We had just finished watching a promo copy of the movie “Mighty Macs” that is releasing in theaters this weekend. It was truly refreshing to watch a G-rated movie with a great story based on the true events of the 1971-72 Immaculata College girl’s basketball team. In short, it’s “Glory Road” and “Hoosiers” for girls. And if you have a daughter who loves sports, please take her to this film. She will love it.
After the movie finished, we started discussing the time period of when the movie was made. I was a young girl growing up in the midst of a female revolution. I made the comment that women truly have come a long way in the past 30 years. And I think it’s been a great thing. I grew up with a father who encouraged my dreams and gave me the confidence to know I could compete with the boys–whether it was in academics or in sports. Although my dad had two daughters and we had plenty of dolls to play with, we also had bows and arrows, a basketball goal and we learned how to make a pretty mean campfire. Title IX literally evened the playing field in many ways.
Although Vic is strongly supportive of giving women opportunities, we began a discussion about how girls have fared well and guys seem to be struggling. He blamed it on feminism and that women wanted to take over the world. Whoa. Wrong. While there are some women who may have an anti-guy agenda, most women I know would love to see guys step up, man up and be the leader God intended for them to be. But here’s where we are today:
1. The future of women and men pursuing missions and ministry . A couple of days ago, I had the privilege of being a guest speaker in two cross-cultural ministry classes at Oklahoma Baptist University and I attended another class on Bible storying. All of the classes were predominately female. This is a trend happening in several Christian universities. If what I saw in the college classroom doesn’t change, we will have a huge shortage of men willing to shepherd congregations and take the Gospel to the nations. When I asked the professor why more women were applying for mission positions, particularly the Journeyman program with the IMB, I was surprised. The main disqualifier for men? Pornography. While I know it’s a serious issue, it is destroying the future of young men who could be leaders on the mission field. This is a serious issue and the church must address it. Now.
2. Girl’s ministry and women’s ministry is flourishing. Women have been strongly encouraging women to dig into God’s word for quite some time. They soak in the teachings of Beth Moore and Priscilla Shirer. Women actually do the homework. And guess what? They like it! I see very few men willing to spend time studying God’s word in the same manner. In fact, go to the LifeWay Christian Resources website and compare women’s Bible studies and girl’s ministry products to what’s geared specifically towards men. There’s a huge imbalance. I’m not faulting LifeWay. They have to produce what sells. And guess what? Products geared specifically towards men have not sold well.
3. The future of families. I know several young single women who are waiting for a Godly man to come into their life. Their standards are high. They do not want to compromise. While they may have goals for themselves, many of them are longing to have a husband who will challenge them and lead them. I know single moms who would do anything to have a Godly father in the home.
I know this sounds pretty discouraging. There are glimmers of hope. I applaud the movie “Courageous” and the effforts to encourage accountability and Biblical fatherhood. Our men’s ministry at the BGCO (headed by Keith Burkhart) does a fantastic job of gathering men each year at their men’s retreat and encouraging men throughout the year. My husband spends hours each week completing his Bible Study for Bible Study Fellowship. (yes, there are men who do homework)
Yes, women have made great strides and I’m proud of the opportunities and accomplishments. But men, please don’t blame us for your failures. It’s time to man up and take responsibility. We need you. The church needs you. Most importantly, a lost world is waiting on you.