Tuesday, November 10, 2009


One of the books I wish I'd written is Steve Biddulph's Manhood. Now Steve is more liberal than I about pornography and masturbation and a few other things but essentially he's on to something very important. Indeed in the seminars I lead on manhood I make this global statement:
'Most of the problems in the Western world can be traced to our inability to create men from boys.'
Every pre-industrial society has initiation rites for precipitating boys aged 14 or 15 into manhood. We in the West have something called adolescence which inhibits/complicates this process. So what should we do? Men should take boys away and talk about being men - the challenges and the problems of manhood - do things together, enjoy recreational activities together, talk about Big Ideas with boys.

If we don't properly create a rite of passage for boys, they'll find destructive counterfeits - hence initiation ceremonies in the armed forces, teenage boys getting on to drugs and breaking into houses etc. The Kiwi movie 'Once Were Warriors' is the best I've ever seen on the destructive aspects of the breakdown of Western families.

Most men don't have real friends. They don't know how to grieve with other men. So they 'burnout' and have mid-life crises. Their emotional output is not matched by emotional input. And they've never properly dealt with their family-of-origin stuff.

Probably most of us males need a 'mid-life crisis' to wake up to ourselves. Mine was in Korea in 1977/8 (?) when I spent a night in tears in a chapel in the Full Gospel Central Church repenting of my sinfulness, selfishness, failures in ministry and parenting etc.

For more on this important topic visit these articles on men and fathering.

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