There are changes our society could make in our educational system that would help boys succeed and thus be better prepared to be employed as adults. Starting boys in school later than girls, who mature more quickly than boys, would help them keep up in early years in school. Research shows that boys need more physical activity and physical involvement in the learning process. If such activity can be provided it would help them. In a perfect world we would teach boys in a less structured and static environment than a classroom. They would likely do far better in a more interactive situation such as learning in the home or from tutors, though that is unlikely to happen in our society. There is one simple change we could make that research shows would help boys, and that is to have gender specific classes or even schools. Studies have shown that boys perform better in all male settings than in coeducational settings.
Educational experts are nearly unanimous in saying that what young men need are mentors, men who will guide them and show them what it means to be a man. In other words, what they need are fathers. All too often that’s exactly what is missing. What can be done? For Christians the most important thing we can do is pray. The hearts of people need to change. They need to humble themselves and put God back in his rightful place in their lives instead of having self as the object of worship. That kind of change cannot be achieved through legislation or structural changes in a society. It requires something much deeper, ultimately the work of God in their hearts. Prayer is the most powerful weapon we wield to achieve that sort of change.
A second and equally important response from Christians is for Christian men to provide an example. We need men in the church to indeed “act like men” as Paul said. They need to love their wives sacrificially and lead their families with humility, gentleness, grace and love. They need to show their sons and other young men in the church what it means to give up self and serve others to the glory of God. They need to walk with God and lead in the church as well as society. In the end, the most effective thing we can do is show our society a better way by living it out. Which means we Christian men must, absolutely must, live out maturity in Christ. The world needs to see men who are faithful to their wives, loving to their children, and pursuing the will of God above all else in every aspect of life. That may seem like a less than dramatic response, but it is the most important one. In the end what our society needs is to see a different and dramatically better way to live. What will be most convincing is to see examples of what a man of God is like.