If you know a man being there for his family, pursuing a life worth living, and handling his business, give him a pat on the back. Why? Because according to statistics, guys like that are becoming more and more uncommon in our culture.
The modern man is in serious trouble and the impact on our society is significant. These statistics certainly don’t describe most men, so please don’t misunderstand me, but it does reveal a trend that we need to pay attention to. And when you see it up-close and in real life, it’s heartbreaking.
The following five hard facts are a tough pill to swallow, but I believe in my fellow man. I believe we have what it takes to change this story. We must. Too much is at stake.
Note: There are links to sources and further reading at the end of this article.
1. Crumbling Marriages
Roughly a third of married men are unfaithful to their spouse. Some estimates claim it’s closer to one-half; others suggest it’s about one in four. Regardless, it’s too much. And somewhere between 40-50% of marriages end in divorce.
We can do better. Marrying the right person and pursuing her (just her) for life is a great start.
1 in 3 children don’t have their father around. Which means, 1 in 3 dads are missing out on the joys of fatherhood. Even in two-parent homes, dad’s spend less than 30 minutes a day with their children. And today’s parents spend 40% less time with their kids than parents did just a generation ago.
We can do better. Being there for our children, loving them, and teaching them about life, will make a huge difference.
3. Prolonged Adolescence
1 in 3 guys, ages 18-34, still live at home with their parents. This is a 100% increase from just 20 years ago.
Guys are getting married later, too. In 1970, just 16% of Americans ages 25 to 29 had never been married; today that’s true of an astonishing 55% of the age group. While it’s wise to not rush into marriage at any age, this is an indicator that guys are not in a hurry to mature as men.
We can do better. This is particularly targeted to those who are delaying adulthood and refusing to grow up. The “I’m 30 and living in my parents’ basement” crowd. Waiting to be married is fine, but waiting to grow up isn’t.
4. Domestic Violence
Every 9 seconds in the U.S. a woman is a victim of domestic violence. Around the world, at least one in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime. Most often, the abuser is a member of her own family.
We can do better. Of course, most men aren’t abusing women, but it is happening often enough to grab our attention. Women are to be loved and cherished, not neglected or harmed.
5. Wasted Lives
Annie Dillard once wrote, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” While there’s a time to play, it’s becoming the norm. While video games can be a fun source of entertainment (I’ve been known to enjoy a good game of Madden), too many guys take it too far and let it control their lives. In fact, men ages 18-34 spend more time playing video games a day than boys ages 12-17 do. And the average gamer is 35-years-old, overweight, and depressed.
We can do better. We were made to make a difference in real life, not just a virtual one. Rather than play the hero in a game, be the hero in real life! If all you do is game, you are missing out on the life you’re meant to live. Your life is a gift, go make it count! You have what it takes.
Yes, these are some serious challenges, but I’m encouraged by the guys who are taking a stand to be better men. None of us are perfect, but we can certainly strive to be the kind of people, and live the kind of lives, our grandchildren will tell stories about.
SOURCES AND FURTHER READING: