manhood_400x200Gentlemen: You are not boys. Women are not objects. Christ is most assuredly King.

I’ve noticed a trend in young men who relinquish their God-given role as spiritual leaders in their families: childish, selfish, pridefilled immaturity. Some of them have been married for several years now. Others have children out of wedlock. But that is the common problem: immaturity.

As a pastor, I spend a lot of my time not just studying, but counseling. I’ve listened to wives cry for hours because of the pain caused by men who forfeit their role (Genesis 3). I’ve watched couples fall apart because of a man who acts like a boy. And I’m tired of it.

When a man gets married, what should be forfeited is his pride, his selfishness, and his youthful lust (2 Timothy 2:22). The covenant of marriage demands complete selfless love (Ephesians 5:25). You no longer get to play the “single” game–hanging out with the “boys” all hours of the night, spending time at the bar with other women, and doing whatever it is you wish to do.

Grow up (1 Corinthians 13:11).

You now have a family, and God viciously guards this covenant institution. You don’t get to just do whatever you want, you now have a family to consider second only to God. What in the world are you doing squandering this gift? Why do you think that hunting comes before your bride? Sports on television before your children? Beer before prayer? The ‘guys’ before your family?

Grow up.

Let me tell you something… You have two full-time jobs. You don’t get to come home, plop down in your lazy boy with a beer and “check out”–all in the name of “I work hard to provide for my family.” You come home and you get back to work. You turn off the television set and play with your kids. Enough already. I’m tired of men who act like boys. Just because the woman is a weaker vessel doesn’t mean you get to abuse her with your cold immaturity (1 Peter 3:7).

Where are the tender-hearted men who cry over their sin instead of their football game? Where are the men who lead like Jesus, selflessly sacrificing their time, energy, and love for the sake of their family? I know you’re out there. Stay the course.

And listen, young men who wish to be married, don’t act like a child. You are a man (1 Samuel 4:9). Act like it (1 Corinthians 16:13). Why? Because Jesus grew up and went to the cross for His Bride.