… it’s actually having the opposite effect they wanted I think.

  2. Praise God, Amen!!! Well said! God made us male and female and we were given different gifts and abilities for a reason. I am disgusted and totally fed up with all the social justice warrior (SJW) nonsense. The Dems have been throwing a violent fit since Trump got elected! Antifa (violent thugs!), skinny jeans for men (sick!), virtue signaling, guys wanting to dress and act like girls and vice versa (perversion from the evil one), blaming men and white people (especially white men) for every wrong throughout history, and the list goes on and on. Most of it comes from the homosexual agenda and the raging liberals and it is all a perversion of God’s order and truth. Hollywood and many of the companies doing TV commercials are all about that. I teach my 8 year old son that it is his job to protect his family when he is a man and that God made him a boy for a reason. He did Taekwondo for years, he loves playing rough and getting dirty, he loves fishing and guns and trucks, and he has an adventurous heart. He is a boy and he acts like a boy! I teach my son and my daughter that boys and girls are different and we each have different responsibilities and roles within the gifts and abilities we were given. I also teach them that all of the crazy gender lies are due to sin in this fallen world. I pray the Lord spreads revival and we can live in sanity and peace where men are men and women are women and we all celebrate that. This was a very refreshing post to read, thank you! God bless!

  3. I struggle with this. I don’t agree with the APAs research. Quite frankly I’m interested in finding out who funded it. Usually that determines the slant. Nevertheless, I am a Christian man who doesn’t quite meet the standard of what most “churched” people would call biblical masculinty. For many years it concerned me that I didn’t meet up to the expectations of others. I’m so grateful that God had revealed to me His love and plan for me in spite of not being an agressive, stoic, athlete that my peers expected me to be. I have learned to embrace that I am in tune with my emotions, I l dig deep conversation, and I’d rather make music than talk football.

    1. Thanks for these thoughts… I read that the powers behind the APA’s research are (shockingly!) not the most conservative group. I’d be interested as well to see if there’s truth behind that.
      I think Biblical masculinity and what our culture perceives as manly are sadly two very different things. The expectations come from our culture to be sure… that boys be sporty, aggressive, etc. but I don’t think that determines godliness at all. My husband hates football, can’t discuss it at all… but is an incredibly Biblically-minded guy. I think it’s less about outside qualities that we deem important and more about embracing who you are, just like you said. I think there’s just something to be said for all the ways men are being kind of beat down in our culture while women are put up on pedestals regardless of how they act. In my humble opinion, the “church” needs plenty more guys who would rather make music than talk football!

  4. I loved the post, and I appreciate the read and response on mine. I may need to look at the ad for the I don’t know how manyth time, but I don’t see any call to be more feminine in the ad. I’ve got to be missing something. Thanks for the article. Your thoughts are expressed well and arguments are appreciated.

    1. Thanks, you as well… i think people who are so riled up about it need to come out of their respective corners for a minute and take a peek over at the other side… 🙂

  5. I definitely agree there is potential toxicity in both men and women…men can be aggressive and insensitive, women can be cruel and dramatic. I do see a difference in that men have had more opportunities than women throughout most of history, but luckily, our society has come a long way in treating people equally, so some of the rantings against men seem like they would have been more relevant in the past.

    It’s like the pendulum has swung from one extreme to another–from thinking that women are naturally inferior to men in every way to thinking there is something inherently wrong/dangerous about men.

  6. Oh Shara—you are a brave soul!!!
    I steer clear of all social media, albeit for blogville.
    Otherwise, I might just go nuts by over hashtagging or capitalizing my shouting tweets…
    “Please oh Lord, I pray…May our boys be boys—with examples of strong men to model.
    May our girls be girls with nurturing, loving women who know how to be tough but how to be caring and protecting. Please Lord protect and bless the family that you have ordained since the beginning of time…A strong father, a loving husband…a protector and role model who honors you. May his wife, in turn, be supportive and caring while digging in when necessary, doing what she must for the betterment of her family …and finally, Lord may the children be respectful, cared for, loved, educated and offered only holy examples…

    That sort of prayer will be blasted and vilified.
    And that is a shame as that is what is needed.

    Yes may boys be boys!!!! As they grow to be real men and not something “other than”

    1. This is beautiful! It will be vilified, it already is being vilified… I wonder what the world will be like for them, like the things we take for granted now are going to be borderline illegal down the road… it’s crazy.

  7. As a man, I have to say the ad didn’t bother me at all. I didn’t see it as an attack on maleness or manhood at all. I saw it as saying – don’t be a jerk and don’t resort to violence to solve your problems. Unless violence = manliness, then I’m not sure what the problem is. Just my opinion. Frankly I think too many men proved the ads’ point in how they responded to the ad.

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