“Manhood is being challenged while the perception of fatherhood has been taken for granted.” The National Fatherhood Initiative states that “according to the US Census Bureau, 24 million children in America—one out of every three—live in biological father-absent homes. Nine in ten American parents agree this is a crisis.” The absence of fathers has proven to have a devastating effect on the home, marriage, and especially the next generation. However, there may well be a bigger problem than the absence of the male-man in the traditional family. This challenge forms the foundation for fatherhood today. Simply put, this challenge is the revelation of manhood itself. If young men today are confused about manhood, the question must be raised: “How then do they learn about what it means to be a father?”
The answer to this question addresses both underlying premises as one and implies that every male-man must understand first what it means to be a man if he is to fulfill what is expected of a father. No man can successfully fulfill the role of fatherhood if he lacks a genuine understanding of manhood. Put another way, in every man there is a father! If this is true, and it is, then every man must realize what fatherhood is about before he becomes a father. This is true because it is based on a biblical principle.
“Then God said, let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” (Genesis 1:11)
This principle was applicable to every living creature and ultimately to mankind. Everything created by God was created with the capacity to reproduce itself and that potential existed in the seed. This is important because the seed is found in the man.
Therefore, if a man is to appreciate what it means to be a father, he must also value what it means to be a man. Is it possible that if one gets manhood right he has increased his chances of getting fatherhood correctly? Today’s society seems to be overcome with fathers who have no concept of the connection between fatherhood and manhood. It is this predicament that is plaguing our society today as there continues to be an increasing number of men who are absent from their wives, their children, and their families. The consequences of this reality have proven to contaminate the potential of the next generation. What response is demanded to so great a dilemma being faced today? How can men regain a genuine understanding of their purpose and the roles that are innate in it?
The answers to these questions must be found and grounded in truth as we cannot afford to lose another generation of men to the confusing definitions of manhood or the maze of inappropriate role models being followed today! Manhood cannot be allowed to become an endangered species. Let us be reminded that when the man is not in his created position everyone and everything is impacted.
The following is an excerpt from Endangered Masculinity by Dr. Clarence Boyd, Jr. If you would like to get your own copy, see here!