“I am very much aware that what I am putting together in this article is not all that needs to be done. Nevertheless, it’s better to light a weak candle than to curse the darkness”
This is a great read. Not because I am writing it, but because I think little has been written. In fact when I was conducting research on this subject I have found very little on this subject whether written or in print. A lot has been written about women and femininity but nothing much written about masculinity or like we say it about “boy shaod” This is what makes this article special and I trust that it will speak to your heart and help you to curve your life path, how to walk in purity, and uphold the values that will enable you to put your sexuality into perspective.
As you read this article, remember that I am a Christian, and as you might expect I speak from a Christian perspective. I am not blind to the fact that not everyone is necessarily a Christian in the wider society. I will try to be courteous to the feelings of all the readers while at the same time counting on them to translate my Christian thoughts into their own thoughts.
Strong, stable and godly men are the greatest need of our time. It’s time for the men now to take the lead and mentor our boys to become men of means and substance. No matter how good the mother is, it’s a real ordeal for the boy not to have a father/father-figure because mum cannot teach the boy everything. Do you know the struggles the boy child has to go through in the 21st century as he tries to sail through the maze of manhood? I am a mother and raising two young boys one whom is almost becoming a teenager. I am amazed by the kind of questions, discoveries, imaginations and worries that are checking in as he prepares to usher teenage.
I am taking this enormous responsibility to initiate the process of empowering our men. I want to tell them to connect with God who is more than enough, live their lives with brimming grace that goes on and grows on to godly manhood.
Boys are men in training. They are the bridges to the future. We need to raise a generation of men who will lead with honor and integrity. Societies that are populated largely with immature, immoral, weak willed, cowardly men cannot stand the test of time. These are the men who are siring and abandoning their children, mauling their women, stealing and coveting. Look at our societies today, we have men/boyfriends battering and killing their wives/girlfriends right left and Centre. We have even seen men in our corporate offices diverting public funds and resources to their own individual gains. WHY? Our men are lacking or have grown up without good mentor-ship and training. Unfortunately this is the direction that today’s culture is taking our boys. Something has to be done like yesterday. We need to build capacity and lasting qualities of character within our boys. Let us restore and preserve a sane and healthy society by salvaging of the male.
I have been looking at what is making the (“boy shaod”) the male lag behind and I came up with the following observations: This is not all, it’s just my own observations and conclusions.
- Reversed roles
You will bear me witness that in this 21st century, what was known as men’s responsibility/roles (providing shelter, clothing, feeding the woman and providing security) is no longer the norm. Today’s woman can do that too well better than the man. Our boys are being brought up knowing that this is their role once they are grown men. To their surprise, they find that the women they are marrying are already too empowered, both economically and socially. It’s no longer the woman who stayed home to care for the family. (Cooking, cleaning, nursing kids and providing sexual pleasure to the man)
When men get into relationships only to find that the woman can do what he thought was his responsibility, he loses meaning. Much less some of these men can even hardly do the basically described roles of men. Now, these men end up turning violent, promiscuous and loses meaning of being a man.
Let’s teach our young boys the true meaning of being a real man when they are of age. We need to teach them much more of the Christian values. I will ask you to refer to Ephesian 5:25 kind of a man. Also instill to our young boys the true interpretation of Genesis 2:24. What does it mean when they say a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh? In my own interpretation, these two verses sums up what constitutes a good family man.
- Social media
Social medial has appointed itself to define what success is or it’s not. Social media defines a successful man with the clothes he wears, cars he drives, vacations he takes etc. Depending on how well you fair in this sector, you are either branded a success or a failure. Rarely will you find responsible masculinity being represented. In most scenarios, you are likely to hear of men who are depicted as womanizers, or entrepreneurs who sacrificed all including their wife and children in the name of making their businesses a success. Social media has almost made what looks like a successful attempt to define a modern adult male a failure. Do you notice how social media has managed to become a never ending source of comic directed towards men? They rarely miss an opportunity to display an adult male in disrespectful manner. Recently I heard a very prominent radio personality say that (Kila mwanaume ako na sauti, lakini volume ni pesa) every man has a voice but, the volume to that voice is how much money he has. Really? This is how a real man is being defined nowadays. What message are we passing to our soon to be men, the young boys? Social media is deficient in moral uprightness
Today, most TV shows are displaying the male characters as weak, lost and confused. These images send subconscious messages which shape certain beliefs and consequently determine the behavior of young men.
