The increasing decline of masculinity among our men and boys in our culture is disheartening. Men are no longer concerned for a woman's safety, virtue or reputation. Instead they are reprimanded and scoffed at for their aid offered. Men are mocked for trying to lead, for taking up their rightful role as defender and family head, taunted for speaking what they believe regarding God's Word, and for defending our nation's Christian heritage.
But the saddest part is, those who are doing the mocking and taunting are the women. With the entrance of Marxism and feminism came the challenge to see who was the greater sex. And it's obvious by the rise of women's independence, that men are handing over their leadership and authority.
"Women now make up the greater part of the workforce and are more likely to hold college degrees, and therefore make more money. They “arrived” with their independence and now men don’t have to grow up or take responsibility. Prior to this era, men answered the innate call within them to “protect and provide”. But women have proven themselves without a need for provider and protector so men have gladly defaulted to a life of video games and adolescence." Kelly Crawford~ Generation Cedar
There was a time when chivalry was esteemed; when women loved real men, and respected his strength and differences. Is chivalry dead?
In 1912, April 14th in the dead of night as an iceberg sank deep into the hull of Titanic, men gave up their places on the dwindling lifeboats so that children and women could be safe before them. Are we raising our boys to be men of that caliber?
Anna and Elizabeth Botkin encapsulate my thoughts on this topic:
"There is a crisis facing our nation’s boys. Their masculinity is under attack. This is no longer a debate; it is a copiously documented fact, actually old news. Bold, commanding masculinity has become pathologized and penalized. We’re not just talking about the rise of metrosexuality, either; over the last century, men have been taught that their leadership is oppressive, their protection is insulting, their authority is tyranny, and their position as the head of the household is utterly illegitimate." Visionary Daughters
There are ways we can counteract this movement of men remaining boys! We as young women and sisters hold the key in our hands. Granted we are not entirely the ones to determine our brother's futures, but I believe we play a major role in the shaping of their character of who they will one day be, and how they will treat their future spouse.
What can we unlock that will change our brother's characters?
Respect: I'm going to steal Caleb's quote from Fireproof-"
If there's one thing a man understands, it's respect."
This is so true! God created men to yearn for respect. It is a sign of honor on our part, a sign that we love our brothers enough to show it through respecting them as another person. Respect is a vital part in relationships with our brothers.
Feminine Strength: Though our culture claims otherwise, we as daughters of Christ must demonstrate a quiet, feminine strength that does not pertain to us physically. So we must not challenge our brothers in trying to be physically equal that "we may be women but we can still do just as much." Let them prove themselves and feel important. It gives a boy pride when he is stronger than his sister though she is older. I will hand my brother jars to open even though I can good and well do it myself. This buoys them up, gives them a good sort of pride, a pride of protection.
Humility: I feel like this is really big with relationships. At least in mine it is. It is so hard for everyone to admit when they're wrong. And it's a very big wedge between brothers and sisters. We must cultivate a humble nature. WE must be the first to display a repentant attitude. Men respect humility and will do the same. Humility is another display of honor, of showing your brother that you love him enough to show him forgiveness first.
Encouragement: This is a huge tool with brothers. The lack of encouragement or the presence of criticism will send a boy's spirit into demotivation, and takes away any purpose that was present. But if we encourage our brothers in their manliness, even if they don't completely posses the quality being praised, it will drive them to achieve it. If your little brother has the job of sweeping the floor, and it doesn't look like the job you could do, praise him anyway! He will strive to do better to get that word of praise again.
I could go on and on with vital characteristics that would improve relationships but these four can carry relationships and chivalrous behavior a long way.
"When tempted to bemoan the fact that the men are not rising up to where we think they should be, we should seriously ask ourselves if we have been a part of the problem. Too many sisters spend their youth teaching their brothers to sit down, be quiet, stop asserting themselves, stay in their place, and take orders, only to grow up and wonder where to find a husband with guts and a backbone. The ones who pushed down their own brothers now pray fervently that somewhere out there, there were some sisters who did not do the same to theirs." Visionary Daughters
Though our situation appears bleak with what the future might hold, we can still fix the damage done. We can shape our brothers through the way we treat them; and they can become the next generation of vision; the men of purpose, chivalry; men after God's own heart.
So I have a challenge for sisters- Will you be your brother's keeper?