In a culture that declares masculinity is toxic and struggles to provide any coherent definition of what a man is or should be, Christmas is an incredible opportunity to talk with boys and young men about the example of Christ. What did it mean for him to become a man? What character traits did he display? What was unique about the life he lived? What implications does his life have for us as men?
As a young man in high school and college, I stopped going hunting with my dad because I was just too busy, I got married and had kids. Classic adult excuses, but I just didn’t think about hunting until one fall day in 2011. Visiting with my Dad one day, out of the blue he asked if I was interested in going elk hunting with him that year. I had never been elk hunting and honestly was surprised and excited about his invitation.
These days there is a lot of pressure to “civilize” boys, to make them less strong and aggressive. Today we we want to talk about the uniqueness of raising boys in this culture, where there is confusion about masculinity and femininity, where there is confusion about what it is supposed to look like.
In this edition of Family Talk, Dr. Tim Clinton talks with Trail Life CEO, Mark Hancock about the important role of Trail Life USA is playing to equip churches who engage men in using outdoor adventure as a tool to raise up young men who have a healthy understanding of biblical manhood and who are prepared to be leaders of character in their home, their community, and their country.
1. Cultivate Relationships
Boys need men willing to carve time out of their busy lives to intentionally cultivate healthy relationships. Men who remember the joy of racing matchbox cars through grass jungles in the backyard and waging nerf battles from furniture forts. Men who build rail worlds for Thomas the Train, share hot dogs and cracker jacks at a baseball game, throw a football in the front yard, bait a hook on the bank of a lake, and pause to roast one last s’more before crawling into a tent and camping under the stars. Boys need men who understand the language of boyhood.
No matter what our culture says, boys and girls are different. Discussions about “toxic masculinity,” a blurring of gender lines, fewer and fewer fathers in the home, and the watering down or extinction of programs that train and equip boys to become men have left too many boys frustrated, fearful, and floundering in their struggle to understand what it means to be a man. More than ever, boys need a uniquely masculine program where their assertive, audacious, and adventurous nature is celebrated, not sequestered.
The Gillette company recently posted a short film that entreated its male customers to battle against bad behavior often associated with men. Of course, this is
My son could easily earn an “ADHD” diagnosis if we sought one. But we will not seek one because the boy is not sick. He is not disordered. The boy is a boy. More of a handful than some boys, less of a handful than others. He has his own personality, and I cannot imagine treating it like the manifestation of a mental disease.
For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;”