Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary

26 Mar 2012

Boys Will Be Men

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Earlier this month many Americans were saddened to hear of an American soldier who allegedly killed some 16 Afghan civilians in cold blood—most of them women and children. Although this isn’t the first time an American soldier has been accused of murder in a time of war, such incidents anger us, and rightly so. Those who have signed up for a job that centers on the protection of innocent human life are the last ones we expect to turn around and take innocent life in such a senseless manner.

Another story also recently appeared in the news related to our nation’s military and violence directed against women. Unfortunately, this time the violence was presented by the media as something newsworthy but not scandalous. In fact, in this case the violence was sanctioned by the US Army. Each year at Fort Hood, the Army holds a hand-to-hand combat competition which pits soldier against soldier, and in some cases, men against women. Those who win their matches and progress through the tournament ultimately face off in no-holds-barred cage matches. The competition is designed to help soldiers prepare for non-lethal confrontations on the battlefield. And as one Army spokesperson pointed out, soldiers do not get to pick the gender of their opponents on the battlefield. Several of the women involved in the fighting have explained their reasons for participating. They’ve typically said something about wanting to prove that they can compete head-to-head with men in combat and wanting to show that they deserve to be able to fight on the front lines.

When incidents like the killing of innocent civilians take place, people usually go searching for answers. But events like the cage matches at Fort Hood should also be cause for cultural introspection. How did we get to the place where those in military leadership think it’s a good idea to encourage male soldiers to fight women in cage matches? Furthermore, when did young men come to the conclusion that it is okay to enter a competition where those who do well will probably have to fight women and either deck or get decked?

While we may not be directly responsible for the decisions of our military, such events should remind us that we need to be teaching our boys to be men and our girls to be women. After all, they will be someday. We live in a world where many young men have had their thinking about weapons, violence, and women shaped primarily through movies, video games, and music videos. In the face of such cultural distortions, Christian men must be vigilant in teaching and modeling for their sons and other young men biblical views about such things. Likewise, young ladies must be taught that God did not create women to compete with men but rather to complete their husbands in God-honoring marriages. We are unlikely to change the policies at Fort Hood, but we are responsible to inculcate biblical principles to those within our sphere of influence.

3 Responses

  1. Saxtrain

    Amen, sir. Of course I’m an old coot of 71 years but I just can’t believe that women of their own accord really want to become just like men physically. They have been strongly influenced by and have believed the lies of the Feminist Movement and the entertainment dregs who obediently follow suit. I see this even among the women in our churches. I’ve seen young very feminine and very beautiful girls start “working out.” or “pumping iron.” And the next thing you know they’ve turned their God given beauty into the physique of a piano mover.

    Now Eve may have had biceps from working “The Garden” and there’s nothing wrong with that but surely it wasn’t because she wanted to be just like Adam and move herself up from the position in which God himself had placed her.

  2. Kelli

    I agree that the gender identity of our youth is in danger. However, my concern is that while it is quite easy to point out a woman’s “rightful” role below the man (per Saxtrain’s comment about Eve wanting to raise herself up to the level of Adam), there is not enough emphasis on the impact of modern society on men.

    Men are not taught chilvary, honor or sacrifice. They are still the “stronger” sex (physically) but the church is NOT teaching the strength of character that should go with that gift. A physically strong but weak character man (the new norm in society) requires women to be not only the nurturer of children we were designed to be, but also the provider, protector, and disciplinarian (often without support from our “men”). Until the church steps up and shows our young men how to be MEN of GOD, it is not possible for women to safely be Women of God in the sense you are alluding to. A true man of character would refuse to fight a woman in hand to hand combat. Pretty sure those tournaments are voluntary.