So many times in life we are told to “be a man”. What does that mean?? As men, we have this voice in our head that constantly works against us. It tells us that we are a "fake" and that we "don't know what we are doing". It says that "people are going to find out that you are not good enough, strong enough." This voice lies to us and there is a way to combat it. Fighting the LIE takes training and it starts with being a Man of God. As men, we must learn to be men.
Becoming a man can only be given to you by God himself. He is your heavenly father and He is calling you up to become the man He designed you to be.
So what does a man look like? Start with Jesus Christ. He defines the qualities of a man. He was “The Man” of all men. C.S. Lewis wrote - "The Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God." Your family and friends may point you in the right direction but you must choose to embrace Him and not the world. God sent Jesus to us and we must know and embrace his grace and truth to be the man God intended. To live fully as a man, you have to Know Christ...you have to
know what he said...what he went through...and how much he loves you. The spiritual war that is waged for a man's heart is a timeless battle that requires us, as men, to prepare ourselves, to strengthen ourselves and to train ourselves to be ready for battle. Christ's words and actions prepare us for battle. Knowing Christ is the foundational DIAL that all the other DIALS rely on for strength. Knowing Christ is the most important DIAL.
Teaching the next generation the importance of this concept will allow them to love stronger, live confidently and find a faith of their own. God sent His son (Christ) to give us life. To be the ultimate example of grace, love and forgiveness.
The concept is simple, you have to pour Christ in - in order to have enough to pour out on others. His example of love, faith and humility fuel our souls as men. They inspire us and are a light to our path. This generation needs to know that the ultimate example of manliness is not how many touchdowns you score, how many girlfriends you have, how many followers you have on SnapChat or how many kill streaks you have in HALO. The ultimate example of manliness is Jesus Christ. In the popular book "Raising a Modern Day Knight", Robert Lewis summarizes Jesus' call to action for all men...
#1 - Reject Passivity
#2 - Accept Responsibility
#3 - Lead Courageously
#4 - Invest Eternally
As a man, Christ embodies the ultimate example of what a man should look like in this world. His example has stood the test of time and our sons need not look any further than the Bible to pour in His richness, wisdom and love. Jesus was a scholar, a radical...a warrior. He paid the ultimate price and knew what was at stake. He did not sit on sidelines, he did not isolate himself, he did not spend every weekend on the golf course or every waking hour at the office. He led his children and he molded men. He accepted responsibility and lead a team of men courageously to invest in every generation to follow. Our mission as men is to follow His example - but you have to know Him to do this.
You may be asking yourself..."Where do I even start to know Christ?" The sermon on the mount (found in the book of Matthew, chapters 5-7) is a great place to start to get to know Christ and his heart for all of mankind. The Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) are the first four books in New Testament and they are an account of Jesus' life. His legacy and his charge to all mankind. The remaining letters or books of the New Testament that follow are filled with examples of men who laid down their life so that we may know Christ and they provide countless words of wisdom and truth to live by.
"To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps." - 1 Peter 2:21
If you are reading this, you are likely a parent or a middle school leader. Whether you know it or not, you have accepted the challenge of leading the next generation. Your mission starts with leading by example. With knowing and understanding the man that Jesus is and the words of truth that he spoke. As parents and leaders we have a responsibility to pass the legacy of Christ on to our children and the young men in our group. There is no better time than the present.
"God Showed us his love for us when he sent his only Son into the world to give us life." - 1 John 4:9