Manhood: A real man glorifies God by seeking an adventuresome life of purpose and passion as he protects and serves others.
A critical part of the manhood definition that we are teaching our boys revolves around the word passion. I think we often set a bad example for our sons by living a life that seems to be dull and boring. Our sons should never equate being a follower of Christ with the word boring.
“We are caught up at a particular state in our national ethos in which we are not only materialistic but worse than that; we are becoming emotionally dead as a people. We don’t sing, we don’t dance, we don’t even commit sin with much enthusiasm.”
-Tony Campolo, sociologist
There is nothing more motivating than to see someone doing something with passion. It can be someone who is passionate about his or her job. It can be someone who is passionate about there country during the World Cup. It can be someone who is passionate about a particular cause. There is something about the person that you draws you to them. Although the previously mentioned examples are good, is that what we should be truly passionate about? Our passion for what we say and do should flow out of our passion for Jesus Christ. How we think, how we act and how we serve should stem from our passionate love for Jesus. Jesus was so passionate about us that he endured great pain and suffering on our behalf.
“Anyone can dabble, but once you’ve made the commitment, your blood has that particular thing in it, and it is very hard for people to stop you.”
“The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.”
-Field Marshal Ferdinand Foch
Can you imagine the impact our sons could have on the city if our fathers and their families’ souls were on fire for Christ? Romans 12 urges us to be “living sacrifices.” This idea is counter-cultural. We live in a society that wants something for nothing. We have athletes that want to skip the hard work of training and get ahead by using performance-enhancing drugs. This is just one example of many. God wants us to give up what the world values as important so that we can be passionate about the things that He values. This comes at a price. It might not be popular but it does have eternal value. May we all “no longer conform to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-His good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Read this great poem today via Tim Elmore at Growing Leaders and had to share it. Take time and let this one soak in.
We read it in the papers and hear on the air;
Of killing and stealing and crime everywhere.
We sigh and we say as we notice the trend,
this young generation…where will it end?
But can we be sure that it’s their fault alone?
These kids who do things that we don’t condone;
Who was it shaping their first twenty years?
And who made the world they enjoy with their peers?
Are we less guilty, who place in their way.
Too many things that lead them astray?
Too many credit cards, too much idle time;
Too many movies of passion and crime.
Too many books not fit to be read,
Too many damaging things they hear said.
Too many children encouraged to roam,
Too many parents who won’t stay at home.
Kids don’t make the movies, they don’t write the books.
They don’t make the video games with gangsters and crooks.
They don’t make the liquor, they don’t run the bars,
They don’t change the laws, they don’t make the cars.
They don’t make the drugs, that muddle the brain;
That’s all done by older folks…eager for gain.
Those self-absorbed teens, oh how we condemn,
The flaws of our nation and blame it on them.
But rather than fixing blame, let’s fix the cause,
Let’s look in the mirror and conclude as we pause;
That in so many cases — it’s sad but it’s true –
The title “Delinquent” fits older folks too.
In the book Polishing God’s Monuments, Jim Andrews tells the story of a plane disaster.
“What made this even a double calamity was the lethal convergence of two factors: bad weather and pilot error. The investigative report of the incident indicated the unfortunate pilot was flying in heavy fog. It went on to explain that when a pilot is flying in those conditions, it is vital that he rely solely on his instruments as opposed to flying “by the seat of his pants.” This is because without a visual point of reference, one’s senses can be easily fooled into thinking the plane is doing the exact opposite.”
As I read this story, I could not help but think of how it relates to parenting our children. Strategic parents are very aware of the climate in their house on a day to day basis. I am not talking about the actual temperature but the emotional climate.
Parents, especially dads, set the tone on how the evening is going to flesh out that night. If you come home angry and frustrated, the climate in your house tends to follow. If you come home excited to see your family, that climate also tends to follow. This places a huge amount of importance on how a dad acts when he first gets home and how a mother reacts when dad gets home. Don’t let your house be known for bad weather.
The second problem in the story involves pilot error. If we do not have a visual point of reference in our home, we are setting our homes up for a crash landing. It is very easy to think that all is well because there is no turbulence at the time. We all can fall into that trap. Instead, strategic parents should always be pointing the family towards the story of God, His character, His creation, and His redemption. He alone should be our visual point of reference. Our children need to see that visual point of reference in how we live, love, and serve.
Don’t let bad weather and pilot error crash a perfect opportunity for a great flight. Your children are counting on you to prepare them for their first solo flight. What you do now will greatly affect how that flight turns out. Keep striving to be strategic and intentional!