Look, media has been highlighting cases of men being battered by their wives, and actually give it airplay more than they would give a good commercial generating income for the media house. As much as awareness is equally important, in my opinion media should put more energy in recognizing success stories. For instance as much as men are being clobbered by their women in some sections of the country, these genres have also produced great leaders like presidents, CEOS`s etc. Why give too much energy on the few negative aspects? Let’s us blow our trumpets in recognizing the positive success stories and accomplishments of our brothers. This way the young boy will grow knowing what is expected of a real man.
I am saying that your conduct and attitude as a parent has tremendous impact in shaping the future behavior of your boy. They learn from us. Teach your boys how to reasonably deal with anger and emotions. Monitor what they watch on television, they love imitating what they are watching. Images have the power to live in our minds for a lifetime. They end up behaving in accordance to the images engraved into their memory, shaping their identity, character and life course.
- Social changes
I would like to look at feminism here.Being a feminist means that you fight for the equality of all people. It’s important that your feminism is intersectional, it should not exclude people based on their gender, race, socioeconomic status, ability, or sexual orientation.
There used to be places exclusively for men and others for women. Like we would have exclusive barber shops for men, exclusive salons for women, clothes for men and others for women. Today the word is “UNISEX”
Today you will find a man who has nails that are pedicured better than yours. I cannot go to a beauty shop or jewelry shop as a woman and shop in peace. I have all these young men in the same store competing to get the best pair of earrings just as I am. I am not saying it’s good or bad, I am simply highlighting the fact that male role modeling is no longer there. Feminism has contributed immensely to masculine confusion today. Everything that was once associated to maleness is now subjected to contempt. I know I am sounding like I live under the rock or like I belong to the homo’s generation but I am not going to bury the hatchet on this.
One of my sons, the eldest pointed out how he watched one of our local gospel artists performing and he was so impressed with how the artist was dressed. I quote him “this dude is looking so cool men!!” From his braided hair, to his earrings, nose rings to mention but a few. He actually went ahead and asked me whether I could buy for him some of the bling’s that the artist was wearing so that he could look as cool. As his mother you can almost guess my reaction! “Chei!!!!!”
(insert Abingo Slay King`s voice)
It took a toll on me to explain to this 9 year old that in my opinion I did not think that the artist was dressed appropriately and more so as a male artist. As parents, and men or anyone bringing up a boy child, you need to take the front seat to instill discipline and sense of belonging to the little minds.
Don’t let them be swayed by the social changes, otherwise my sisters of tomorrow considering settling down some day with real men will end up with “tall, dark and handsome confused men”
To the young boy/man, I am praying that you get direction/wisdom about your life decisions from God. Seek him and trust that He’s instructing you and leading you in the way you should go.
THE ROLE OF FATHERS IN NURTURING THE BOY CHILD
Do you know that most of the inmates in our cells today are men who were abandoned or rejected by their fathers? For us to talk about men, we need to involve fathers in this. You have heard many prominent personalities say, “I owe everything to my father”. It’s very unfortunate that there’s father hunger in our societies. Many of them pretend to be there at the onset, but they never stay there for longer to complete what they started.
The social ills bedeviling our young men today are as a result of the dead beat fathers who should be the masculine models and mentors needed during their development. It’s sad that the primary cause of problems today with young boys is because their fathers are either disinterested, divorced or simply withdrawn leaving the mothers to take additional roles to bridge the gap.
Fathers are equally as important to children just as mothers. Mothers will bear me witness that some toddlers learn to say papa before learning to say mama. Reason? I may not know, but it happens. Younger children also express their inherent need for their fathers. At times my nine year old will prefer to tell/ask his father about his “personal” stuff. I call it personal because that’s how he describes it whenever he needs to express something he’s concerned about to his father. Why does he ask his father and not me his mother who gave birth to him and nursed and changed his diapers? I can imagine how catastrophic it would be if his father for any reason was not there. Fathers/father figures are very critical in helping the boys in managed their emotional side of their development. Men, don’t leave mothers to jobs which they have had no or little experience. We have never been boys/men. We only try to do our best because for some reason you have failed as a man. Are you still wondering why some men behave like women when they are all grown? It’s simple. They have spent 90% of their time with women.
