Where Have all the Cowboys Gone? (My Feelings On Men)

Dec 15, 2009 | Full Time Family | 25 comments

In case you weren’t around this morning – 1st, read the little post below this one. That’s right. Deleted. But a miracle occurred – I don’t know how she did it but Shawna, a P.F. reader had found or saved the post and emailed me the text. I still can’t believe it cause no matter where I turned in the history on the internet it said, “the page you are looking for does not exist” – well, it does now Blogger! Na, na, na, na boo, boo – one less thing for me to have a pregnancy melt down over.

Merci Shawna!!!! The comments that I didn’t get to read are gone but … Here it is, once again…



I am just setting aside the decorating, Christmas cheer type post to share something that I’ve been mulling over for a couple weeks-


Well, I am not going to make fans with my Feminist friends with this one. Let’s agree to disagree if we have to but this subject has been weighing on my heart for a long time and it’s not really the vein I was going to start with when I wanted to blog on the subject of the “lost cowboys”…but I have friends who are hurting and, well, this is just the way I see it.

Single motherhood. Now, unless completely chosen…oh boy…I feel the thin ice…unless completely chosen I can not think of many things sadder that could happen to a Mother.

I write this strictly upon observation.


I can think of two friends right now around here who are single Mom’s thru divorce. Their lives have been turned upsides down by abusive, horrible husbands. The kind of “men” who want to emancipate themselves from their own children. Real jerks.

These ladies are struggling to survive. They are often at wits end. Frazzled, running to and fro, handling children who are hurt and angry and dying for male attention. Trying desperately to pay the bills, to keep old cars running, to be all things to all people, especially to their children and here is my question:


Where are their fathers?


No, not the deadbeat looser ex-husbands but the fathers of my friends? See, call me old fashioned, call me insane, but I am the kind of girl that thinks a lady needs some male “protection”. That especially when she is a mother she is not designed to be out there fighting tooth and nail to survive in this world. I can hear the feminist’s screaming now. Sorry, but that’s just the way I see it. Yeah, there are some really strong women out there, hubby walks out and they pick up the slack, perhaps they have a killer job, perhaps they came into the marriage completely independent and capable – but not everyone does.

Some get married young, some get married broke and are looking to team up with a man who can lead financially. I know the argument, the stupid “Oprah” argument – that men are for he most part evil, if they aren’t today, they could be tomorrow, you never know what he is hiding from you, so keep a hidden checking account — that it’s because of dead beat husbands that women should always have a career to fall back on, always have their “own money”, always be ready to take care of themselves.


What can I say, I disagree.


There is nothing wrong with wanting a man to provide while you stay home and take care of the children. My two friends even had profitable part time jobs that contributed to their household’s bottom line – but alone, it’s not enough.


Where are their dads?


Wouldn’t it be wonderful if their Dad’s had protected them from these losers in the first place? (Wouldn’t it be wonderful if upon the first offense Daddy took them “out back” and roughed ’em up a bit???) Perhaps they tried to protect them to begin with but decisions were made independent of Mom and Dad’s blessing or wishes. But wouldn’t this country be radically changed if Dad stepped in when Hubby walked out???


“Sweetie, this is going to be rough but you and the kid’s need to move in for the next few years. The last thing you need is rent or a mortgage. The last thing you need is to have to discipline your angry sons and hurting daughters on your own. The last thing you need is to worry about an unreliable car … Take this time as a gift from your Mom and I, you once were our responsibility, let us have the privilege of having that responsibility back while you get some counseling, go to school and pay off some of that debt that he left you with.

Even if I have to work two jobs, I want you to be taken care of. You’ve been hurt. I want you to get healed. I am your Dad, I am going to protect you, your heart and your children now until you think you can stand on your own two feet or until a Godly man comes along who wants to do the same. Don’t worry about it baby. It will be an honor.”


