Body dysmorphia is reaching pandemic levels as children are taught it is normal to be dissatisfied with their bodies and their gender. Where are the Church’s answers? Actor Kevin Sorbo has ideas.
While proclaiming the need to accept ourselves and demanding recognition of being “born this way,” today’s culture increasingly and hypocritically teaches children to be dissatisfied with how they were created. In particular, our society emasculates men and vilifies manhood and even calls masculinity “toxic.”
We have a biblical model of men as providers and hunters, but that doesn’t mean women don’t do their part. My wife Sam is an exemplary Christian woman, as well as a professional actor, an accomplished linguist, screenwriter, author, and advocate. Rather than being a competition, the biblical model is for every person of either gender to use the gifts God gives them to fulfill their unique purpose.
Part of the Church’s ministry is to encourage young people to mature into men and women who follow Christ. Despite the artificial images of Hollywood, we must fight against the new “normal” of being dissatisfied with one’s body and gender. God makes no mistakes. Such teaching is a focused attack on our children and is part of an intentional effort to break the family unit. This attack has been going on for a long time.
Boys and girls need to learn to love God and to love what and who God created them to be. There is grave danger trying to make men and women the same. We’re not the same. If we were the same, then when men competed in women’s sports, they wouldn’t dominate the women. It’s just biologically and logically inaccurate to say the sexes have no differences. Differences between male and female, men and women are good, God-given, and important.
Sam and I have made a lot of movies, but personally, as a Christian man and a father, I am passionate about bringing a positive message into today’s culture using the gift of storytelling. I am compelled to help Christians train boys to become brave and courageous men.
Toward that end, I wrote a book called The Test of Lionhood as a tool that churches, teachers, and parents can use to steer children into a more biblically inspired adulthood. It’s a simple story about a young lion cub who struggles against many difficulties to learn how to be brave so he can save his little sister’s life.
God doesn’t promise an easy life. To mature into adulthood, we must embrace the hardships, overcome them, and learn strength. The book shows boys and girls the blessing of individual responsibility.
As we walk into an uncertain future, we need a strong church full of strong male leadership and yes, strong women, too. We need to accept the differences between male and female and teach that diversity is good. At the same time, we have to allow kids to be kids. They need to be able to grow up to embrace themselves as unique human beings, each with a hope and a future given by God. We must stand in the breach against those who wish to deceive our children that their gender is independent from their identity in Christ.
We can start by realizing the attack on the family, on children, on masculinity, is real and ongoing. We see it in the sitcoms of the past forty years, where a husband is fat, dumpy, or stupid, the wife is hot and overwrought, and the kids are smart and get laughs as they belittle their parents. Let’s turn that stuff off.
In our churches, we can intentionally empower parents to raise sons who defend their homes, provide for their families, and serve others with self-sacrifice. and to raise daughters with similar biblical values and discernment. We can celebrate masculinity as we laud the strengths of women.
Many purchasers of the book have appreciated having such a tool to read to children. Children themselves seem to love it. Of course, people who have bought into the new gender ideology and imperfect creation myth are not happy with my book. People have even proposed banning the book. Apparently, it touched a nerve. Good.
Let’s work together to allow men to become warriors, protectors, responsible husbands, and committed fathers. We don’t need superheroes; we just need men who will be fearless. And church is the best place where these biblical values can be taught and learned.
See Kevin Sorbo in his latest film, Miracle in East Texas. In theaters October 29-30, 2023. LEARN MORE