The Metamorphosis of Boys - Glasshouse Christian College

The Metamorphosis of Boys



  • May 23, 2024

The Metamorphosis of Boys

“I didn’t realise that boys metamorphosised.” Well, technically they don’t, so there’s no need for concern if one night this winter your son randomly asks for his sleeping bag. He may just be cold.

The process of transformation from an immature form to an adult form, in two or more distinct stages is only really recognised in insects and amphibians. Though at times, like insects, boys can sometimes be annoying, and like amphibians, some can swim extremely well, they have certainly been created uniquely to be boys. They have been set apart from the animal kingdom and specifically created in the image of God, with distinct value and profound purpose. 

At Glasshouse Christian College, as part of the Pastoral Care program in Year 9, students are engaged in a year-long process called the Rite Journey, which is a highly recognised ‘rites of passage’ program for teens maturing toward adulthood. At times, Mr. Jarred Pienaar and I set aside exclusive time during the term to spend with the boys, defining and encouraging them with what it means to become a trusted man in society.

But when it comes to defining what it means to be a man, there are some voices in society that, like some men, can be toxic. But not all men are toxic, chauvinistic or boorish. Sadly, while we must acknowledge these men do exist, they are in fact the antithesis of what it means to be a reliable man. 

Lately in the news, there has been focussed attention on the regular occurrence of domestic violence from ‘perverts and predators’ along with strategies on how to apprehend these incidents in our communities. The objective of the ‘Rite Journey’ is to encourage Year 9 boys to aspire for better, aiming to become ‘Providers and Protectors’ within their families and amongst their friends. 

We now live in a world where technology gives us access to so much information (the good, the bad and the ugly), and at the same time, overwhelms us with temptations and distractions from real-life lessons and character development. In an era that has never been as saturated with ‘screen time’ as young people are today, how is a boy supposed to define, let alone navigate, the transition into becoming an honourable young man? The Rite Journey specifically asks this question ‘How are men supposed to be?’

In the documentary M.I.A.- Masculinity in America, Aldo Buttazzoni states,

‘As a young man in America, I often think about what my role in society is supposed to be.’ 

Aware that men are trashed everywhere in this country, and they’re portrayed in the media as perverts and buffoons, he goes on to say, ‘The concept of masculinity and the perception of man’s role in society is rapidly changing.’ The shift is leaving young men grappling with questions about their identity and sense of purpose. 

Dr Chloe Carmichael (clinical psychologist and author of Nervous Energy) says, ‘There is evidence that points to the simple fact that women tend to be drawn to a man who is at least able to provide and to protect.’ 

Dr John Gray PhD (author of Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus) also comments, ‘Men and women are different, biologically and we’re different in a positive way. A good man is someone that women trust.’

‘Boys don’t know what it means to be a man, girls don’t know what it means to be a woman where you can depend on someone, and you don’t have to do it all. Our children are confused.’

John Rosemond (family psychologist and author of The Bible Parenting Code) says, ‘Young men are losing a sense of purpose, and we don’t realise that deprecation of men is going to seriously weaken culture. We need men, we need women, but we need men.’

At the end of the documentary, when asked what their personal message to boys and young men was, Brian Echevarria responded, ‘I hope that young men would figure out that they were created for God, they were created to be a son, a husband and a father, and it’s ok to be a man.’

John Rosemond said, ‘Your highest calling in life is to be a good husband, more than anything, this would be your greatest contribution to our culture.

In her presentation ‘Make Men Masculine Again’, Allie Beth Stuckey also explains her perspective on what masculinity should look like to be of benefit to society.

‘The answer to toxic masculinity isn’t less masculinity; it’s better masculinity. And we know what that looks like. It’s a young man opening the door for a girl on their first date. It’s a father working long hours to provide for his family. It’s a soldier risking his life to defend his country. The growing problem in today’s society isn’t that men are too masculine; it’s that they’re not masculine enough. When men embrace their masculinity in a way that is healthy and productive, they are leaders, warriors and heroes. When they deny their masculinity, they run away from responsibilities, leaving destruction and despair in their wake. The consequences can be seen everywhere.’

‘Healthy families and strong communities depend on the leadership and bravery of good men.’

‘The devaluation of masculinity won’t end well because feminine, passive men don’t stop evil. Passive men don’t defend, protect or provide. Passive men don’t lead. Passive men don’t do the things we have always needed men to stand up and do for society to thrive.’

‘In a world of wickedness, weak men are nothing more than enablers of wicked men. Rape, murder, war – they all have two things in common: bad men who do the raping, murdering, and warring; and weak men who won’t stop them. We need good men who will. It’s not masculinity that’s toxic. It’s the lack of it.’ 

From a Christian perspective, the Bible provides us with a clear example of what good and godly masculinity looks like in the life of Jesus. 

In the ‘Essentials of Biblical Masculinity’, Dr. John MacArthur highlights eleven treasured traits of Godly masculinity. They are – fortitude, conviction, integrity, endurance, self-discipline, maturity, discernment, wisdom, humility, leadership, and love. We hope and pray these eleven traits will become evident in the lives of young Glasshouse Christian College men as they demonstrate authentic masculinity that blesses our culture.

‘For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.’ (1 Timothy 4:8).

Andrew Lucas, Head of Christian Studies

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