Becoming A Godly Man

      How do you educate a teenage boy on becoming a godly man?  My wife and I have four boys.  What have we tried to teach them as they matured and became men?  One is now married with a child of his own.  One is newly engaged; one attends university; and one is learning to drive (just got his learner’s permit).  Consider that last bit of information a public service announcement!  As Christians, we teach the boys to follow Christ wholeheartedly, but what does that look like for boys becoming men? 
       Years ago, I found the material by Robert Lewis called “The Quest For Authentic Manhood.”  I found those Biblical principles helpful.  I passed them on to my sons and will now pass them on to you.  I arranged them in the acrostic R.E.A.L. for ease of memory.      
      R. represents that godly men must REJECT passivity.  In Genesis, a cursory reading, would blame Eve for the first sin that broke everything.   While she has her part of the fall, Adam was there as well, saying nothing.  He never intervened as Eve destroyed their perfect relationship with God.  Adam is not alone in this tendency.  Men must intentionally battle the inclination to be passive.  Rejecting passivity can be as simple as hopping up from playing a video game to help mom carry in groceries from the car.  It is important that boys are taught to engage in life, whether something simple or substantial.
     E. is for EXPECT God’s greater reward.  Often sin or unwise choices are simply reflections of instant gratification.  Men think long term.  Yes, a lie might get you out of trouble for the moment. However, if you continue to lie, you become known as a liar and your relationships, career and reputation pay dearly.  Real men think about eternity.  Men remember that God eventually rewards a faithful life. 
     A.  is for ACCEPT responsibility.  In a culture that promotes people being victims, men must own their lives.  Our choices are ours alone.  A person may have experienced horrible parenting, but at some point a person must take personal responsibility for their own actions and life.  Remember in the Garden of Eden when God confronted Adam about sin entering the world.  Adam blames Eve and in a sense even God, mentioning that God created her.  Eve blames Satan.  Real men do not play the blame game, they make their choices and own the consequences.     
      L. is for LEAD courageously.   Teen boys can make a mess of their young lives if they follow their peers.  A man makes holy decisions, whether he has support or is alone.  If a man is blessed to have a wife and children, it is his responsibility to lead that family well.  Obviously, he is not to be a dictator but lead he must.  He loves his wife well and shows his sons how to treat a woman; he helps set his daughter’s expectations for how she should be treated by any future husband. 
      If any of this teaching resonates with you and you have a teenage boy in your life, encourage him to attend the Becoming a Man conference at Journey Church this Sunday July 31 from 2p.m.-6 p.m.  It will be a day of fun and Biblical teaching to help teenage males become the men God calls them to be.  Let’s help our boys flourish and thrive as men.
Pastor Derek Dickinson