Tag Archives: Manhood

Rites of Passage – A Must-do for every Dad

2 Jan

Turning 16 is a critical time in a boy’s life.  Not simply because they can apply for a driver’s license, but because it is a time when difficult choices are being made.  A time when a boy needs a solid foundation on which to base those choices.   A time when a boy needs direction and leadership.   I believe that the most important source of this direction is his dad.  But the message given by a dad may be easier to hear, if repeated from other godly men.

When my oldest son, Logan, was a teenager, I was listening to the radio station when they described a special activity a father planned for his son when he turned 16.  The father arranged for a group of godly men to take a long walk with his son to share their advice and encouragement about growing into manhood.  While I was not an expert in living a godly life and not a gifted communicator, I knew this was something that I needed to do.  I gathered a group of men whose faith I respected, and would have a unique perspective on becoming a man.   My desire was their advice and encouragement would provide a solid foundation and direction for my son as he entered adulthood.

father and son share a rock from Flickr via Wylio

© 2012 Doug McCaughan, Flickr | CC-BY-SA | via Wylio

Two months before I started to talk with my wife about which men should be asked to participate in the relay walk.   We narrowed the list to his youth pastor, his grandfather, and a coach from school.  My wife suggested that I should also be one of the men walking with my son, so I added my name to the list.

Then I prayed:  first, that the men would all be willing to participate and second, that I could get them all together on a Saturday morning.   I contacted each of the men to ask them if they would be willing to spend 10 to 15 minutes on a walk with my son to provide advice and encouragement to him about growing into a godly man.

A couple of weeks before the walk, I sent an email to each man with a map of the route, and where each man would wait for my son.  Then following the mid-morning walk, I planned for us to gather at nearby restaurant for lunch.

I then began to plan what I would say to Logan on the walk.  It was an opportunity for me to share my heart with my son, and to point him toward the Lord as the foundation of his life.  Prior to becoming a follower of Jesus, my main concern about him was to achieve good grades, and be “successful.” But now my main concern was that he grow close to the Lord – and follow His leading.

My son was overwhelmed by the messages shared by these men, and that a group of men would be willing to spend their Saturday morning focusing on him.

My son is now a young man, and still follows the faith.  The Lord has blessed him in countless ways, and continues to draw him closer to Himself.   There have been numerous people and experiences that have helped him along this path – both before and after his 16th birthday.  But I know that this rite of passage was one of the key experiences that set his course.

Several years later, I planned another relay walk this time for my second son, Kellan. As I gathered this new group of men, I invited Kellan’s older brother to participate.  What a blessing it was to see them walk side by side that morning.

I strongly encourage all dads to arrange a man walk for your son’s 16th birthday.  The walk will be a very special time for you, your son, and will have a lasting impact on everyone involved.

Written by Ron.

If you have a story of a rite of passage that will encourage other parents, please send it to gdavid@earesources.org.

Your Mentor is not good enough.

15 Nov

 

You may have a good mentor.  You may have a great mentor. You may have the world’s best mentor. However, I have bad news for you.

 

Your mentor is not good enough.

I believe in mentoring relationships.  Well, I actually believe in symbiotic relationships which better expresses the mutual benefits of the relationship.  I also prefer the word discipleship (2 Timothy 2:2), but since neither of those words are trending, I will stick with the word mentor (imagine your favorite sad emoji – here).

Here are four reasons why your mentor is not good enough.

The instability of life.

The geographical instability of Emerging Adults causes instability in many other areas of life including: income, living situations, and relationships.  Distance affects our relationships, and it doesn’t always make the heart grow fonder.  While relationships can continue long distance, you can’t get a hug online.  Make sure you have multiple healthy relationships in case your life (or their life) makes a sudden left turn.

 

 Your mentor is not fully equipped to meet all your needs.

I am high maintenance.  Ask my mentors.  Ask my wife.  Ask my friends.
The good news for them is that I am worth it. And so are you.

One individual cannot possibly meet all your needs. Even the best mentors are limited in their own skills, knowledge, and bandwidth. There are people who perform some elements of what mentors do, while failing altogether in other elements.  (Parks 2000)  We all have various needs which may include:  social, vocational, relational, financial, and academic. Take time to reflect and understand the depths of your needs and identify several individuals who can support you.

Your mentor doesn’t have the time to meet your needs.

We all live under time constraints, and have a limited network of relationships.  While our mentor may want to spend time with you, other issues may rightly take precedence in their life.  No single relationship can satisfy the casting needs for the drama of our becoming. (Parks 2000)  We are all needy – at times in life. We need regular support, and putting that pressure on one individual to meet your needs moves a mentor towards burnout. If you always see Jane on the weekends, but she works during the week, maybe you can locate someone who has a similar schedule as you to connect with during the week.

Your mentor cannot give you a proper concept of community.

Mentoring should not simply be done exclusively in coffee shops, but should extend into everyday, dynamic contexts.  While a mentor can help you process the issues in life, you also need mentors with whom you can experience life together.  According to Parks, places that typically represent the power of mentoring communities in young adult lives are higher education, professional education, workplaces, travel, the natural environment, families, and religion.  (Parks 2000)  In a community setting, mentors can see the individual’s behavior, and observe how others respond.

