Long Before Covid-19, a pandemic of epic proportions began sweeping across our country. In its wake we now face a looming crisis pulling our society into a self-perpetuating, downward spiral.
The “Manhood Meltdown” has been slowly impacting us for generations, providing boys and young men a circus-mirror view of masculinity. Too often, this distorted view is carried on and reflected through manhood and fatherhood.
Somewhere along the way, the men a few generations ago chose to abdicate our Biblical roles and responsibilities. They caved to the pressures of the world’s idea of manhood. They either exuded absolute “toxic masculinity,” or embraced immaturity, living as a big kid in an adult body. Neither of these ideas fits the model of real manhood to which God has called us.
Many sons of these men desperately craved their father’s attention and approval. When they didn’t receive it, these boys searched for it elsewhere. They turned to the world, and the world inoculated them with cheap ideologies and media mockeries of male buffoonery which have lulled many into a passivity coma.
As the cycle continued, new generations of men began carrying a deadlier variant of manhood than their own fathers ever exhibited.
Dating back to 1998, we could see the impact absent fathers were having across America as revealed in a report from the Department of Justice.
In 1998, The Fatherless were...
70% of minors detained in sate centers & institutions
71% of all high school dropouts
85% of children who have been behavior disorders
63% of all youth suicides
That was 1998! Today’s numbers are even more staggering. In his 2018 book, The Boy Crisis, Warren Farrell gives a clear picture of the detriment being done to our children (specifically our boys) by fatherless homes. He finds:
Children from fatherless homes are at a significantly higher risk of drug abuse. Nearly two times as many academic high achievers come from 2 parent homes than single parent homes. In homes where fathers are absent, boys have a 100% more likelihood of being incarcerated than in homes with 2 parents.
What’s striking about these numbers is that they remain eerily constant across social, racial, and economic boundaries. No matter how you parse the numbers, statistics, and demographics, one constant remains: When Fathers are absent, children lose.
How did we get here?
By ignoring the truth — men and women are different.
We aren’t simply biologically different,we are emotionally, mentally, and psychologically different. Clearly stated, men aren’t women, and women aren’t men. We were designed by God for specific roles.
These differences are vital to the development of children. A home where both mother and father are present – physically, emotionally, and spiritually – provides children the best opportunity for success.
But the opposite holds true, too. A home where both mother and father aren’t present creates an unnecessary risk of failure for the children of that home and for future generations.
The pandemic of immaturity in so many men in our culture is having long-lasting, crippling effects. And yet, society is searching for answers to the problem in all the wrong places – i.e., in labels of toxic masculinity, critical theory, and gender neutrality.
True, Godly masculinity is when real men:
- Treat women with respect.
- Love their children.
- Give back to society through a respectable work ethic.
- Speak into culture with integrity, strength, & honor.
At our core, we men must be full of character and conviction, not fear and selfishness. We must not abdicate our roles or abandon our responsibilities to fulfill immature desires or alleviate external pressures.
Yes, life is hard, full of pressure and responsibility, but fighting for all children of the next generation is eternally worth the effort.
To turn the tide, we must:
- Put away our childish behaviors and follow God's pathway for manhood.
- Be actively present in our families, churches, and communities.
- Love like Christ with sacrificial love.
- Seek support and accountability from wise, Godly me who will challenge us to be all God has called us to be.
If we commit to these actions, we will begin to see a society again where God is honored, religious freedom is preserved, families thrive, and human life is cherished.
Read more about these practical ways to overcome the Manhood Meltdown by reading Mitch’s column at PalmettoFamily.org.
is a passionate leader with a vision to connect pastors and equip them to engage the culture. He has been a part of state, local and federal election campaigns for nearly 20 years, and now serves as the lead Pastor at Carolina Church in Clover. Mitch has been married to his college sweetheart, Christina, since 2007 and they have three boys, Ethan, Connor, and Graham. He enjoys spending time outdoors, watching college football, and reading