Men v. Boys

Recently, my friend brought my attention to an article describing "Why You Need a Man, Not a Boy."   (Disclaimer: NOT a magazine/ website I would read on my own! hahaha)  To be sure, the article's title drew me in.  There is a dearth of men in the church.  There are too many boys playing "grown up" without really becoming grown ups.  And we ladies need to be able to tell the difference.

Boys: A Spineless, Pale, Pathetic Lot

However, how do we describe "boys," and how do we describe "men"?  An excerpt from the article describes the difference this way:

Men know what they want. Men own alarm clocks. Men sleep on a mattress that isn’t on the floor. Men buy new shampoo instead of adding water to a nearly empty bottle of shampoo. Men make reservations. Men go in for a kiss without giving you some long preamble about how they’re thinking of kissing you. Men wear clothes that have never been worn by anyone else before.

What I was used to was boys. Boys are adorable. Boys trail off their sentences in an appealing way. Boys get haircuts from their roommate, who “totally knows how to cut hair.” Boys can pack up their whole life and move to Brooklyn for a gig if they need to. Boys have “gigs.” Boys are broke. And when they do have money, they spend it on a trip to Colorado to see a music festival.

Getting Down to Business

So basically, according to the article, men are financially stable, have jobs, take action, and are sure of themselves.  Boys are the opposite.  Ladies, is this what we're going for?  Are we really going to define a "man" as someone who is successful and confident?  If you're not successful or confident, sorry- you're not a man.


That seems like a lot of pressure to put on the guys.  The economy kind of sucks right now, and a lot of good people are without jobs.  Does not having a job make a guy any less of a man?  (Does having a job make a guy any more of one?)

And plenty of guys don't have problems with their confidence- but maybe they should.  There are words for guys who are over-confident and inflate their egos, and these guys aren't "men."  In fact, I think that there's a good argument that it's the guys who aren't sure of themselves, who second-guess because they want to get things done right- those are the real "men."

Obviously, having a job and knowing what a person wants are indicative of other, very good traits.  I'm just saying that this isn't the measure of a man. 

Making a Man

Before I tear up the article too much, there is one part that I would like to highlight:

At this point you might want to smack me and say: “Are you seriously just another grown woman talking about how she wants a man who isn’t afraid of commitment?” Let me explain! I’m not talking about commitment to romantic relationships.  I’m talking about commitment to things...When men hear women want a commitment, they think it means commitment to a romantic relationship, but that’s not it. It’s a commitment to not floating around anymore. I want a guy who is entrenched in his own life. Entrenched is awesome.

This is an excellent comment from a secular viewpoint, and I have to agree.  Commitment isn't about committing to a person (although, we ladies would like that), but it's about a personality that can commit.

I want to push the definition, though.  It's easy to commit to something.  A person can commit to any number of things.  But does he follow-through?  Is he willing to sacrifice for the things/ people he commits to?  That, to me is what makes a man.  I don't want someone who is entrenched in his own life.  I want someone who is entrenched in the lives of others.

No greater love is this: that a man lay down his life for his friend.  If we ladies are looking for a man who will love and serve us the way Christ loved the church (and died for her!), the distinguishing quality isn't whether or not he has a job, or whether or not he has confidence, or even whether or not he can commit.  The distinguishing quality is whether he has the sort of personality that is willing to sacrifice.

Boys want a great number of things.  Men will sacrifice to achieve those goals.  He will make sacrifices to hold down a job, to pay the rent, to commit to a church, and commit to a woman.  Ironically enough, the thought of making that sacrifice should shake a man's confidence.  But the man of God isn't confident in his own strength, he is confident in the strength that God gives.  God's strength is made perfect in weakness for us all.

Are there too many boys and not enough men?  Absolutely.  Do I think this will become the downfall of society and the church?  Not at all.  Because God's strength is made perfect in weakness, and as boys understand and fall in love with Christ, who sacrificed himself for them, I believe that they will, in turn, be able to understand and emulate (albeit imperfectly) that sacrificial attitude in the other areas of their lives.  It's not about success and confidence, but rather the state of a person's heart.

(But having the strength of a raging fire won't hurt)

In Closing...

Ladies: what are you looking for (or have found) in a man?
Guys: did I get it right?  What's your take?
Bloggers: do you ever wonder which "real-life" friends/ acquaintances have made their way to your blog and hope that certain ones never do?  #awkward