Can you imagine? Now, I know, not everyone wants to move back in with Mom and Dad but, where HAVE all the cowboys gone? Where is the sense of duty to woman and daughters? And, for the most part, I am talking within the CHURCH as far as this post is concerned. Where is the sense of saving women from the turmoil and frazzled stress that comes with being a single mom?


And, OK, let’s say Dad “can’t” do it. I have a friend who these days, well, her dad would probably qualify for “can’t.” Where is the CHURCH anyways? Where is the serious attention to taking care of the widows and the orphans as Christ instructed? Forget building funds and new sound systems … What sort of a testimony would WE be to the world if our vulnerable woman and children were cared for no matter what. If our single moms flourished instead of floundered? If Godly men would pursue them for marriage instead of treating them like lepers? Consider that Joseph married Mary … a single Mom. He adopted Jesus. If only more men in the church had that sort of heart.


Imagine a church that FULLY embraced single moms. Mortgages and rent covered thru the offerings, car repairs made by mechanics in the congregation. Babysitting supplied by a teen in the church with a willing heart. Groceries provided not just when she is sitting at the pastors wives table crying into her hands but on a weekly basis as a way of simply taking care of her. Male mentor ship provided to the kids by the pastor and elders. Not on a sign up if you need it basis but on a “We are the church and this is our mission” basis.

I have not formulated all my thoughts on this but in these four walls the subject of men manning up and being men (in all areas) has been pretty prominent in the last year. It is an idea that if it took hold and grew like wildfire would be life changing for so many. (This is probably why we like Mark Driscoll’s preaching so much) There are just so many examples in life of lives being ruined because men don’t know how to or refuse to pony up and take on their responsibilities or God forbid, a few extra ones.


And where do we fit in? Hubby and I? We are as guilty I suppose as those I am going off about. What do we do to help my friends? Not much if anything I will confess. This realization has all come out in recent conversation … I guess I just wanted to put it out there. I probably just opened a can of worms and should have my argument covered from all angles but whatever. Hopefully my heart is conveyed properly here and even the most raving feminist can see where I am coming from. I am just sick of seeing these ladies hurt, sick of hearing stories of their families and fathers playing a passive, “We’re here for you if you need us” role in their lives. It’s just one of the area’s in society where one can ask,


“Where HAVE all the cowboys gone?”


More to come.


  1. cityfarmer

    I think I know where all (most) the cowboys are ….out back drinking beer from sippy cups …seein’ who can belch the loudest, spit the furtherest and fart the stink-iest!

    bless you for speeking the convictions of your heart …

  2. Anne Marie

    Dear Friend……I totally know what you mean, I have a sister who went through ‘the worst of the worst’ with her x….

    I have to say, I do know of where that respect is….we honor Mary, as not only His mother with THE highest honor before Our Lord….
    and St.Joseph, well, he doesn’t just sell houses for us devoted churchgoers……

    and as far as helping others…pray earnestly dear lady, and listen carefully, for this ‘new light’ of yours is shining bright right now, because Our Lord is talking to you- He might just want you to do something……

    but you and your baby and priority – and that’s final –

  3. Faith

    All I can say right now is… I just love you

  4. Jenny

    I am dearly blessed to have a cowboy by my side literally and figuratively. A cowboy and strong woman of faith raised him and I love, honor, and thank them both for the man of the Lord that loves me and his 3 girls so very well. But I know what of you speak because, prior to my hubby there were not cowboys in my life. I love my dad but he had interests outside marriage and our family and my parents were divorced when I was nine and my sis was 5. My mom moved us back to her hometown to live near her sister and mom and a gaggle of other ladies of which more than half were also divorced and single moms who encouraged and supported each other. It was a good God lead move for sure but I know that I had a hearts desire for a strong male hand (ie protection, wisdom, integrity) to counter all the examples around me. But our Heavenly Father was so good to me in that I did not look to men who reminded me of my dad, instead I prayed and Prayed and prayed ( I was single a long while) and Praise God He walked me alongside my husband and my girls now have a real life example of a Godly man.

