In Eric Mason’s book Manhood Restored, he explores with being called extended childhood. This is dealing with how boys are putting off manhood as long as possible. God has called us as a church to help develop godly men. Below are some problems that come with extending childhood.
But what we’re finding now, both through study and mere observation, is that “childhood” is growing longer and longer. Boys are not only failing to become responsible and godly men; they aren’t becoming men at all. The problems with this extended childhood are many:
Compromised maturity. Men may have adult bodies, but they remain spiritual infants. Fathers who are only friends. Men in extended childhood seek to identify with their children as opposed to raise their children. Their efforts at parenting are like their efforts in high school—to be liked and accepted rather than to influence and guide.
Subsidized pictorial of manhood. When a younger male sees a man living like this, the problem is heightened because extended childhood becomes the picture of what a man should be.
Unmarried women. As the pool of men is already quite slim for women, it will get even more challenging as they are faced with men who are unfit for marriage.
Un-hirable men. Men in this stage can work at a job that requires physical maturity but will be incapable of functioning in a professional environment that demands maturity and responsibility.
Life lived in fantasy. This might be most frightening of all. Men in extended childhood treat their lives like one, big fantasy world. They engage others through artificial means like pornography, social media, and video games instead of real life. In their fantasy world, everything revolves around them, so they are incapable of contributing to a family, church, or community because all of them require sacrifice.
May God help us in helping men be godly men through the gospel. In what ways could you see churches helping in this area?