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Boys Will be Boys

by on March 25, 2013


We were working together. A group of Christian men were working on a building – in fact, we were building a new Christian school. The discussion was about the way some boys were behaving. One man said, “Oh well, boys will be boys.” The minister stood up and said,

“NO!  Boys will not be boys!  Boys will be men!”

Those words have stuck with me.  Boys will be men!


The statement sets up an equation. Boys = boys.

We could get academic and have a brief philosophy and language class about this.

We could define the word “boys” in both usages.

What is the definition of the first “boys?”

What is the definition of the second “boys?”

The first “boys” is not difficult to understand. Boys, in this case, means male children. But, what is the definition of the second “boys?” It usually means: irresponsible, impudent, careless, disrespectful, abusive, immature, immoral, uncultured…. The kinds of boys who treat girls and women with disrespect and abuse. Like toys and trash.

So, if boys will be boys, who will protect the girls? Unfortunately, it means that the girls have to protect themselves. When grown men say, boys will be boys, it means that the boys are not going to be held accountable for their behaviors. Boys must be held accountable for their behaviors. Or they will never become men.

Every boy comes to the day when he wants to try out his manhood and sometimes he tries it out in unacceptable ways. When that happens, his father or some other real man must step in and bring some correction to his wrong thinking and wrong behavior. That correction has to happen with enough force to impress upon that boy that wrong behavior will not be tolerated!

Recently, I witnessed a boy talk back to his mother. His father heard the remark. Dad responded in a heartbeat! He told his son, “You will never talk to your mother like that again! Do you understand?” Mother sat there protected, beaming. That boy will be a man some day. His father is making sure of it.

Boys will be men. And the sooner, the better. Boys must make the transition from being boys to being young men – Godly young men. How can that happen? They need role models – Godly, male role models – especially fathers. Godly men model Godly behavior. They respect the truth and women and authority and the environment and…


My growing-up observations are quite troubling.

There was very little difference between boys in the “church” and boys in the “world.”

Too many of them spoke and acted disrespectfully toward girls and women.

I never participated in that talk.

I never participated in that behavior.

My father made sure that I understood how to treat girls.

He taught me with few words – very few words.

His life illustrated disciplined behavior.

He demanded obedience of his sons.

He never laughed at off-color stories.

He never leered at women walking by.

He was saddened by sin.

He was respectful.

He was a man.


King David sinned with Bathsheba. King David did not punish his son Amnon. How do you require behavior that you are not willing to model?

Don’t I know that people can be forgiven? They can, praise the Lord. People can be forgiven. But who will heal the wounds and the damage done to innocent children and girls? Who will care for the Tamars of the world and the Tamars of the church? Who? And how? The boys go on being boys but the damage remains. Remains for a life-time. Life-times. All because boys will be boys.

It is time for the minister to stand up again and say,

“Boys will not be boys, boys will be men.”

We need to make sure if it.

We need to change the culture.


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