How does the world define manhood? Let’s find out …
The world loosely defines manhood as getting through high school, graduating college, finding a job, obtaining a wife or stay single and good luck. In other words, attaining manhood requires training and persistence. But, wait!
High school is training, college is training and getting a job now forces you to endure some training. But what about proper training in becoming a mature man, husband or even father? What happened to the training in these categories?
There is none, you say? Maybe that is the case, or maybe men are dropping the ball when it comes to real initiative. We won’t always be able to depend on that last parting offer from society that is “good luck.”
So, where or how are young men growing in maturity in or after college, or in the good luck phase of life?
Here are three ways the world’s current training sends young men off into the real world of work, love and life: Past experience, popular culture and media.
Let’s get this straight, gentlemen. You are being asked to excel in the areas of work, love and life based off your past experience? What experience? What knowledge do you have or been given that could possibly help you successfully exceed in these areas?
Stop, I get it. I was once a younger man, fresh out of college, and I thought of myself as Superman. As a young man you may think, act and even look like Superman; but you are far from it. And basing your next major moves in life off your little experience is the wrong move. Don’t believe me? Just ask any older man and you’ll find out for yourself.
So maybe young men should just keep up with popular culture and you’ll somehow figure out how to succeed and become a man. Really? Let’s say you chose the path of marriage, but quickly decided to get divorced. Culture would be quick to agree with you on your stance, but a real man would stand up and fight for his marriage, even if it meant getting help or applying some humility.
Some young men choose to stay single and “play the field.” Culture says no problem, sleep with your woman, live with her and if she works out, what the heck, marry her. These approaches aren’t right, either. A real man would choose to honor the woman he is with and the relationship. Look up the word “honor” here if you need to be refreshed.
And how about media? Young men can learn how to be a gentleman, a well-respected leader and an honorable husband by just watching Hollywood movies. What? Wrong!
Maybe young men can just keep up with a few old buddies on social media and just base their methods on what they’re doing. Right or wrong? These are plans for destruction, plans without any weight. Media and news won’t hold the power or knowledge to lead you in the right direction. It’s time to turn off the garbage and re-think the process of manhood.
“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity” (1 Tim. 4:12).
Where’s the training? Where’s the personal initiative? Let’s find out …
Personally, it took me a few of years after college to truly appreciate the power of continued training and initiative. I learned that there would be no teacher or professor asking me to do certain things anymore. It was all up to me. So what did I think was the right thing to do after school? I got married. I had no clue what I was doing, but I acted like I did.
And as we went along, I thought I could somehow figure out a way to make this marriage work. I was wrong, terribly wrong! Even with all my training through school and college, I had no idea how much more I would need to learn in life. I had to personally find out that my past experience was small and mostly useless, I had to recognize the paths that popular culture and media had set me on were not helping and I needed to make changes quick. So I did …
So after all of what not to do and my short personal story, here are 3 ways young men can continue to grow in maturity after all of their “training” at school and college:
- Thorough research of credible sources
- Asking difficult questions when facing difficult circumstances
- Seeking God’s assistance through His Word and prayer
Why should you seek assistance and training through credible sources? Because these are men who have walked in your shoes already, have fought the battles you’re about to fight and understand the feelings you have inside. School and college taught you your trade, now you need to find men who can teach you how to be a man.
Who can teach you how to survive when facing difficult times at work, when facing unexpected challenges in marriage, or who can point you in a wise direction when dating. Where do you find these sources?
First of all you get humble. Next you start asking some of the men you know or are comfortable around to talk with you or mentor you. Be ready and specific with your requests or problems and have ears to listen. Once complete, do it again on a regular (weekly, monthly) basis.
Even though graduating college and getting a job right away was the right path, I had no idea how to handle the men and women who had been in the workplace for years already. College professors, teachers and your parents might be the only real experience you have in dealing with more mature or experienced people. So where did I go wrong with these co-workers?
I was too dumb and proud to ask questions. But you know it all right? Wrong! To aid in your continued training after schooling, God will place people in your life to help you grow and succeed. One of the best ways to do this is by getting humble and asking questions. Whether it’s about work, about your marriage or relationship or about something important to you; be sure you ask the difficult questions when facing difficult circumstances.
Why should you seek out God? Because, whether you believe it or not, He is always there for you. I grew up knowing about God, but I didn’t really meet Him until my mid-20s. I was up to my neck in work, my marriage was one fight to the next and my personal initiative to grow and mature was non-existent. Years of not embracing God and keeping a personal relationship with Him was taking its toll in my life. I decided to make big changes, and get myself back on the tracks.
Once I asked God to walk with me, I started researching and learning again. I wanted to know what words meant and why they were important. I wanted to know what it meant to be a man and how to grow. I decided to seek God in prayer and discussion on a daily basis. You can make these decisions too, it’s never too late.
The bottom line is that you have a bright and positive future ahead of you. Don’t let your pride take over your life, when humility could let you soar. Become and stay a man of training and initiative. You’ll thank yourself in the future.
What is one piece of advice you would offer to young men growing in maturity?
Manturity is a blog built on establishing spiritual maturity in today’s man. The goal is to assist men in building better marriages and help them in grow in maturity and explore different aspects of manhood. Manturity.com features new weekly blog posts, daily social media updates and a powerful resources page. Stay up to date with the Manturity blog communities on Facebook and Twitter.
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