What do this recent New York Times article on dating, the doctrine of all-male clergy and I all have in common? Simply, they are all examples of men needing to step up to the plate today. They all exemplify ways in which men have been letting down the rest of the world, yes, the women. Allow me to explain.

What is dating anymore?

I’d agree from personal experience that dating has devolved into a mutant form of speed dating set up by a series of texts or quick emails to do nothing more than hang out impersonally with another person and expediently check off the boxes in our heads before our attention spans run out. They’re shallow, maybe fun, but ultimately flawed. It’s not about connection, but compatibility based on a mental checklist. And, many men are allowed to simply float along the dating pool as women, frustrated by the abundant boyish passivity, take the reins of the relationship (for the however few minutes the “date” lasts). Then, rinse and repeat.

Why can’t women be pastors?

I struggled with this question only a few weeks ago. I bristled at the inequity. But, after prayer, reading and a great conversation with a man infinitely more mature than myself, it made sense. Women, it’s not about you. It’s about God. It’s the Father raising His boys into men. Women, we know you can lead. You typically make better CEO’s, managers, etc. That’s not the point. What is, however, is the need to challenge men to leadership. Look back at the Fall in Eden. Adam’s sin really is passivity. I see this in droves in my own life. I see it all around me. Some of the strongest people I know and in the Bible are women. However, it’s the men who really need help here. That’s the idea. Call the men (boys at the time of their calling) up to positions of leadership. Ladies, our boyish hearts need it. Adventure and responsibility are the best “Miracle-Gro” for our souls.

I just like talking about myself.

Those are the words floating around my head, but I bring up myself not to speak of only myself. I’m reading John Eldredge’s The Way of the Wild Heart and I realize my struggles with passivity, validation, purpose are very real, but I am not alone. I am but a wave in a vast ocean of boys cut down in their youth. This is not a gripe, but a mere fact of this existence. We, men, are at war. We are being targeted before we are aware of the conflict, so that when we realize the true state of things, we are overwhelmed and give up. Yes, I’ve faced setbacks throughout my life and I’m still a bit off center, but I’ve also seen the greater truth. If we didn’t face hardship, we’d have no need for a Father to run to. If we had no need for a Father, then God would be of no use to us. Maybe I’m weak, but I do need a Father, I need the Father. And I know now that He has been growing me into a man from day one. I’ve been unready to be a son.

Men, I think I’ve given three good examples of where we need to step up. Now, I give you a why: there’s a majority of the population that we’re letting down. Sure, we’re CEOs, politicians, managers, etc. but are we good friends, husbands, sons? I’d argue that oftentimes, no. Do we care for the women in our lives in ways that matter to them, like cherishing them, encouraging them, making them feel as beautiful as they are? No. Are we living up the example put forth by our Father? Are we walking in the footsteps of Jesus? Think about it. Women, I’m sorry. We need to do better, if only for your sakes. Men, it’s time we man up.