  5. Jenn@Spejory

    Thank you for saying this!!! I know LOTS of hurting sisters out there who would love to read this. We are the hands and feet and hopefully this post will move someone to help. We need to stop minding our own business. I have never met anyone who was hurting who resented my taking an interest in them and trying to help. Unfortunately a lot of the cowboys are AWOL, but it’s up to every one of us to step up and help. Listen to that voice whispering to you.

  6. mary from michigan

    WOW! Agreed. Joni & I have a sister who married a womanizer/wife-beater, & later learned was also a sexual predator. This ex-bro-in-law threatened to kill me, my children & Joni’s. I put a big revolver in his face & told him I’d blow his head off! On every possible occasion afterward, I let him know what a great shot I was. I only wish it was that easy to protect my neice & nephew from him. As they grew, the courts forced them to stay with him on un-supervised visits. My Dad had many faults, but he didn’t back down from his bully son-in-law. I wish he & my brothers had put on a ski-masks and beat the sucker to a pulp. He & my mom did bring my sister back home to live with them. They fixed her clunker & fed & diapered her babies. After raising eight children to adulthood, they were close to retirement when she brought her babies back home to live with them. Your post made me think of the heroic actions some took to help her. She is now building her dream house after years of sacrificing & pinching pennies & I’m proud of her for that. You are so right that Christians need to step up and help. They need to lovingly teach women to make a choice to hold out for a godly man. They need to help the mom & children. They need to be examples, roll up their sleeves and teach the children the value of work, reliability, honesty. It’s easier for prestige-hungry Pastors to raise money for a beautiful building than to help out in a messy situation. Well put; thank you for this thoughtful post! Yeeha!

  7. Renata

    What a great post! I agree & it’s given me something to think about. – what can I do?
    I’m so glad you could find this post again~

    Renata 🙂

  8. Mrs. G

    What a great post. So glad that you got it back, I missed it the first time around. You are a very wise young woman that I am very proud to know if only through blogging.


  9. Bonjour Madame

    I’m happy you recovered your post because it is such a good one. Where have all the cowboys gone?….They just don’t make as many anymore. A lot of them are not raised to be this way and the expectations for them to take responsibility in the way they should, have gotten lax. Families are no longer valued as much. For them, there is an easier route and it’s often taken. I’m not sure where this all started but I believe it has something to do with the feminist movement, having it be normal to have women in the workplace regardless if there is an actual need for a 2nd income. I just don’t think that whole movement did any favors for women because overall quality of life is not better. And I’m not talking about the ability to go out and earn income for more things….I’m talking about having a man who wants to protect and provide for his family. It’s just rare these days.

  10. Teri

    I have a strong husband and father and brother, and I still cried through this entire post.

    Well spoken!


  11. Pam

    I couldn’t agree with you more. It’s sad to me that the church of today in general has become ‘big business’ and the heart of Jesus is forgotten. Jesus instructed that we remember the poor and the widows. I think that in today’s world single mothers would fall into this category as well. This is a conversation that my husband and I have also been having quite a bit recently. Another side of this which is also sad is – the lost cowboys are also responsible for not teaching men how to be men. It’s a vicious cycle. Kudos to you for braving the subject.

  12. Anonymous

    i don’t know how to not be anonymous, so i’ll just go for it anyway. This is such a nice post. I would like to add that we should be speaking of families as well. As families we should look after all our “weaker” members, happily. It should not be the exception, but the rule. An expected thing!

  13. Anonymous

    Agreed. Our fam attends a church that gives particular, special attention to single mothers. We take to heart that they are the widows and orphans of our time and as such we as believers are instructed to lovingly care for them. Check out the Donald Miller website (donmilleris.blogspot.com) . . . he has a a great book on this topic, ‘To Own a Dragon,’ a memoir of sorts about growing up fatherless and having godly, male mentors who helped to change the direction of his life.
    He has started a foundation that

  14. Raymonde

    Great post with a lot of food for thoughts and actions.
    I stumbled upon your blog a while back and saw that you had put as your interest French language, so as a little Christmas present you might like this:

    A ceux qui aiment la langue française.


