Happy New Year, Men!

Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

Happy New Year!!

I wish you a great and prosperous upcoming year, as you seek to be the Dad you were meant to be.  Be encouraged that you are not alone in this parenting thing, and that there are tools at your disposal to accomplish the tasks before you.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and don’t be devastated when you are not he man you want to be.  It’s a journey, and one that we can take together.

Before we go too much further, on this journey to encourage dads, I need to set something down that has been foundational to my fathering. When I say things like “be the man today, you want your sons to become, and your daughters to marry,” it is important for you to know what it means to be a man.

So lets start the year here!!

What does it mean to be a man?

When looking for an appropriate definition for what it means to be a man, Robert Lewis tried to find resources and asked many people both in and outside of the church what it meant to be one. The process he said, was like “trying to nail Jell-O to the wall!” It seems that much of our society has not only their own version of what it means to be a man, but for many intents and purposes (yes, purposes) manhood has been downplayed, or ridiculed into a place where few understand what it really means to be a man, if they want to achieve it at all.

In his book, “Raising a Modern-Day Knight,” Robert Lewis lines out in no uncertain terms what a man is according to God, who made man, and gave us scripture as a guide to this life and His purposes.

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A Man is someone who:

   Rejects Passivity
   Accepts Responsibility
   Leads Courageously
   Expects the Greater Reward

This definition of an “Authentic Man,” as Lewis calls it, has been used by my family since 2002. I use it in my boy’s Journey to Manhood, and we speak of it often in our lives when the call to ‘man-up’ is required.   It has also shaped how I have “course-corrected” my life to reflect a desired example to my children.

Too many of us, were raised in the nebulous cloud of unclear messages regarding when it was appropriate to be the boy/man God made us to be, and the question of if there even was a fixed target that we should be aiming for. I have found Robert Lewis’ definition inspiring and encouraging because it is a specific goal that I can frame my life and the lives of my children around. These four points are like directives on the mission to understanding what it is to be a man.

This definition also dispels false ideas of what it means to be a man. I want to encourage you that you don’t need to allow others in your life to intimidate your decisions based on what they expect, in their own delusions of manhood. Men do not have to be aggressive, self-centered, or sexually promiscuous. It is not necessary to be buff, athletic, or competitive to be a man. It is not required to be able to build a car engine, climb the corporate ladder, or carve an entertainment center out of wood with your bare hands… If you do the four things outlined in Robert Lewis’ definition, then you are aiming for the target that glorifies God in manhood, and I wholeheartedly commend it to you!


Photo by Eddie Kopp on Unsplash

So, Dad… I want to challenge you! Make this your directive, this year. When you think about being a man, use this as your measuring stick. Perhaps you need to humble yourself, like I did, and realize that “I’m not that kind of man.” That’s O.k., for now, but you can become that… and it will tremendously benefit your marriage, and your parenting. Our society has their own definition of what a man should be, and if that’s what you’ve known thus far there is no shame in that. I want to encourage you that you can be this kind of man, that’s the way God intended it… and therefore He will be your help!

You can do it! Stand Strong, and take aim for the target of Authentic Manhood!