Given the various factors affecting men's proper understanding of masculinity which led many to suffer with identity confusion, a CEO shared that the boys' "critical needs" must be addressed to "reverse the tragic trend." One of the ways, he said, is by teaching them the lessons of the Christmas story.
"As parents and leaders of boys, in order to halt and reverse the tragic trend of lost identity and purpose, we must insist on meeting these critical needs. We must help establish in our sons a hope for their future, driven by the construct of a self-identity that is more esteeming than the hope-sabotaging identity they get from their culture," Mark Hancock, the CEO of Trail Life USA, argued on The Christian Post.
Hancock shared that boys are plagued with "four significant problems" in tackling manhood, including being "unguided, ungrounded, unappreciated and uninspired."
He also noted that men's confusion about masculinity was driven by a couple of factors.
First is the lack of "positive male role models," leaving boys wondering about the real definition of manhood. The CEO blames such occurrence to the large ratio of female teachers against their male counterparts, which reportedly accounts for 89% in elementary level, and the absence of father figures at home of almost 21% of the boys.
The other factor is the "the cultural erosion of the absolute truths," which he said is essential for the boys' foundation.
But Hancock stressed said that "purposeful identity" can be found through Jesus, who did not only show what God is like but also exemplified masculinity.
"The Christ-child Jesus who came, not only to show us what God is like but to show us what WE can be like - to show us what it looks like for the Spirit of God to be active in the body of a man. He came as 'one of us,' appearing in our image to show us how we are created in His," he stated.
To teach masculinity, the CEO advised that the birth of Jesus, as God who became flesh, should be discussed with boys. He then explained how the example of Christ addresses concerns that are hitting the young men's journey to manhood.
First, boys can be guided by Jesus' example of "true biblical masculinity" through the way He loved, healed, delivered and sacrificed.
Next, they will be grounded by understanding "the absolutes embodied by the Word of God."
"Eternal truths don't change with every shifting whim," Hancock pointed out.
Third, young men will feel appreciated and valued upon comprehension of "the incomparable gift of Christ" and the price that Jesus paid simply out of His love for them.
Lastly, they will be inspired to love others as well upon reflecting on the depth of Jesus' love by dying on the cross just to save them.
In conclusion, the CEO urged Christians to help the young men understand about their identity in Jesus.
"'Emmanuel' means 'God with us.' And our highest call to boys can be to embrace the example and understand the identity entrusted to them. In this season, we can remind our sons that their value isn't in the identity placed upon them by a conflicted society, but in the never-changing identity of the greater One who now, through the miracle of His birth and the offer of salvation, can be Christ in us, the hope of glory," Hancock explained, citing Colossians 1:27.