Manhood: a casualty in Parkland, Florida

Since the tragic shooting in Parkland, Florida, I have felt deep sorrow for the victims and their families, yet anger over the fact another teen has chosen such a dark path.

In decades past, tragedies like this one would’ve been blamed on things like heavy metal, bullying, or violence on TV.

Today, rightly or wrongly, we can add video games and social media to that list. But we’d be remiss if we didn’t also lump in the damaging, long-term effects of our increasingly high divorce rate, absent parenting due to overworked and overcommitted parents, and drug and alcohol abuse to name a few. 

But these are not root causes. They’re merely byproducts of a greater issue: God is missing from our daily lives.

I’m old enough to remember when our society at least attempted to take responsibility for its shortcomings. Today, we rarely work together to solve problems. Instead, we just look for someone to blame.

Today, that blame is being placed squarely—and unfairly—on the shoulders of our men and young boys. 

Masculinity is under attack and if we don’t stop it now, we’ll be raising a generation (or more) of boys raised to believe they’re broken. Boys who will be told their natural instincts to create, compete, protect, and provide, are somehow a threat to the greater good. And it’s not hard to imagine a future when progressive academia is telling a twisted version of history, painting an entire gender responsible for so many wrongdoings in the world. It’s not hard to imagine because the media is doing it right now. Here are some recent headlines:

“Guns don’t kill people; men and boys kill people, experts say”
—USA Today

“Michael Ian Black reacts to Florida shooting: Boys are broken”
—New York Daily News

“Toxic white masculinity: The killer that haunts American Life”

“Don’t Blame Mental Illness for Mass Shootings; Blame Men”

God had a very specific plan in mind when he created man and woman, but it seems we’re seeing a shift in our culture. The definition of manhood is being threatened, potentially leaving generations of men—who are now mere boys or just glimmers in their mothers’ eyes—left confused about their roles in this twisted world we’re leaving them.

Any fathers reading this, we have a great responsibility and have now been called to action. It is up to us to change the public perception of manhood. It is up to us to raise the next generation of great men. And it is up to us to put an end to senseless violence caused by generational hurt and pain. 

We must start by asking Christ into our hearts each and every day. We must discover for ourselves what it truly means to be men of God. Only by His grace will our minds be transformed. And only then will we be fully equipped to fulfill our calling to change the world.