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How Our Culture is Failing Our Boys in Their Quest to Become Men

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Good day to you! So this week I took a little siesta from blogging in order to focus on my sweet family. I hope you and your family/friends have enjoyed this holiday as much as we have.

Grab a cup of coffee or hot tea and settle in with me for the second post in my Single Moms Saturday Series. In last week’s post I shared that every son needs vision, direction, and solid answers from his dad about what it means to be a man.

single moms saturday series

Boys learn manhood best when it’s taught and modeled by their dads so:

  1. Try to get your ex involved in this process.
  2. If that isn’t possible, involve a committed male mentor or family member.
  3. If all else fails, do this yourself.

Remember that God has chosen you specifically as the woman most perfectly suited to be a mother to your son. He will fill in the gaps as you give your best and trust him to help you.

What is Manhood?

Even sons of attentive fathers sometimes drift in adulthood because they haven’t been equipped with the things they need most.

For competence in all of life, a boy needs:

  1. A vision for manhood
  2. A code of conduct
  3. A transcendent cause

Read with your son the story of William Marshall, Earl of Pembroke on pages 44-45 in Raising a Modern-Day Knight by Robert Lewis. The material I’m sharing today is from this book.

Background info for you Momma:

In medieval culture, masculinity was harnessed for good – not evil. William Marshall was chivalrous; courageous; a devout family man; a good husband who cherished/protected his wife and provided for his kids. Growing up, he had a powerful mentor and was influenced by a medieval culture that clearly communicated manhood to him.

Boys become men in the presence of a clear cultural definition of manhood. According to Robert Lewis, we don’t have that today.

Where there is no revelation (vision), the people are unrestrained. Proverbs 29:18.

In the past, answers about manhood came from three sources. Talk to your son about these if you like.

Source #1 – Community:

There used to be rites of passage that marked a boy’s entrance to manhood. They let a boy know what was expected of him as a man and communicated the important message that on that day, through that ceremony, the boy was now recognized as a man.

“When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child, but when I became a man, I did away with childish things.” The Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 13:11

Ask your son these questions. What are the rites of passage in our culture today? When does he truly become a man? (Is it when he gets his driver’s license, joins the army, conquers a woman in bed?)

Source #2 – Family:

Throughout past generations, Dad was always the central component of a boy’s manhood vision.

Today, 40 percent of young men are growing up in homes without a dad. Another 40% don’t feel close to their dads.

  • Talk to your son about your own father. What are your earliest memories . . . traits you admire . . . something you wish your dad had done, but didn’t . . . something you wish he hadn’t done, but did. Be real but keep it age-appropriate and positive.
  • Share what you know about your ex-husband’s father in these areas (or ask him to share it with his son).
  • Allow your son to share his thoughts about his own dad. 

Source #3 – The Church:

The church used to communicate visions and concepts of manhood based on the truth of scripture. Today most churches have become politically correct. Masculine roles and responsibilities have been reinterpreted or silenced – and it has emasculated men in our culture.

In 1 Corinthians 16:13, Paul ends with “act like men.” At that time in history, everyone knew what those words meant. Today, that isn’t the case. Our culture is failing our boys at every front.

Come back next week for the definition and principles of authentic manhood. I’ll leave the light on for you.

Giveaway: Answer the following question to be entered in my drawing for the book Raising a Modern-Day Knight. There will be three winners. Entry deadline is Friday, November 30th, at noon CST.

Where do you see a vacuum in our culture regarding manhood? What would you like to see change? 



  1. pflead73 says:

    Being aggressive,creating a chaos wherever you go,gulping down loads of beer,crossing speed limits on the vehicle.These are some of the things that my generation(sadly) considers to be manly.
    It is the utmost responsibility of the parents to first know what their son perceives as manliness.Only then they can do something about it.
    They should make their son understand that always doing the different looks cool but is actually stupid.
    Being in your limits,
    Demonstrating patience when you are not getting what you want (instead of lashing out at innocent others)
    Dropping a drunk girl home and not taking advantage of her,
    Doing things because they appeal to your senses and not just because your friends call it Kewl!
    -These are some of the signs I consider that a true man possesses.

  2. Lisa says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. You’re right about the cultural views of manhood. Appreciate your beliefs about the qualities a true man possesses. As you point out, authentic manhood is in direct contrast to the culture. Have a great day!

  3. Carey says:

    I see the vacuum existing because many women have bought the male stereotypes the culture promotes. Man-bashing (and women-bashing.. but that’s not the topic here) have become so common people hardly notice it. A single mom can do a TON to help her son understand what a real man is by telling her son what HER (biblical) dream of a real man is.

  4. […] This is the third post in my series helping single moms raise their sons to manhood. For the first two posts click here and here. […]

  5. Helen says:

    I’m raising twin 8 yrs old as a single mother. My son has started to show real disrepect for me and even his femaile teachers as he will not listen or follow directions. The begins to laugh if I become angry and repeat my directives. He usually does this infront of another boy his age. To make it worse his uncle loves to bash women, especially me, infront of my son, even after I have objected.
    Where do I even begin to help my son understand what it is to be a Godly man with respect for the women God has put in his life..
    thank you
    Helen Crouch

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