We Still Need Good Men

By Jennifer Hartline Published on February 17, 2017

Let’s talk about men.

I like men. No, I love men! I appreciate, respect and esteem good men. (One man in particular is the object of my faithful love and esteem.) This past week certainly was a study in contrasts when it comes to men, and there is much to learn.

This week featured the movie debut of Fifty Shades Darker. For Valentine’s Day, no less. (Nothing says true love like stalking, bondage and assault.) It raked in $11 million dollars in just a few days.

Also, Playboy magazine proudly announced its return to nudity. Hugh Hefner’s son, Cooper, has picked up the company mantle with plans to make sure Playboy “connects” with his generation, and announced, “Today we’re taking our identity back and reclaiming who we are.” Well, bully for them. Who they are is a porn magazine. It may be soft-porn by today’s standards, but it’s porn.

Thankfully, there was also some beauty. Country music artist Rory Feek won a Grammy award for the album of hymns he recorded with his beloved wife, Joey, before she lost her battle with cancer last year. His book, This Life I Live, was also released on February 14. At last, during this week when we supposedly celebrate love, here was an actual love story worth watching and reading about.

Good Men

I’ve said before that liberal “feminism” has emasculated and demeaned men. Enough already with all the man-bashing and the feminizing of men in our culture. We are in dire need of men! Women should long for every good thing masculinity brings to this world. Gloria Steinem is simply, totally wrong. Women do indeed need men. We need men like we need oxygen and chocolate.

Dads matter immensely. It seems astonishing that we should have to say that out loud.

More, please, of all the God-given masculine traits of manhood! Manly strength — physical and mental and spiritual. Manly courage and ambition. Manly valor, honor and integrity. Manly restraint and self-discipline. Manly commitment and steadfastness. Manly love and tenderness (in all its distinctness from womanly love and tenderness). There is great comfort and security in good men, and I am unabashedly grateful for it. What a blessing it is to be in the company of good men.

Here is where we make the important distinctions. I’m talking about good men. I’m not talking about immature guys. I’m certainly not talking about macho jerks, or controlling creeps, or violent thugs. Sometimes it seems like we’re lousy with lousy guys, and what we desperately need are men.

Our nation, our families are crippled by the absence of men. Anyone with eyes, ears and common sense doesn’t need scientific studies to prove this, but there are plenty of them. Dads matter immensely. It seems astonishing that we should have to say that out loud.

What a Man Is … and is Not 

This is a confrontation we’re reluctant to have because someone, or groups of someones, are invariably offended and react with anger. But we must acknowledge that the kids in broken homes are not doing just fine. They are suffering terribly, and anti-bullying campaigns are a pathetic band-aid on a mortal wound. The problem is that the family unit has been devastated by divorce, out-of-wedlock births, pornography, drug abuse and an epidemic of absent fathers.

I mean no offense to anyone. I mean no disrespect to the many wonderful single mothers doing their valiant best to raise their children. But we cannot go on this way. It is simply not in our children’s interests to perpetuate a society full of fatherless homes. Our children need their fathers. Our whole society needs a revival of genuine manhood.

Christian Grey is a brilliant example of everything a man is not. Manipulation, stalking, abuse and coercion have nothing to do with manhood. A man doesn’t use a woman for his own gratification. A man doesn’t use his strength to intimidate or threaten a woman. A man loves with sacrificial generosity and a humble spirit. A man uses his masculine strength to protect, provide for and defend the ones he loves, even unto death.

Worth more than all the gold on earth is a faithful, loving man who is devoted to his wife and children. Keep your creepy, predatory Christian Grey, a character beneath contempt. Give me a real-life, flesh and blood hero of love and honor like Rory Feek.

Cooper Hefner may have big dreams for a new era of Playboy nudity, but pornography has absolutely no place in a man’s life. Pornography kills love and exploits women. Pornography is a gasoline fire that destroys relationships and families. Pornography keeps a boy from becoming a man, and it keeps a guy from being the man God made him to be. I suspect Cooper Hefner doesn’t care.

But men need to care. Husbands and fathers must care. If you’re a man struggling with porn and you want to rid your mind and heart of this insidious evil, you are not alone and there is help. Have courage, and please get help.

I still believe in men, and I still love men. I know that the presence of good men changes everything.

I still believe that men desire to be good. I believe men are waiting to be inspired to greatness, and I hope women will soon wake up to realize the power we have to do the inspiring. I have it on good authority that good man will do anything for a woman who looks up to him and esteems his manhood. Men who are appreciated and respected will go out of their way to serve not only their families, but their communities as well.

Right now our period in history is marked by the absence of men and the disintegration of the family. Our children are overcome by despair and violence. Dehumanizing lust has taken too many captives and ruined too many lives.

We may be surrounded right now by wounded and atrophied knights in hiding, but I believe that knights in armor are ready and willing to rise up. Please, gentlemen, rise up!

I still believe in men, and I still love men. I know that the presence of good men changes everything.

Print Friendly
Comments ()
The Stream encourages comments, whether in agreement with the article or not. However, comments that violate our commenting rules or terms of use will be removed. Any commenter who repeatedly violates these rules and terms of use will be blocked from commenting. Comments on The Stream are hosted by Disqus, with logins available through Disqus, Facebook, Twitter or G+ accounts. You must log in to comment. Please flag any comments you see breaking the rules. More detail is available here.
  • disqus_khlfhDKHR9

    Jennifer, I think you hit the nail in the head. God is using you to speak into the lives of men. There is an aspect to this that I think is missed for the most part. Very few Christian men that I know will talk about this. This other aspect are the boys who grew up with fathers or father figures that are war vets. Consider the impact that a father might have on his young boy if the father saw hard combat. WW2, the Korean war and the Vietnam war are all wars were the fighting was up close and personall. These wars were brutal and left those men who saw hard combat very broken. A young boy connects with their father and will connect with that unreasoned fear the father has from that combat experience. This forms the inner world of that boy. An unreasoned fear that can instantly express itself even late in life. How does a young man deal with that? That is a topic I hope you tackle.

    All of the “bad” traits you mentioned above I feel can very much come from that place of brokenness. The US is the worlds police. Maybe the brokenness of men is the result of this?

  • Stephen D

    With respect – there is a biblical perspective on men, and this is not really it. This is an educated, sensitive, Christian woman’s personal view. Speaking as a man, I think it is important to realise that the biblical perspective on both masculinity and femininity is distinctively counter-intuitive. There are rules. They are God’s rules, not ours. So boy’s need to be taught God’s rules. So do girls. Jesus demands obedience. It is true that our society needs a revival of genuine manhood – and also genuine womanhood – but there is only one place it can found. That place is Jesus Christ. It needs to be clearly stated. Otherwise people might get the idea they can go it alone.

  • Roger Thomas

    Wonderful post, Jennifer. I especially want to encourage women to take to heart what she says about women calling men to be what they should be. Women can and should inspire men to greatness, and speaking as a man, I can tell you one way that isn’t done: by hopping into bed with them without demanding the ultimate sacrifice of their entire lives in a marriage covenant. Men do not respect women who they can talk into slipping between the sheets. Women, you are worthy of nothing less than exclusive, lifelong devotion from a man before you let him near your body. We men respect women who set that high a standard for us, and will aspire to reach for it if it is offered to us.

  • Charles Burge

    I don’t have anything to add but I just want to say I’m thrilled that you are speaking out on this topic.

Inspiration
We Need Community
Julie Manning
More from The Stream
Connect with Us