    Le pâtissier s’est fait une religieuse en un éclair.

    Le facteur légèrement timbré, prend tout à la lettre.

    Le coiffeur se barbe à force de couper les cheveux en quatre

    Le cafetier a servi un demi à un jeune mousse.

    Le poissonnier fait le maquereau avec une morue.

    Le croque-mort a enterré sa vie de garçon en buvant une bière.

    Le viticulteur prend de la bouteille et demande qu’on lui lâche la grappe.

    Le plombier a pris la fuite en fumant un joint.

    Le menuisier a attrapé la gueule de bois en abusant du buffet.

    Le charcutier a épousé un boudin, quelle andouille !

    Le boucher s’est mordu la langue en taillant une bavette.

    Le boulanger s’est fait rouler dans la farine, il est dans le pétrin.

    L’ épicier a pris une amende en passant à l’orange.

    L’ avocat s’est trouvé bec dans l’eau en défendant une cruche.

    Le vétérinaire a un chat dans la gorge et une fièvre de cheval.

    Le bûcheron est resté sous le charme en écoutant Dutronc.

    Le couturier a choisi de monter un col plutôt que de traverser la Manche.

    Le cordonnier s’est fendu le cuir chevelu sur une route en lacets.

    Le pharmacien a passé ses vacances au lac Satif, il s’est emmerdé.

    L’ électricien a été déclaré positif alors qu’il était neutre.

    L’ horloger n’a plus une minute à lui depuis qu’il a perdu la grande aiguille.

    Le bijoutier a lâché une perle dans une rivière de diamants.

    Le sculpteur a coulé un bronze dans un moule à plâtre

    Le cuisinier fait sa sauce tartare très tôt le matin.

    Le volailler court après les poules et y laisse des plumes.

  15. Fabulous Finds Gal

    I hear you and totally agree. I think father’s need to step up and give actual advice when their daughters marry. I think the church should support all single mother’s in their congregation. I think we should go out of our way to help these poor women. I personally am trying to help a new girl friend that is recently seperated by taking her daughter once or twice a week after school. It’s really all I have now to share, is my time. So, I am personally trying to make a difference in a divorced childs life. I was that little girl once…

    Fabulous Finds Gal

  16. BonjourRomance

    What a wonderful post – so nice to hear someone say it right for a change! I’ve been blesssed with one of those rare cowboys, so protective and such a man of the house. IT is so sad that a whole generation of young men have been lost – my father was a real man also, so I’ve been doubly blessed. The family is so important to bring up those cowboys!
    THank you for stopping by and following my blog. I’ve really enjoyed reading through your posts and catching up on your lovely family. Your children are just gorgeous.
    Have a fabulous weekend!

  17. Janean

    almost 30 years ago when a dear friend went through a horrible divorce with a 3 year old and newborn, she showed me a “hero.” Her. Her parents live too far away to help much, but she “cowboyed up” and her strength amazed me, but broke my heart too. we must teach our sons.

  18. Mrs. B.

    Fan.Tas.Tic post. Fantastic. I’m sending this to one of my girlfriends. Her very un-cowboy husband is gone and her father has stepped up in the most amazing way. He is a Cowboy of the kind you described for sure. Truly.
    Thanks for this post.

  19. Joannah

    Great post. I read it a few nights ago, but didn’t take the time to comment then. I will tell you that it brought me to tears because I’m blessed to have a dad like that. I was single for twenty years of my adult life, and my dad was (is) always there for me financially, emotionally, whatever I need. I know I’ve got it good, and I wish every woman had a good man in her life.

