Manhood - Embracing the Process
Most men have accidently grown into manhood. Sound strange? Let me explain. For many of us, it was more of a natural, physical evolution than a purposeful growth of what it takes to be a real man. We stumbled along, doing our best to look and be strong. Then the challenges of manhood smacked us in the face and we stumbled forward. It’s like we were put on a football field—but no one taught us how to lift weights or run plays; we are in the game without a game plan and may not be strong enough to compete. Somehow, we missed the process of what it takes for victory.
God’s Will vs. Our Reality
God’s plan is that young men grow up with an intact family where there is love and respect between spouses, strong leadership, and a constant training and modeling on how to serve God and be a responsible, loving, emotionally sound, and strong man. For many, they saw and experienced some of this; for others, God’s plan seems more like a fairy tale than reality.
Some have had great fathers, grandfathers, and other men who were role models that helped along the way; but many men that I speak with talk about a limited father experience or no father around at all. These men are often ill prepared for the game of life.
Embracing the Process of Manhood
Men are doers, fixers. We want to kill it and grill it; we want to conquer; we want victory and we want it now! However, life teaches us that there is a process needed before we can experience these things. Being a husband, a father, or a successful single is hard work and, for most of us, this can be a long, tedious process. Let’s look at some great men of the Bible and some of the processes through which they had to go.
Moses took on the most powerful man in the world and won through the power of God! But before that, Moses spent 40 years in the desert growing as a man, a husband, and a father as God shaped him. Not exactly an overnight success.
Joseph became the prime minister of the most powerful kingdom on earth. His process included being betrayed by his brothers, sold into slavery, being lied about and thrown in jail, given false promises, and being left in prison. The key for Joseph was that he honored God and honored his role and responsibility at every step in the process.
Jesus chose to go through the greatest and most successful training process and victory in history! As a boy and young man, we know that Jesus submitted Himself to God the Father, to His parents, and to the teachings of the rabbis. He walked out the process without a mistake. The Bible is silent about Joseph’s presence during Jesus’ teen and young adult years, and many scholars believe that Joseph may have died and was not present during these times. Jesus is also a prime example of how we can grow successfully into manhood with limited fathering or without a father present in the home.
Here are some keys to growing in manhood:
• Follow Christ. As you study and apply God’s Word, the Holy Spirit will also lead you and shape you.
• Embrace the growth process. Sow seeds of your time and energy into growing spiritually, emotionally, and in wisdom.
• Grow in relationship and community. Be committed to your family, church, and other men to help you in this process.
If you are like me, growing into manhood has been filled with both joy and pain. I’ve learned that though I can’t change my past, I can choose to embrace the process of growing as a man of God. I’ve also learned that I do not have to do it alone, I have Jesus, my family, friends, and my church. I also have the Body of Christ to support me along they way. These are available to you, as well.
You are in the game of life. You will either win or lose. Have you purposely chosen to engage in the process that will help you win the daily battles and the game of life? If you want more encouragement, please follow my blog as I go through a series of teachings on manhood.
Jack Redmond is an author, minister, and speaker and serves on the staff of Christ Church in Montclair and Rockaway, NJ. He may be reached at www. 4thgen.org.