Friday, February 1

Working with Child-Men

I came across a post on Think Christian today about the phenomenon in our society of Child-Men. It discusses how many single, young men remain in a kind of eternal adolescence. It talks about how many single men in their 20s and 30s remain promiscuous, restless and slobby. They do this largely because they can. There is nothing that is pushing them out of this kind of adolescence and essentially to "grow up." In the past, marriage and children was a primary force in making many men transition out of adolescence. In our society today, however, young men have the ability to push that off into the hazy future of "someday."

The underlying message is not that these young, single men are idiots because they continue to spend their days playing video games. The true message is that society has failed these Child-Men because it has failed to provide them a purpose that extends beyond their own lives. The article argues that young men "need a culture that can help them define worthy aspirations." Instead, they have a culture with examples like Enron to show the value of landing a respectable job and a divorce rate to show the value of marriage and family.

Following Jesus Christ should provide exactly the kind of purpose that is currently missing in their lives. And yet we, as followers of Jesus, seem to be failing to present a compelling alternative to this endless adolescence. And it has to be us who are failing at communicating, because clearly God is capable of providing that purpose. While God certainly can work without us, people are generally more receptive when we are doing things that he can work through. We need to do a better job of demonstrating the purpose God can provide to people who otherwise don't really have one.

It's a very thought provoking way of looking at ministry to people in this demographic. It's worth reading the entire article. You can find it here.

1 comment:

AnneDroid said...

Hia - stumbled across your blog and like this post a lot. I work as chaplain in two men's prisons and they're full of child-men. And what's worse is sometimes I fear that our efforts to help them put them further into the child-role. I hope not but I wonder... But then not helping them's not an option. Mmmm.