I have boys—a house full of them.
I’m married to a mountain man of a husband who oozes testosterone and is super proud of his facial hair. Together we have three sons. In the delivery room it was like the doctors had this sentence on repeat . . .
“It’s a boy!”
“It’s a boy!”
“It’s a boy!”
Once you start adding in the boy cows (they’re called bulls), male sheep (rams) and goats (bucks) and our furry Goldendoodle Marley, boys rule my world at a ratio of about 10:1.
I’m telling you all of that because when you swim in a sea of boys every day, you learn a thing or two about them. In particular, I’ve noticed that a lot of the things I’ve been told all my life about guys simply aren’t true. Or at least they are not true of every guy all the time. I admit that my sons are still pretty little, very much in the “snips and snails and puppy dog tails” stage of life, but I often get glimpses of the young men they are becoming. I want people to see them for who they really are, and not assume they know what they are like based on what they’ve been told about all guys.
So, for my brood of boys and every other guy on the planet, here are five lies we’ve been told about guys.
1. Guys Just Want “One Thing”
Let’s just cut to the chase. This line implies that the primary thing on every guy’s mind is sex. Maybe you’ve heard the claim that guys think about sex every seven seconds. (For the record, that’s 8,000 times a day!) The truth is, that claim, though widely circulated, is not backed up by research. It’s an urban legend, just like the abominable snowman or Loch Ness Monster.
While it’s true that the guys in your world may be thinking about sex, I doubt that’s the only thing on their mind.
- 86 percent of teen boys hope to get into college or trade school after high school.
- 66 percent of them are working toward scholarships to pay for college.
- 55.5 percent of high school boys play a sport.
- Half of them volunteer in some capacity.
God has given guys brains that can think bigger thoughts beyond sex. After all, it was a guy who invented the theory of relativity (Einstein), walked on the moon (Neil Armstrong), and created the iPhone (Steve Jobs). It’s time we all acknowledge that the male mind is capable of so much more than just thinking about sex every seven seconds.
2. Guys Are Unfeeling Robots (Or Simple Caveman)
Do you remember these commercials made famous for the line “So simple, even a Caveman can do it?”
If you pay attention to the way our culture talks about guys, you’ll notice a similar theme . . . “So simple, even a guy can do it.” From commercials to movies, to music, to the way we tend to talk about guys among other women, the message that is often communicated is that guys have the evolutionary brain of an ape and a heart the size of a shriveled peanut.
While it’s true that in general girls are more emotional than boys, that doesn’t mean that guys are unfeeling or that their feelings are overly simple.
Let’s look at a specific example in Scripture, King David.
King David was a manly man for sure. He killed lions and bears (oh, my!). He cut off the head of Goliath. He was known everywhere as a fearless and effective warrior. And yet, David displayed a range of emotions. He felt:
- Afraid (Psalm 56)
- Discouraged (Psalm 42)
- Lonely (Psalm 62)
- Ashamed (Psalm 51)
- Anxious (Psalm 37)
- Happy (Psalm 94)
- Grateful (Psalm 40)
David had complex emotions, but he expressed them in a uniquely masculine way. Just because guys don’t express their emotions as often or in the same way that we do, does not mean that they are emotionally stunted or overly simple.
3. It’s Our Job to Fix Them
Guys don’t need us to rescue them. They don’t need us to teach them how to behave or to badger them into becoming more emotional, compassionate, sensitive versions of themselves. I’ve written about this more in depth here, but here’s a section of that post that’s worth repeating.
I happen to own a donkey named Bart, and he is as stubborn as they come. If I tried to yoke, or tie, him to another animal, he would kick and bray and stomp his hooves. He might even lay down and refuse to move. If Bart doesn’t want to do it, Bart is not going to do it.
This is a good analogy for what happens when we start a relationship thinking it’s our job to fix the other person. They likely don’t want to be fixed. They are probably a square peg who doesn’t want to be jammed into the round hole we create for them. And, even if they do want to change, they cannot do it on their own, or even with our help.
In John 15:5 Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
It is God who produces fruit in our lives. He shapes us to be more like Him. We cannot do it on our own. In fact, the Bible flat out says, “Apart from me you can do nothing.”
If you head into a relationship thinking you can change your guy to be more like Jesus, you will end up feeling like an ox dragging a donkey. Take Bart’s word for it, that is not what love is supposed to feel like.
4. Anything They Can Do We Can Do Better
I believe with all my heart that gender is the battlefield upon which God’s Word is currently being challenged. Because we believe that girls can be boys and boys can be girls, we look at the Bible and think, That’s no longer relevant. You can get into college as easily as boys, get a job as easily as boys, work your way up the corporate ladder just as fast as boys, and make as much money as them. All glass ceilings seem to be shattered, and that leaves us feeling that the roles of men and women are essentially interchangeable.
While I am grateful for the opportunities afforded to me as a modern woman, I also recognize that there are some things men can do that I simply cannot. Likewise, there are some things God created me for that my boys cannot do, or cannot do as easily as me. (For more on that, check out this podcast of me talking about three things women are uniquely able to do for the kingdom.)
5. Guys Are Bigger Sinners Than We Are
I’ve never heard anyone say this one out loud, but somehow I’ve felt it in my bones. Girls are seen as the more virtuous gender while guys are the scoundrels. In reality, Adam and Eve both disobeyed God and ate the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3). Since the Garden of Eden, men and women are both riddled with a sin nature. We both desperately need to repent and receive God’s grace. The guys around you are sinful, but so are the girls (and so are you). Rather than treating them with condemnation, regularly pray for them to turn from their sin and pursue Christ-likeness.
“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints” (Eph. 6:17–18).
The Truth About Guys
Genesis 1:27 shows three important truths about guys.
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
Let’s break that down.
1. God created men and women.
Translation: He gets to decide who we are. Not the culture, not who you want guys to be, not those who distort the design of God. God decides.
2. Guys (and girls) are created in the image of God.
Translation: The guys in your world have tremendous value because they bear the image of God. Guys and girls are designed to work like a neon sign that says, “This is who God is!”
3. Male and female, He created them.
Translation: God created males and females to be distinctly different from the beginning. Our roles are not interchangeable, but complementary.
Have you believed any of these guys? Are there any other lies you’ve believed about the guys in your world?