Your mentor is not enough.  This is the purpose of mentoring community and the beauty of the body of Christ.  A church which seeks to build intergenerational relationships is naturally designed to fulfill this purpose.

 
Dr. G. David Boyd is the Managing Director of EA Resources, and the Founder of the EA Network – a Facebook community focused on those who minister to emerging adults.

What’s Missing from the Masculinity Debate?

20 Dec

The title of the article was definitely something that would catch my attention.  The discussion of the definition and qualities of manhood is important and should be discussed in various forms and forums.  It is my desire for men to know that manhood is clearly “More Than A Beard.”

Within Christian culture, there is always a war brewing over whether the church is to masculine or too feminine (Whatever that really means?).  Gender stereotypes are often unhealthy and destructive to individuals and the body of Christ.

Here is an article by Chandler Epp who discusses how “Popular Christian notions of manhood shame, repel, and ruin too many young boys and men who fail to meet those standards and who do not possess dispositions toward “typical” masculine behaviors.”

Please read and share your thoughts.

DSCN9823 from Flickr via Wylio

© 2005 Eric Lewis, Flickr | CC-BY-SA | via Wylio

I remember the first time someone called me “gay.”

I remember who said it. I remember how he said it. I remember the message he intended to convey.

For two fifth-graders playing at recess, this episode made no commentary on sexuality. Rather, this barb was as an allegation of masculinity—my apparent, ungodly deficit of it.

Here is the Article.

 

Why Traditional Manhood Is Killing Us – Article from The Huffington Post

21 Jul

by Mark Greene, blogger at The Good Men Project

2015-09-02-1441232571-6174157-why3

Enforcing traditional manhood as the only acceptable path for men is called living in the Man Box. Charlie Glickman does a great job of explaining the Man Box here.

The rules of the Man Box go something like this:

  1. Real men don’t show their emotions (anger, yes, but little else).
  2. Real men are always confident. They make all the decisions.
  3. Real men are providers not caregivers.
  4. Real men are heterosexual and sexually dominant.
  5. Real men continuously talk and play sports.
  6. Real men are never handicapped, disabled or unemployed.

And so on. Whatever else they are, “real men” never do anything that might appear as feminine. And that’s the biggest tragedy of all.

Click HERE to read full story via Huffington Post.

The Limitless Potential of Men to Transform Manhood

14 Jun

By Courtney E. Martin (@courtwrites), columnist for On Being 

tipton-father-daughter-swordfight

In many cultures, a strong preference, or even a mandate, for male babies — leading some women to have sex-selective abortions — has resulted in a huge gender gap. The United Nations Population Fund estimates the deficit of women to be about 117 million worldwide:

“This distorted demographic masculinization, which has serious social and economic implications, is not a natural phenomenon, but is achieved through a deliberate elimination of girls.”

It’s a devastating reality and one that deserves much more public attention, policy strategy, and cultural entrepreneurship. The moral implications, not to mention the long-term consequences in places like China and India, are harrowing. The root of this preference is old and deeply driven by economic and sociological circumstances. In so many parts of the world, it’s simply more profitable and respectable to have a boy.

And yet, context is everything.

Click HERE to read full post at On Being

Manliness by Written to Speak

25 Mar

I was introduced to spoken-word poet, named Tanner Olson, who has an excellent video on what it means to be a man.

Here is the Link!

Tanner Olson - Video

Tanner Olson is a writer, speaker, and spoken-word poet from Orlando, Florida currently living in Nashville, Tennessee. He writes under the name Written to Speak. He hopes to write, speak, and live honest words of love. You can follow along at www.writtentospeak.com or follow him at @tannerJolson.151017_Tanner-0255-8

If you are a writer or artist, and would like to join our team of contributors, please contact me at gdavid@earesources.org.

 

Does my Manhood depend upon Moving Out?

12 Jan

According to research, “40% of 18 to 34 year olds are living at home with one parent or both.  Looking at the younger, 18-to 24 year-old group, more than half have moved back home, at least for a time, in the past few years- or never moved out.  Ther percentage is about the same for men and women.  (Arnett, Getting them to 30, 109)front door

In a society where more emerging adults are living at home, adulthood cannot be based upon markers such as living independently, but upon the deeper Biblical principles of Vocation, Autonomy, and Community.

While living at home still carries a negative stigma in many social circles, living at home is not always a negative experience – for the child or the parent.  “Almost 70% of young people 18-34 who are living at home with their parents say they are very satisfied with family life.”  (Arnett, 110)

In this video, the speaker makes several points to illustrate the difference between someone who lives with parents as an adult versus someone who lives at home with an immature perspective.

Here is a link to the full video.

The video states that those who live at home as a Child…

  • treat the home as a hotel.
  • are frivolous spenders.
  • always have something to prove.

Those who live at home as an Adult…

  • always contribute.
  • are not afraid to serve parents and siblings.
  • respect their parents wishes and home.

While the fact that you are living with your parents does not make you a child, how you act while living at home does indicate your maturity.

One of the first points made in the video is that there are several healthy reasons why children choose to live with their parents (including finances and physical health).  While the predominant western mindset values living independently, many cultures have always valued communal living for extended families.

So are you living at home like an Adult or a Child?

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