Recently social media was all awash with our men in Kenya holding a “men’s conference” I hope you discussed real issues during that conference. I know it’s very hard on a man not to have a son, but much harder for a boy not to have a father. One smile from a father is much more than ten kisses from a mother. Recently I was talking to my sons about what they love about me and their dad. Watch here on YouTube https://youtu.be/hSPwCR84uUk trust you me, they are very sensitive and honest at the same time. There’s no more crucial calling for men than fathering. Fatherhood is the sole responsibility of the male, well at least that’s the natural process. A father is a guide to a boy. There’s psychological needs that only a male can provide just as there are specific needs a female is designed to fulfil. The success of a man is not measured by the size or model of car he drives or where he lives, it’s by the values he instils in his own children and the wellbeing of his family as a whole.
Men, I want to strongly ask you to start with a personal commitment to God, unless you have a personal relationship with him, your efforts to model your young boys to becoming “real men” will always be wanting.
THE ROLE OF MOTHERS IN NURTURING THE BOY CHILD
It’s important to note that households headed by single parent’s especially unmarried mothers are on the rise. The task of a young mother and struggling economically is one of the toughest jobs and so then I have great respect and admiration for those who have done it superbly well.
It’s also important to point out that, it’s not the economic status of a single mother that is really the key factor to determining the overall well-being of a boy, but the absence of a father. For us to restore and sustain a sane and healthy society, we will need to salvage the male. Satan is really capitalizing on driving the fathers away from their homes. Women you really need to pray for your husbands.
Regardless of how wonderful the mother is, really there are things only fathers/father figures need to teach our boys. I am not insinuating in any way that the mother is not important, after all we have all survived on our mother’s breast milk, love, her nurturing and affection. I am simply saying that breast milk is not enough to raise a man.
As a mother, you are nurturing your boys and they are getting bigger, but they are not getting better. How will you teach them about male sexuality? What is it you are doing to get them ready to lead families of their own in future? These are obviously questions of earth shaking importance. Boys need to get off your breast and find the requisite of their gender. Some children often do not feel any authority or sense of power in their mother’s voice when there is no male in the house. This often leads to tendency to be rebellious and a craze of attitudes at home.
Boys who are raised by single mother are left to formulate the identity of masculinity from their ‘own sources’. Your role as a mother together with your spouse is to build a man out other raw materials available in this delightful little boy.
I am not blind to the fact that that there are many women out there who are wishing that sons will not grow to be like their father. As a mother if you have no or little regard for your spouse or the father of your children, you hold the key to the relationship between your boys and their father. If you show respect to him as a human being, your children particularly the boys will be more inclined to admire and emulate him. However, on the other hand if you feel that he is a loser, the same will be conveyed into your children’s interactions with their father. That is the power a woman wields within the family institution. As a mother, when you curse a boy’s father, you insult his masculinity, confuse his self-esteem and make him bend towards rebelling authority.
To all single mothers out there who are raising children on your own, I am not insensitive to the fact that some of you became single as a result of death of your spouse, abandonment or perhaps even divorce. You will agree with me that you do face special challenges in trying to raise the boys. Of importance to ask yourself is how you could compensate for the absence of the father who should be better placed to teach your boys the essence of manhood.
There is hope for such mothers. It’s a demanding task but there is evidence around the world of mothers who have done it exceptionally well despite the challenges.
As a mother of boys myself, I would like to encourage you to:
- Arm yourself with this mindset, That God loves your children even more than you do and he will definitely help you to raise them.
- Make the necessary effort in finding a father figure for your boys. It could be an uncle, neighbor, a life coach, a Sunday school teacher etc.(whoever you feel is good for your boys)
- Take your boys with you to movies that focus on strong masculine and morally upright heroes.
- Read with them biographies and auto-biographies of men who are ethical and successful.
- Reach out to religious men who can step in the gap.