With regards to Provide, Protect, and Procreate, a tough question. What about those of us, after many years of trying, cannot have children. Health is the reason, and ongoing health issues disqualify us from adoption. Any advice on what to replace the 3P with to create the balanced identity you speak of? see
Volunteer work with a childrens' charity.
Some couples can't have kids, simple fact of life. Doesn't make either of you lesser human beings IMO.
Some couples can knock out kids by the dozen and they are shitty, worthless parents, whacking out a few small people isn't everything. Don't beat yourselves up over this, be the best people you can be, and live your lives as good decent folk.
No need to replace the procreation part with anything...just be good, honest, decent people!
However, If you still feel that absolute need to work with some form of "procreation" why not start coaching little leagues? I know that almost every little league, be it football, baseball, basketball, rugby, golf, tennis, bowling, chess, etc. are always asking for and needing more volunteers for coaching.
Isn't it more trying to accomplish the 3Ps that really counts?
If childbearing and adoption are both out of the question, but you want children around, you can foster. It's needed. Supposedly it's rough.
If you can't do that either, well, the world needs parents, but it needs lots of other things too. What else are you drawn to, qualified for, good at, or called to?
Replace "procreate" with "parent" (as verb rather than a noun) and the 3 Ps still stand for people who are unable to procreate but wind up adopting, being foster parents, being a de factor surrogate parent in various forms (big Brothers / Sisters, mentor to kids, active community member involved in kids' programs, etc.).
You can think of procreate in a more abstract way: to leave a little piece of ourselves, hopefully our best part, for someone else to pick up, use, and enjoy, so that when you are gone there are those who will miss, but also be glad that you were around in the first place.. Theodore Geisel was physically childless, but, on the other hand, as Doctor Seuss he had many children, some of the best I ever read. If you cannot procreate, then at least create and find your joy in that.
You need to boil this thing down to the basic principles, and work from there. Once you cut away the trappings ... "provide and protect" is merely a statement that men are better when they're responsible for more than themselves. Self-sufficiency is the baseline. Responsibility for others is the goal. "Procreation" is about leaving a mark when you're gone. Making the world better because you were in it.
Raising good kids is one way to accomplish those. There are plenty of others, though. You can provide for, and protect, more than just your own kids. And, you can leave a mark in other ways. Start a business that serves a need, makes a difference, and provides for the people involved ... for instance. Put your money, heart and soul into a charity of some sort. Go on a church missions trip.
You may have to think a little outside the box ... but not all that far.
I would say that it isn't too much of a stretch to say that all of the aforementioned things create the conditions under which procreation is desirable so while he might not be procreating kids of his own, he's contributing towards procreation within his community. I'd say that's a pretty important role to play.
Do you have nieces and nephews that are close to you (physically)? Oh hell, I just thought of something that will suffice. Volunteer at a Children's Hospital, join a men's group that takes on projects that help kids, sign up as a teacher at your church's Sunday School, make yourself available as a mentor for young men at your church.
My thanks to all of you. I think all I've read touches upon what Regular Joe said, change "procreation" to "parenting". Parenting, raising children to be citizens of this world, doesn't necessarily require giving birth to a child. I never saw how being an uncle, a god-parent, and a Sunday school teacher in my place of worship, could improve my sense of male honor. I understand that now.