Sunday, November 16, 2008

Boys (and Girls) Behaving Badly

Real men aren’t ashamed of God and respect women. I thought this point would be better made by a real man than a woman so I invited a man (who teaches on Biblical Masculinity) to guest post. I hope you’ll respond back to him with a comment and visit his site to see how he’s nurturing this attitude in young men. His bio and web address follow this post.
Diane Markins

Recently a friend and I were catching up. Through the course of the conversation the topic somehow drifted to our “bad old ways.” My friend began to tell me about one of his coworkers who liked to spend time and money at strip clubs. As he went on he also informed me that this friend of his was a “cheating bastard”. He told stories of infidelity and the heartache that accompanied it with an almost gleeful look in his eyes. It’s the same sort of look you see in the TV version of a middle-aged “redneck” from the Deep South. (You know the guy... he has a big beer belly. When he’s bragging about the engine in his hot rod he sticks his thumbs down the inside of his belt, proceeds to hike up his britches and sway back and forth on his feet.) The smile on his face was the same smile pasted on my friend’s face. It was pride. The part of the conversation that really left its mark on me was when he said the words, “I guess boys will be boys.”

“Boys will be boys”…
by Jeff Markins
We have taken a harmless phrase and exploited it. This phrase was invented to justify a little boy’s behavior when he wanted to jump from the roof into the swimming pool or see how fast he could ride his bike down a hill. Grown men and women have become masters of the art of justification. Instead of growing up into respectable men these little boys have learned that they can get away with anything if they simply say, “You might not agree with it, but it’s just the way men are.” Have we forgotten that there is a clear right and a clear wrong? You cannot blatantly cross the line and expect people to treat you like a real, stand up man even if you justify and make excuses.

There is nothing inherently wrong with a little boy who likes to ride his bike really fast or wants to jump off the roof into the pool. They might not always be the smartest things to do, but they’re not sinful. Men who use the same excuse to cheat on their wives, gamble, drink heavily, look at porn, or squander the family’s money have chosen to not only admit they’ve never grown up, but also that there is absolutely no authority in their life. Men like this cannot be trusted.

Emerson Eggerichs talks about the difference in the way men and women are wired in his book Love and Respect. His theory is that men experience life in “blue” and women experience life in “pink”. The basic idea is that the same words are interpreted differently, messages are communicated differently and so on depending on who is receiving it; blue or pink. Most men will never understand why it’s important to a woman to spend two hours getting ready for a church service that only lasts for one hour or eat ice cream and chocolate when they get upset. By the same token most women will never understand why men will spend countless hours working on a project they know they can’t accomplish. Boys will just be boys!!
Just because we don’t understand each other doesn’t mean either of us are doing anything wrong. But when we start to justify our harmful, sinful behavior by telling people that our actions are simply “not something they understand,” and therefore acceptable, we distort everything about who God created us to be.
Jeff Markins, through Stand Up Clothing shows young men how to be the men God created them to be; TRUE Biblical masculinity. He believes that every man was created to serve, lead, provide, protect and be reliable, loyal, and strong.

Men don't have exclusive rights to justifying bad choices. Can you relate? Have you ever justified or rationalized some of the things you do or know someone else who does? Share your thoughts. Diane


Anonymous said...


You are so right. The saying "boys will be boys" has always made me think of pre-adolescent boys, not men. We HAVE become the masters of justification as sad as that is to hear. It reminds me of peer pressure almost. "Well all the other guys do it so I guess it's what I'm supposed to do." It isn't 'just the way men are' it's the way men choose to be. Life takes work. Being a real man or woman takes work! God wants us to reach our potential as humans, as adults. I see this path we have created as sloth, laziness, to reach the potential and life God has for us.


Anonymous said...

I's so convenient to use an excuse such as "boys will be boys". This makes me think of another pet peeve of mine...the misuse of the phrase..."adult entertainment." Often that's just a secret code word for soft or hard pornography. It's just so sneaky. It appeals to our sense of "adultness", if you will. We think,"Hey, I'm an adult, so I guess I should be okay with watching or reading this kind of stuff.I guess that's what ADULTS do." WRONG! Who made up that definition of "adult"? It concerns me that this subtle ploy persuades teenagers and young adults into getting involved with material that harms them.I believe that real “adults” love and serve those around them and put the needs of others before their own. They don’t pay homage to their own lusty desires by participating in “adult entertainment.” I will now get off my soap box………….:)
Joni Corby

Linda S Fitzgerald said...


Thank you for writing to your Mom's blog. It's always good to hear the perspective from the "other side of the aisle".

Gone are the days when boys where taught to respect girls and treat them as they would their sister. It also seems that gone is the character quality of accepting responsibility for one's actions. You have stated quite well how easily we rationalize our behavior & that of others.

Since men & women are "wired" differently, until we recognize and accept that difference as a "gift"...we'll have those who continue to quote "boys will be boys."

Linda S. Fitzgerald

Mark Ireland said...

Hi Jeff, As your only male contributor so far, I just wanted to give you a pat on the back. Thanks for reminding people of both sexes (primarily men in this case) of the value of accepting personal responsibility. Being respectful of others and eliminating the use of excuses is a great place to start. Mark Ireland

Ally Johnson said...

Hi Jeff,
First of all I have to say that I really admire and respect your vision and hope that the men you work with can see your passion towards being God's servant, especially in a time in our society where it seems that anything is okay as long as it's easy to justify. You really hit the mark with the question you pose, "Have we forgotten that there is a clear right and a clear wrong?" I was just talking with a woman today who found out her husband was having an affair and is leaving her. Ever the supportive wife she asked him, "How can I help you through this?" She's offering to help him, when he's the one doing the damage. It doesn't make sense to me except to go back to your comment. The lines of right and wrong have been crossed and confused by both men and women. Men cross the line but women accept it and allow it. God did not call us to distort and serve our own selfish desires, He called us to serve one another in Christlike love. I applaud your efforts to do just that and I look forward to hearing how God will meet you here. Many blessings, Ally Johnson
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