As I write this column, it is the 78th anniversary of D-Day, and by the time my next one goes to press, it will be Father's Day. So please come along with me as we look at the XYers in general this week and then fathers in specific next week.
On June 6, 1944, 156,000 men began the liberation of France by storming the heavily fortified beaches of Normandy. They knew they would be facing both heavy incoming fire and beaches that had been barb-wired, mined and booby-trapped before they arrived. They would be storming into the mouth of hell to try to save the world from Nazi domination. More than 4,000 of them lost their lives that day, and most of them were in their very early 20s. They had not even really begun to live, yet they laid down their lives so that others could both live and be free.
We owe our free world today to those men.
When God laid out the XX and XY chromosome system, he produced something beautiful and effective. Our species continues on from generation to generation because of it. But we do more than just survive by this arrangement of men plus women equaling children; we also thrive because of it. God built all of this exactly as he liked it, and when regarded properly, it is beneficial to everyone, everywhere.
It is no secret that men, in many quarters today, take a beating. I have watched countless videos produced by possessors of XX chromosomes opining that men, especially strong men, are the problem in the world. And yet God built that strength into them for a reason and did so knowing that there would eventually be a fallen and broken world to deal with.
In Genesis 3, mankind fell into sin. And though Eve was the first one to take of that forbidden fruit, God only said these few words of rebuke to her, "I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee."
But when it came time to deal with Adam, God said, "Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
"Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return."
God dropped it all on Adam. He gave the man big shoulders and then dropped the weight of judgment on them. But in that, he also began to unfold his plans for manhood going forward. Adam would labor, and Adam would sweat. He would use his physical power to provide for his family under difficult circumstances.
Moving ahead to the time of Moses, God put an entire book in the Bible, the book of Numbers, calling men to go to war for their people. From 20 years old and upward, the men of the land were to be in this service. In the time of Solomon, Proverbs 20:29 says, "The glory of young men is their strength."
This world will always need strong men. Such men will be called toxic and will have terms like patriarchal thrown at them and will be called misogynists by people who do not even know them, but this world would be a wreck without them.
I do not seek to change the minds of professional man haters; facts and reason will never overcome screeching. I do, though, want to encourage parents of boys because they are raising the future generation of big shoulders that will be required to carry the load.
Moms and dads, encourage your boys to be physically strong. The world is not getting any safer, and powerful men will be needed to stand against evil in every corner of the globe, including right here at home. Teach them to lift weights and how to fight. Teach them to have endurance. Teach them to be willing to defend others. The average woman is 5 feet, 4 inches; the average man is 5 feet, 10 inches. Teach your boys to use the gift of this extra size and power for good.
Teach your boys to be morally strong, never giving in to temptation. Teach them to be spiritually strong, loving God, knowing how to read and explain the Bible, comfortable praying out loud and willing to speak the truth no matter the cost or consequences.
In Ezekiel's day, God went looking for something pretty important, and what we read about that search is heartbreaking. Ezekiel 22:29-30 says, "The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery, and have vexed the poor and needy: yea, they have oppressed the stranger wrongfully. And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none."
God went looking for a man, an "iysh" in Hebrew, a male, a person willing to be powerful in the face of evil and oppression, but there were none to be found. There were men, there were possessors of XY chromosomes, but they were weak, soft, timid men and thus were of no use to God or society.
God gave us big shoulders for a reason, men.
Bo Wagner is pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church of Mooresboro, North Carolina, a widely traveled evangelist and the author of several books available on Amazon and at wordofhismouth.com. Email him at email@example.com.