Four Lies about the Twenty-Something Guys

Two young adults walk through the lobby of their downtown apartment building. They’re both in their early twenties, a man and a woman. Each recently signed their first post-college rental lease. As they exit on their respective floors, the young woman walks into her unit, which is filled to the brim with furniture and photos of her family and her friends and her dog. She reaches for her phone to call her mom, filling her in on everything that happened that day and trying to recap the rollercoaster of emotions she’s had in response.

One floor above, the young man steps into his unit, grabs a Dr Pepper from his otherwise empty fridge, and nods to his roommate. He throws his phone on his mattress and grabs his gym bag. 

You probably know a twenty-something man like this, whether it’s your son who recently graduated from college and moved to a new city, the guy you’ve been dating the last few months, or your younger brother—one born into your family or one you’ve claimed at church. As a woman reading the Revive Our Hearts blog, it won’t be news to you that he is built differently than you. But it may be eye-opening just how many headlines have featured his generation in recent days. 

On Monday’s episode of Grounded, the hosts shared topics you’ll find “above the fold” everywhere from the New York Times to Newsweek. A quick Google search brings up titles such as . . . 

  • “The New Crisis of Masculinity” 
  • “What’s the Matter with Men?” 
  • “Men Are Lost. Here’s a Map out of the Wilderness.” 

As godly men fight to not get lost in cultural deception, the women in their lives share a responsibility to battle for truth alongside them. That’s one reason I reached out to a few godly guys who are nearing the end of their twenties and asked them to share what they wish others understood about being a young man. They gave their perspective on four lies that you may be believing about the twenty-something year old man in your life as well as steps you can take to support him through this crucial life-stage. 

Lies about Guys 

Lie #1: He doesn’t need emotional support. 

The Guy Perspective: Women don’t always realize it, but men really do need emotional support. We need it from the Lord, first, and we need it from others. Often, a shell of protection keeps a man from wanting to share apparent weakness.A lot of us believe that if we share about something difficult, the women in our lives will not respond with, “Let’s work through it.” Instead, we’re afraid that if we share, we’ll simply be abandoned. 

As independent as a man may appear outwardly, no one is self-sufficient. Male and female, we were all made to rely on the Lord. Consider how King David modeled dependence on God:

God, you are my God; I eagerly seek you. 
I thirst for you;
my body faints for you
in a land that is dry, desolate, and without water. 
So I gaze on you in the sanctuary
to see your strength and your glory. (Psalm 63:1–2)

When David needed help, he discovered that the Lord would never abandon him (Psalm 27:10), and that He would be a refuge for him (Psalm 11:1). He prayed: 

You are my helper;
I will rejoice in the shadow of your wings.
I follow close to you;
your right hand holds on to me. (Psalm 63:7–8)

Imagine if you had known a young version of King David personally. If he had trusted you enough to let his guard down, how would you have responded to his honesty? When a man shows us his weakness, we have the opportunity to respond in a way that reflects the help of God Himself.We can respond graciously, seeking to be a safe place, while also pointing him to the source of rescue none of us can live without (Psalm 18:1–3).

Lie #2: He doesn’t need community. 

The Guy Perspective: We choose to believe the lie that we’ll be fine on our own, especially when we’re experiencing success. But achievement itself is isolating and can bring a false sense of security. The truth is that we need community, and we need people around us to push us, to hold us accountable, and to speak the truth in our lives. We need a group of other men who encourage us to confess our sins and walk in obedience to God. When we fail—and we will—we need mentors to help us stop the spiral and show us who we are in Christ. 

A man may not be as outwardly social as you are, but when you see anyone trying to live on their own without the counsel of godly friends, alarm bells should go off. Proverbs says that the one who isolates himself rebels against sound wisdom (Prov. 18:1). 

