Can a Peter Pan Generation Preserve Liberty?
By Pastor David Whitney
The 40th President of these United States, famously stated, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”
Training up the next generation has encountered a serious problem.
Psychologist Dan Kiley has identified what he calls the Peter Pan syndrome – A serious social-psychological phenomenon is besetting American males: hundreds of thousands of boys are refusing to become men.
Though they have reached adult age, the are unable to face adult feelings and responsibilities.
“An adult male, chronologically and physically, who still wants to live the carefree life he had as an adolescent… They ascribe to the Peter Pan code as defined by J.M.Barrie, “I don’t want ever to be a man. I want always to be a little boy and to have fun.”… No worries, no concerns, no stress. Getting ahead career-wise is not an objective nor is the idea of a mortgage, a car lease, or any type of relationship commitment…Responsibility is a bad word to them and denotes the dreaded territory known as adulthood. They live to have fun.”
Just a year ago the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statics released a study entitled, “America’s Young Adults at 29: Labor Market Activity, Education and Partner Status: Results from a Longitudinal Survey”
Highlights from the longitudinal survey data:
- By 29 years of age, 34 percent of women had received a bachelor’s degree, compared with 26 percent of men. Seventy-two percent of women had attended college compared with 63 percent of men.
- At the time of their 29th birthday, 40 percent of young adults were married, 20 percent were cohabiting, and 40 percent were single.
- Men who were single at age 29 were employed 70 percent of the weeks from ages 18 to 28, compared with 83 percent for those who were married and 76 percent for those who were cohabiting. The percentage of weeks employed did not vary substantially by partner status for women.
So marriage makes a significant difference but the reality is that marriage formation is declining in our land. So what are the trends among young men, what do they do with all their spare time?
Two trends are clear. The first is revealed that in spite of the fact that the economy continues in seemingly endless doldrums, there is one sector which continues to do very well.
International video game revenue is estimated to be $81.5B in 2014.
This is more than double the revenue of the international film industry in 2013. The United States portion of that is ($23.5B).
The second trend is more troublesome. “According to the research approximately 64 percent, or two thirds, of U.S. men admit to viewing porn at least monthly, with the number of Christian men nearly equaling the national average. When divided by age “eight out of ten (79%) men between the ages of 18 and 30 view pornography at least monthly”
Johannes Jacobse commented on this in his article last month, “Pornography is an affliction for young men. And it’s been mainstreamed. It comes from the depths of hell to destroy their characters before they can grow into a healthy sense of who they are.
I am old enough to remember the sexual revolution and its dubious promises that once moral restraints on sexual behavior were removed, a new golden era would dawn in which everyone would live happily, carefree and satisfied.
It didn’t turn out that way. Today I deal with the destruction that revolution caused and try to bring healing to men damaged by it.
I mentor young men, and I see how the mainstreaming of pornography has hijacked their journey from adolescence to adulthood.”
The future of our Republic, of liberty under law, of a working economy, of the church in America and indeed all the blessings of this life are hanging in the balance.
Is the future leadership of our land whittling away the most formative and crucial years of their lives with video games and pornography? How should we approach the task of preparing the next generation? The answer is in Titus 2:6.
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