I found this article really interesting. I would say that I agree. I know it is a struggle I have had in my own life.
This is a long article but one I would challenge men (and women) to read and to take some time to ponder where are you in this conversations and look at how you might be able to make some changes.
As men grow older, they tend to let their friendships lapse. But there’s still time to do something about it.
I TURNED 40 IN MAY. I have a wife and two young boys. I moved to the suburbs a few years ago, where I own a fairly ugly home with white vinyl siding and two aging station wagons with crushed Goldfish crackers serving as floor mats. When I step on a Lego in the middle of the night on my way to the bathroom, I try to tell myself that it’s cute that I’ve turned into a sitcom dad.
During the week, much of my waking life revolves around work. Or getting ready for work. Or driving to work. Or driving home from work. Or texting my wife to tell her I’m going to be late getting home from work.
When people with children become overscheduled, they don’t shortchange their children, they shortchange their friendships. “And the public health dangers of that are incredibly clear,”
Men do not have to give up their masculine nature. They have to redefine it. They don’t need to be warriors for territory and power over others. They can be warriors for peace, the environment, social justice and equal rights.
Men do not need to become more like women. They need to become more fully human, more in touch with who they are, free to achieve their human potential, including the full range of emotional expression.
Social change happens one person at a time. When we change the way we raise boys, we will change the world.
Some really good thoughts here. Please take the 2 minutes to read the article.
When it comes to sex, there is this expectation of males, and it’s a really low one.
The ‘boys will be boys’ culture is not wrong because it’s not inclusive of women. The ‘boys will be boys’ culture is wrong because it destroys women and men. In a ‘boys will be boys’ culture, rape is funny, because women don’t matter. It is a culture that puts the hormonal impulse of the male above all else. It is an attitude that celebrates a lack of self-control and a reckless headfirst dive into hedonism. It is a culture that breathes objectification of women. It is a culture that excuses, even celebrates, the depravity of humanity.
But when it comes to sex, decency, and respect for the life, health, and well-being of another, “boys will be boys” does not fit.
It does not fit when a teenage boy gets drunk. It does not fit when a young adult drives 100 in a 55. It does not fit when a husband cheats on his wife. It does not fit when a drunk college student is raped in a back alley.
Pretty soon, a man’s ‘manliness’ is defined by how reckless he can be instead of how responsible.
It leaves us with a culture of reckless, irresponsible, ego-centric, porn-saturated males, who are fairly convinced the world revolves around them and women are simply baby-making, sandwich-making, orgasm-giving bodies. After all, boys will be boys.
If you’d like to protect your daughter, raise her in such a way that she can protect herself. Give her the tools to decipher a dangerous situation. Teach her the language of consent and how to exit a situation that makes her uncomfortable. Help her be confident about her decisions, and show her how to make good choices about the people she spends time with. Take the time and be involved in her life.
Protect your son in the same ways. And, for goodness sake, if you have good reason to distrust their judgment, make sure their activities are safe and monitored.
Above all, realize and come to terms with the fact that teenage sexuality is not a “boy thing.” Teenage sexuality is a teenage thing. Young men and young women alike are going to be curious, interested, and looking to learn more about sex.
Your daughter is just as curious as my son, I can virtually guarantee it. Yet you don’t see me polishing a shotgun when she comes over to do homework. You don’t see me posting pictures on Facebook with watered-down threats about personal harm should I find out she gets handsy with my son.
The idea of threatening young women to keep their hands off young men is ludicrous, yet when roles are reversed it’s completely accepted and even encouraged. Why? In order to raise a generation of kind and respectful men we have to stop telling our boys they’re inherently bad (but it’s not their fault because hormones).
Really great article talking about a topic most people shy away from.
Men’s mental health is an area of key concern, especially the high rates of suicide. Around 75 per cent of suicides are men, with over 50 per week dying by suicide in Canada. These are particularly pronounced in the 40-60 age group. This has led Prof. Dan Bilsker of Simon Fraser University to declare that we are experiencing a “silent epidemic of male suicide.”
Porn: So much struggle and addiction and so little answers, solutions and freedom. One of the best discussions for those of us coming from a Christian Worldview would be from a blog from Tim Challies called 7 Reasons to Stop Looking at Porn Right Now. He goes through each of the reasons below
The Cost to your Soul
The Cost to your Neighbour
The Cost to your Family
The Cost to your Mission
The Cost to your Witness
The Cost to your Saviour
The only one I might add to this list is the Cost to your own Body. As I am working through my research for a talk on pornography called “The Porn Project” I have been fascinated to find an entire online community (not faith based) equipping, supporting and empowering people (men and women) to stop watching pornography. It is often called the “NoFap” movement which is not a Christian movement at all. In case you are wondering what Fap is, it is a bit of Internet vernacular for the act of self-love (masturbation). So the NoFap movement is asking people to stop looking at all forms of porn and stop masturbating. People often say to me that their porn addiction is not hurting anyone. From Tim’s blog it is hurting some of the largest areas of our life. What seems to be missing along side these thoughts in our Christian community is the realization that there are also physiological issues with long term masturbation to pornography from Porn Induced Erectile Dysfunction, Sexual Exhaustion etc. Many people I talk to seem to think that these physical issues are a joke and are not true.