In the book of James, believers are encouraged to confess their sins to one another and pray for one another (James 5:16). Young men need other guys that they can speak openly to as brothers (Prov. 18:24) and who will offer both rebuke and encouragement as needed (Titus 2:6–7).Does the twenty-something man in your life have a trusted group of male friends and mentors that he can rely on? Is godly community something that you’ve consistently affirmed as a crucial part of his spiritual life? If the young man in your life is someone you’re dating or married to, do you act frustrated or jealous when he spends needed time with male friends and mentors? 

Lie #3: He is what he does. 

The Guy Perspective: It’s easy for my identity to be based on my performance. We deeply believe that we need to succeed at work. We need to succeed at home. We need to make money. Women struggle with this, too, but I think the achievement focus can be a little harder on guys. I constantly have to remind myself that my identity is in Christ.

In our culture, we connect a person’s worth to their career. Certain jobs seem more impressive than others, and as long as someone appears successful, it can be tempting to value them more highly, but the Bible takes a different approach to identity. Salvation doesn’t come from anything we do; we can’t earn it—it’s a gift from God (Eph. 2:8–9). Once we are in Christ, no failure at work or home can separate us from His love (Rom. 8:38–39). 

Is that something you communicate to the twenty-something guy in your life? Keep encouraging him to work hard (Col. 3:23), but take a load off of his shoulders by pointing him again and again to the freedom that comes with living out your identity in Christ. 

Lie #4: Studying history is a waste of his time. 

The Guy Perspective: When we pray for things, we so often forget where God has helped us in the past. Many guys especially love history. I’ve found that it helps me to look at the history of God’s faithfulness in the Bible and His past faithfulness in my own life. When I’m facing a particularly hard season of anxiety or stress, it helps me to remember the might and power of God. I need to look back at Genesis and recognize that I serve the God of creation, the God who created everything from the stars in the sky to the tiniest cells. That’s the same God who parted the Red Sea in Exodus, who has not stopped blessing and helping His people in difficult times. I experience more gratitude and contentment when I look back on my own life and realize that God has been consistent. He has been powerful. He has never failed, and He won’t fail now. 

A few months ago, a social media trend encouraged women to ask men how often they think about the Roman Empire. The joke was that men think about it regularly—far more regularly than women could even comprehend. But where men have focused more on history, we women could learn a thing or two. Throughout the Bible, we see commands to remember what God has done in the past:

Seek the Lord and his strength;
seek his face always.
Remember the wondrous works he has done,
his wonders, and the judgments he has pronounced. (Psalm 105:4–5)

Tracing the events of history to the Lord and recognizing His perfect track record every step of the way builds a believer’s faith. As beneficial as it is to look at history through a wide lens, it also helps to spend time reflecting on how God has shown His goodness and power personally. History isn’t a waste of time. Ask the twenty-something guy in your life how studying it has impacted how he views God’s sovereignty and provision.

Help Him Fight the Lies

Two young adults get off the elevator and head to their units. The guy walks into his apartment, grabs a Dr Pepper from his otherwise empty fridge, and nods to his roommate. He throws his phone on his mattress and grabs his gym bag. The two leave together to meet up with their small group at the park. Later that evening, he’ll send you a text message to check in. 

Many in his generation are in crisis, but they don’t have to stay there. God can use you to support them as He continues to mold them into godly men who glorify the Lord in all they do. 

This is the last day of “boy week” on the Revive Our Hearts blog, but there’s plenty more content at as you consider how to encourage the men and boys in your life, including the current series on the Revive Our Hearts podcast, “Lies Boys Believe, with Jason & Erin Davis.” Listen now, then request your copy of Lies Boys Believe and the accompanying Parent’s Guide to Lies Boys Believe when you make a donation to the ministry today. 

About the Author

Katie Laitkep

Katie Laitkep

Katie Laitkep was working as a hospital teacher when God called her to join Revive Our Hearts as a staff writer. She serves remotely from Houston, Texas, where God sustains her through saltwater beaches, Scripture, and her local church. Katie's … read more …

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