Restoring Pilgrim Masculinity in a Culture Adrift

Mark Hancock 0 Comments

In 1620 a remnant of brave pioneering men and women set sail from Holland on the tides of change in pursuit of religious freedom. William Bradford wrote, “When they wandered forth into the desert-wilderness, out of the way, and found no city to dwell in, both hungry and thirsty, their soul was overwhelmed in them.”

Today’s boys face a sea of challenges that demand our attention and guidance. In times past, boys grew up outdoors, captivated by tales of real-life heroes like Daniel Boone, John Glenn and Davy Crockett. They celebrated the courage of biblical figures and learned about the daring Pilgrims who risked everything for religious freedom. However, the cultural narrative has shifted, dismissing the heroism of fathers and forefathers, rewriting history and emphasizing shortcomings over contributions. Rather than exalting men for their significant efforts, our culture is rejecting them and choosing instead to focus on their failings. In a world void of strong courageous heroes and sterilized of risk, boys are disappearing into fantasy.

Now in our culture statues of significant figures are vanishing, replaced by a sanitized version of masculinity that diminishes the importance of strong, courageous heroes. Boys, instead of emulating real-life role models, are drawn into a world of fantasy, where superheroes and virtual video games serve as substitutes for real-life challenges. The danger lies in boys who don't live in reality and are growing into men who are detached from it. True masculinity is forged on the anvil of experience, not on a diet of movies and video games.

To counteract this cultural shift, willing men must reintroduce boys to the principles that have historically shaped godly young men. Faith, character growth and leadership must be seamlessly integrated into their lives, drawing inspiration from both real-life role models and the stories of courage and conviction passed down through generations. This holistic approach not only addresses the challenges boys face but also instills in them the resilience and sense of purpose needed to navigate an ever-changing world.

In the face of a cultural tide insisting that truth is relative and masculinity is toxic, a remnant is rising. This remnant is made up of young men grounded in faith, fortified by character, and equipped with leadership skills honed through experience. They are not only prepared to stand against the rising tide of culture but are determined to turn back the tide itself. As our culture grapples with rewriting history and reshaping ideals, this rising remnant stands as a testament to the enduring values that have defined our nation from its inception.

Our concept of democracy is rooted in courage and character. It was nurtured through common vision, servant leadership, risk and adventure. The Pilgrims were characterized by their determination to throw off shackles, secure religious freedom, and create a new way of life. As the country gathers to reflect during this holiday season, let us use this time of thankfulness to be grateful to those who dared to dream big, enact change and build this great nation. Let us tell stories and honor our history for the boys of America so that they will learn from and adopt the positive defining attributes of our ancestors that made our nation great.

As we navigate the challenges of today, let us draw inspiration from the courage of the Pilgrims and the heroism of our forefathers. By infusing the lives of boys with faith, character growth, and leadership, we not only prepare them to confront the challenges of the present but empower them to shape the future. The rising remnant serves as a beacon of hope, demonstrating that even in a world insistent on rewriting narratives, there are those who remain steadfast in their commitment to truth, virtue and the timeless principles that have stood the test of time.

(Mark Hancock is the CEO of Trail Life USA, a character, leadership, and adventure organization that is both Christ-centered and boy-focused. Trail Life USA partners with churches and parents across America as the premier national character development organization for young men which produces generations of godly and responsible husbands, fathers, and citizens. In over 1,100 churches in all 50 states, fathers and sons are connecting, relationships are deepening, and legacies are beginning as a new generation of godly leaders rises.)


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About the Author
Mark Hancock

Mark Hancock

Mark Hancock has served in ministry as a Youth and College Pastor, Associate Pastor, Homeless Ministry Director and Global Event Director for an international ministry, organizing events on five continents. He holds two Masters Degrees in the Mental Health Counseling field and spent a number of years in private practice and in teaching at both secular and Christian colleges. Mark has been a guest on numerous radio and television programs including: Fox Nation’s Starnes Country, Family Life Radio, The Eric Metaxax Show, and James Dobson’s Family Talk Program. In 2017, Mark was named to the American Family Association’s ‘40 Faithful’. An author, award-winning writer, and conference speaker, he serves as Chief Executive Officer of Trail Life USA and lives near Greenville, SC with his wife of over 30 years. They have two sons.

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