Below are a few videos for you to watch. It takes such courage to open up and speak as these people do about such a private struggle. Please remember this are not Christian groups so you may find some rough language.
As I travel I talk to men and women nightly who talk about addictions to porn. I have hundreds of emails of people struggling in their Christian faith due to issues with porn. I have heard from a over 100 women who have told me that their marriages were destroyed from their husbands addictions to pornography. Pastors tell me it is an epidemic in their youth groups and throughout adults in their churches.
While I am finishing my research on this talk I thought it would be interesting to see if I could find 100 people who would want to take part in a small experiment. Rather than talking about all the ways porn has hurt us I would love to see how getting rid of porn in our lives helps us, especially those of us coming from a Christian Perspective. I am open to people who are not faith based to take this challenge. Love to here your thoughts as well.
So here is the experiment:
I am looking for 100 people who are interested in taking a 60 day (2 months) challenge to be completely porn free in your life.
To some of you 60 days might seem like an eternity. I would respond and say that if you cannot go 60 days without porn or sexualized media in your life than you probably can at least acknowledge that you are struggling with this. Also, during this journey if you fail, then try and think why you failed (were you alone too much, tired, angry etc). learn from your setback, and try and get back to the journey.
This video gives some great advice on how to do this.
Practical stuff: I will NEVER be posting your names anywhere ever. I am interested in your journey goes:
If you are interested in being part of this journey you just need to let me know. Send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or hit me up on any social media. Then as you are going through your journey keep a small journal. Write down anything you think might be interesting. Some questions are below. You can send me thoughts at the end or anytime in the middle. If anyone worries that someone might see your email. It is only going to me and I will never share this information with anyone. If you are really worried make a fake gmail account and email me from that. The goal is not to shame anyone but to look at a journey like this together.
Here are some questions I would love to know. You can add any more you like.
How hard was the decision to stop? Where you able to stop? Did you relapse?
What kinds of things did you have to change?
Did you have any withdrawal affects? What were they? When in your journey did you have them?
Thinking of the areas that Tim talked about in his blog. Tell me how if affected your: Soul – did your faith change?
Neighbour – Did you thoughts change about the people in the videos? Your neighbours? Did you look at woman (or men) different when you saw them?
Did it change your engagement at church?
How did the reboot affect your relationship with your family? As a parents did you feel freedom that your family would not find pornography on your computer etc?
Did you find you engaged more with the areas you feel called to be involved in? Volunteer?
Did you find that your witness changed? Did you feel like less of a fraud?
If you are married how did your relationship change with your wife or husband?
Anything else that you found in your journey to be noteworthy.
So what does this journey include. Anything sexual. That includes looking at sexualized images on social media (some of you might have to delete people you are creeping through their photos on Facebook or Instagram), all pornographic websites, TV and Movies with nudity and overt sexuality and any other areas from your thought life (fantasy or remembering past sexual encounters) to anything else that would turn you on sexually (I am not including regular sexual intimacy within marriage).
For Christians it should be enough for us to stop from a Theological standpoint (Scripture) but I think it will become very real very quick if you take this challenge that porn might have its hold on you. Many guys online (see websites #7 (Your Brain on Porn) and #8 (Your Brain Rebalanced) at the end of this blog talk about brutal side affects after Dopamine is no longer being drenched onto your pleasure centres in your brain. Many of the comments on the side effects are within just days of stopping. All I can say is why not try and live 60 days without porn and see how it goes.
During this time I would also encourage you to spend more time with God in prayer and Scripture reading. I would also encourage you to exercise, eat better and get lots of sleep. You might also need to talk to a counsellor to help you walk through this.
It would be awesome if you could share this blog around through email, other blogs or on social media. Thanks
I will leave you with this awesome poem for your journey:
“I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I fall in. I am lost… I am helpless. It isn’t my fault. It takes forever to find a way out.
I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I pretend I don’t see it. I fall in again. I can’t believe I am in the same place. But, it isn’t my fault. It still takes me a long time to get out.
I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I see it is there. I still fall in. It’s a habit. My eyes are open. I know where I am. It is my fault. I get out immediately.
walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it.
I walk down another street.”
― Portia Nelson, There’s a Hole in My Sidewalk
The Romance of Self-Discovery
If you are looking for other great resources there is so much great information on all of the websites below. Please take some time to go through them. If there are any great articles, books or other resources please send them to me and I will add them to this list.
My son and I are finding ourselves in a unique, transitional period right now. Not quite a teenager. Not quite a child. As we stand on the cusp of zits and body hair and raging hormones, I am beginning to think about the type of teenager I want him to be in a couple of years. And the type of man I want him to eventually become. There are so many life lessons I still want to teach him. There are so many crucial skills he needs to be a good man in a sometimes less-than-good world. Below are 10 lessons I want my son to learn before he becomes a teenager.