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What Real Men Should Do

Dr. James Emery White | Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary | Thursday, November 16, 2017

What Real Men Should Do

Let’s talk porn, shall we?

It dominates the lives of too many men (and not a few women), sabotaging the sexual lives they share with their spouses. It degrades and objectifies women. It injects spiritual Novocain into their souls, deadening them spiritually.

I have two sons.

Years ago, we agreed to load accountability software onto our various mobile devices and computers in such a way that if we were to visit a sketchy site, the others would know.

To this day, every week I get reports about their online activity and they, I assume, get mine. They are not middle schoolers, high schoolers or even college-age men any more. 

They are both married with children.

Yet we still do it.

Does this seem extreme to you?

It shouldn’t.

First, I hope it speaks volumes about the kind of relationship that exists between my sons and me. We are honest and open with each other, authentic and vulnerable, and willing to be real about our temptations. We need each other, want each other, and welcome each other. Men need this with other men. Ideally, it should be between fathers and sons, but at the very least, it should exist between Christian men who are bound as spiritual brothers.

Second, I hope it speaks volumes about what it means to be a man. It’s not about maintaining a façade of having it all together, but being real about needing support and accountability. For me, when I feel tempted to visit a site I have no business visiting, the thought of my two sons knowing about it stops me dead in my tracks. And rightfully so. And for them? Knowing that their father would know stops them dead in their tracks, too. Real men know they need to be stopped dead in their tracks from time to time. It’s part of the stewardship of our strength. The Bible says that men should interact as “iron against iron” sharpening one another. 

When did we lose that?

Finally, I hope it speaks volumes about how women should be viewed and treated. They are to be cherished, valued, respected and revered. They are not to be objectified, much less preyed upon. The #metoo movement has been devastating and demoralizing. Surely we can see the connection between the ubiquitous nature of porn and sexual abuse? 

All to say, I am so proud of my sons.

They are guarding their lives, sheltering their children and honoring their wives. And doing it in ways that many might deem extreme.

I don’t.

I just think they are doing what real men do.

James Emery White

About the Author

James Emery White is the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, NC, and the ranked adjunctive professor of theology and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also served as their fourth president. His latest book, Meet Generation Z: Understanding and Reaching the New Post-Christian World, is available on Amazon. To enjoy a free subscription to the Church & Culture blog, visit, where you can view past blogs in our archive and read the latest church and culture news from around the world. Follow Dr. White on twitter @JamesEmeryWhite.

What Real Men Should Do