Men and boys are hard-wired to desired to be viewed as capable. They have an innate instinct to protect and to be a hero. Dr. Emerson Eggerichs illustrates this point by taking us back to a movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado. The three men who died that night threw themselves on top of their girlfriends to protect them.

“Some of the female commentators across the country were kind of stunned when they learned that three of the boyfriends that were there with their girlfriends jumped on top of their girlfriends, took the bullets and died and those girls walked out of the theater. They thought what’s with this? There isn’t one man on the planet who would say what’s with this. There is something within us that wants to protect.”

Emerson shares another story of a woman who left the marines because the men she fought with were spending too much of their effort trying to protect her.

“She honored them so much that she was putting them in harm’s way because when they came under fire, they ended up grabbing her and all of them fell on her to protect her and take the bullet for her.”

Their impulse was to die for her and protect her, even if it compromised them tactically. Deep down, Emerson says that boys and men alike want to know whether or not they have what it takes.

“Do I have it in me? Am I strong enough? Am I brave enough? Am I really capable of being this warrior or am I going to be a coward?”

That’s why we see boys don Superman and Batman costumes because they want to feel like they are the capable protector and warrior they see on movies or on TV. Mothers and spouses can engage with their husband or son in an extraordinary way if they help them answer this key question.


Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, who has a PhD in child and family ecology from Michigan State University, is an internationally known public speaker on the topic of male-female relationships.  Based on over three decades of counseling as well as scientific and biblical research, Dr. Eggerichs and his wife Sarah developed the Love and Respect Conference.

Key Scripture: Ephesians 5:33

Featured Songs: My Story – Big Daddy Weave; Eye of the Storm – Ryan Stevenson; Never Stop – Urban Rescue

Mother and Son

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