New research supports what most everyone who attends church has noticed anecdotally—women outnumber men in the pews. Christian women are more likely than Christian men to say their faith is very important to them. And it shows. Among self-identified Christians, women are more likely to believe Christian doctrines like the Bible is the word of God and observe Christian practices like praying every day and attending church weekly. The devotion gap between Christian women and men is higher in the United States than it is in other Western nations like Canada, the U.K., Germany and France. So why is that? Why are American men who claim to be Christian so much less likely to actually live out their faith than women? If we want to boil it down to one of the symptoms: Why aren’t men in church?
The research engendered some passionate responses from men who believe the fault lies with churches.
Congregations, they claim, have become too feminine for men. The theology has been watered down and Christianity has been made too soft.
Let’s ignore the ignorant assumptions this makes about women and what draws them to church and the type of theological teaching they desire.
I want to spend my time addressing what these men are communicating about themselves and men in general.
With these excuses, the fault lies not with the men who skip church each week and instead go golfing or fishing or to a game or simply stay in bed.
No, the fault lies with the churches that fail to give them the presentation of Christianity that best suits them.
But I can think of nothing less masculine than to blame your own lack of devotion and conviction on someone else being too feminine.
The church didn’t measure up on your manly meter so you decided to go home?
When did Goldilocks become an example of masculinity—searching around for something that’s just right? If it’s not perfectly to our liking, we can’t be bothered. Too far out of our comfort zone.
When we are confronted with our disobedience to Christ commands and we respond by pointing the finger elsewhere, we echo Adam in the garden.