  20. sweettreats725

    I’m the single mom you speak of. Been raising my kids alone (with little help from their father) for the past 8 years. And, ironically to think about, I was in the great “cowboy” state of Texas for 4 of those years doing it alone. I’m a church-goer and a believer and know that my Heavenly Father is the father who has given me the strength to get through this. It hasn’t been easy, though. My kids are 12.5 (a boy) and 3 weeks shy of 16 (a girl). All that angry, hurt, and pain are still part and parcel to daily living now even because of the circumstances we are forced to live in.

    I’m a “lucky” one, so to speak. When things went south before our divorce, I had a teaching certificate that I dusted off and went back to work doing. Now, we live in PA, my home state…close to family. I teach here (it isn’t the same) and work really, really hard to survive in a safe environment for my kids and myself. But, again, being home didn’t make it any easier. I did this for my kids more than anything. I wanted small town with family to be a part of their lives. We were absent of family in Texas.

    Still, no cowboys with Stetsons on white horses coming to my rescue…having a really hard time believing they exist. However, I am teaching my children this: for my teenage daughter – don’t settle for anything less than that “cowboy”; for my adolescent son – be that “cowboy”. My deepest prayers are that my children are able to have what I wasn’t able to – please pray with me that all children in these situations are, too.

    Thanks for the post! It is a definite gift this Christmas!

  21. Victoria

    Your comment about family “passively” offering vague support really struck me. I’ve heard that so many times over the years..
    My question is, what about the would-be cowboys who no one steps in to mentor to be that? I don’t want to chime in with complaints about them, rather I feel they have also been highly neglected and need the help, too.

  22. Joy

    I couldn’t have said it better… great job. How about the loser boyfriends of women with children–out of wedlock? I remember when it was shameful to be pregnant and unmarried, now it’s celebrated. I’m embarressed for these people. And if anyone thinks I’m being judgmental, you’re correct. I’m making a judgement based on God’s word. You reap what you sow; you sow to sin, you reap the consequences. I can attest for that. Hollywood thought they’d make single motherhood look glamourous… a woman with one or more children, struggling to pay rent and dress, feed and care for her children isn’t very glamourous. I’m sick of lazy men who won’t grow up. But sorry to say, if a woman would demand marriage before sex, we could weed out a lot of those irresponsible males.

  23. Ashley DeLen


    I know this is an older post of yours, and I liked it and since it speaks to my life I wanted to comment on it.

    You see 3 1/2 years ago my emotionally abusive husband left myself and my nine month old daughter. I was lost. My mom came to stay with me for the first week and that helped but when she went back home things went south very quickly. I had $17 to my name and my husband was taking our checking account into the hole. So my Dad told me, COME HOME. You see my dad is a true COW BOY. He and my mom opened up the doors to their home and their resources for my daughter and I. We have now been living with them for four years in the Fall. Now I am heart broken that I can not stay home with my daughter, but I thank God that my mom offord to babysit my daughter. And I have spent the past few years paying off the debts of my old life. And praise GOD he provided and I worked hard and my debts are paid in full. And now I can help out with fixing yummy food and helping them to restore their 124 year old stone house. My Cow Boy father has protected me and my daughter at all cost. Including the scorn from this modern world, they think my family is overly protective. HAH. If they only knew how long it has taken my heart to be mended and to protect my daughter from a life without a Godly male figure in her life. Oh how my daughter loves her Grandpa “BB” and her Grandma. It has truly opened my eyes to the importance of family. More so than before my marriage when I was rebelling agains God and how I was raised. It didn’t stop my parents from wrapping their arms around us and showing us a love like Christ. You see my parents don’t have a lot of extra money and they have given us so much and shown us how to live life to the fullest, even in hard hard times. And someday when it is the Lord God’s time I will find my Boaz and he will LOVE me and my daughter the way God intended it to be. And I will get to stay home with my girl and hopefully make up for the years that I have had to sacrifice to support us, when my once love caved to the callings of this world and left his responsibilies behind.

    So Ang there are Cow Boys. Just not as many as there use to be. But they’re out there!

    Truly I enjoy your blog very much!

  24. Debbie

    You are my hero! I would like to know where all of the cowboys have gone!!!



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