Man Defined: Four Principles Defining A Man

Father Son Discipleship

What is the definition of a man? Webster’s Dictionary defines a man as an “individual human; especially :  an adult male human.” But just because a man is an adult male, that really doesn’t make him a man. They may look like a man but the actions taken and maturity may not be what we would typically define as being a man. Society has this all misconfigured. There truly isn’t a real definition of a man that todays society can offer that comes close to what being a man is all about. Society tells us that “if it feels good do it’, or you can be anyone or anything that you want to be. Is this lack of vision a good fit for what  God called a man to be? Is this a man defined?

Part of the problem with the lack of vision for a man defined is complex. It’s not a secret that since the late 80’s and early 90’s most families typically consists of both parents working full time daytime jobs and having very little influence in the life of their children. Usually the kids get home to an empty house and spend very little if any quality time with their parents in the evening. Parents are tired, frustrated with their events of the day, in particular with things that did not go well with their work which is preventing them from fully engaging with their kids. Most character flaws they see in their kids are either ignored, or simply go unnoticed by their parents. Kids sometimes feel as though they are talking to a blank screen. “Are you listening?” “Do you even care?” they wonder.

Fathers Make Sacrifices

Another thing that makes a man defined so complex is divorced parents, and unfortunately divorce continues to rise. I personally had divorced parents. And unfortunately as a christian man, I have seen several of my close christian friends go through a divorce as well. Parents do not develop meaningful relationships with their kids the way that they used to let alone with one another. The family unit begins to dissolve. Parents don’t communicate with one another and grow more distant. Lack of time spent together or pressure from everything else around them adds to the aggravation. A simple life. A less complicated life. A better life would be preferred now.

Communication, time spent together, dinner at the table, loving on one another, nurturing each another, building each other up, has all been traded in for a dream. A dream of having success, stuff, and a status symbol. Parents are both headed off in this direction too often. This selfishness spells departure from our traditional family and values. Sons are left to pick themselves up and define manhood all on their own. He has no accountability, no responsibility, no work ethic, and he cowers into his electronic devices as an easy escape from reality. Divorce means boys spending no time with their father, all their free time with mainly their mother, (no knock on moms or daughters),  hastens the ability for him to know who he is and what manhood is all about. He will learn it from the world and his peers.

This isn’t what God had planned. A man defined is way more meaningful than this. If you feel as though you are headed in this direction keep reading…

Raising A Modern Day Knight

A few years ago I took a Bible Study Class called Raising A Modern Day Knight. I highly recommend that you read this book, watch the DVDs and take the 6 week class. It will change your life with your spouse, with your son, and change your perspective on a lot things in your life for the better. It’s an excellent course for men with young boys and will give great wisdom that will help and encourage men to be intentional about raising sons that not only have great values, but who are confident in who they are as God intended them to be. You will be able to understand the four principles that define a man and grow in understanding how to apply them in your life and the life of your son.

Four Principles

I have been following these principles with my son and he knows by heart the four principles that define a man. They are:

  1. A man rejects passivity
  2. Accepts responsibility
  3. Leads courageously
  4. Expects the greater reward

As a father, I am often tempted to be passive, irresponsible, or even worry and be fearful of the future. The author Robert Lewis shares that we often times as fathers fail our sons in teaching them about God and His plan for their lives. Teaching them to obey God, and that God has a work for them to do (vocation), and that God also has a woman for us to love (eventually for them). We can model this in our own lives. And while we are going through these things as fathers we can share real life stories with our sons. Being real is to show how God has gotten us through them, and will bring more father son bonding than we ever imagined. Fathers, don’t be afraid to be humble and show your son how to humble himself through your example.

Many fathers invest in their sons for things that don’t matter. Their career is important but not while bringing our sons up with no moral conviction. What good would it do for them to become successful if they become corrupt in their married life and/or also in their vocation? By teaching our sons these Biblical teachings we are discipling them into manhood. Start them young as the course teaches as a Page, and then a Squire, and then finally into Manhood- The Ceremonial Knighting of our sons. It’s never too late for a father to teach these principles to his son. This is man defined. This is finishing strong!

Remember dads, if you don’t raise your sons to manhood… the world will. -Dennis Rainey