A Better Way for Young Men to Build Maturity

“Your role as a man should not be merely based on your past experiences, popular culture or media. Instead it should be based on your thorough research of credible sources, asking difficult questions when facing difficult circumstances, and by seeking God’s assistance through His Word and prayer.” -Van Slyke

BETTER MATURITY FINAL

How does the world see define Manhood? Let’s find out…

Manhood is now defined as the following: get through High School, graduate College, find a job, obtain a wife or stay single and good luck. In other words, attaining manhood requires training and persistence. But wait!

High School is training, College is training, getting a job now forces you to endure some training. But what about proper training in becoming a mature man, husband or even father? What happened to the training in these categories? There is none you say? Maybe that is the case, or maybe men are dropping the ball when it comes to real initiative.  We won’t always be able to depend on that last parting offer from society which is “good luck”.

So where or how are young men growing in maturity in or after college? Or in the good luck phase of life?

Here are 3 ways the worlds current training sends young men off into the real world of work, love and life.

PAST EXPERIENCE

POPULAR CULTURE

MEDIA

So let’s get this straight gentlemen. You are being asked to excel in the areas of work, love and life based off your past experience? What experience? What knowledge do you have or been given that could possibly help you successfully exceed in these areas? Stop, I get it. I was once a younger man, fresh out of college, and I thought of myself as Superman. As a young man you may think, act and even look like Superman; but you are far from it. And basing your next major moves in life off your little experience is the wrong move. Don’t believe me? Just ask any older man and you’ll find out for yourself.

So maybe young men should just keep up with popular culture and you’ll somehow figure out how to succeed and become a man. Really? Lets say you chose the path of marriage, but quickly decided to get divorced. Culture would be quick to agree with you on your stance, but a real man would stand up and fight for his marriage! Even if it meant getting help or applying some humility. Some young men choose to stay single and “play the field”. Culture says no problem, sleep with your woman, live with her and if she works out, what the heck, marry her. Nope these approaches aren’t right either. A real man would choose to honor the woman he is with and the relationship. Look up the word “honor” here if you need to be refreshed.

Well, how about media. Young men can learn how to be a gentlemen, well-respected leader and an honorable husband by just watching Hollywood movies. What? Wrong! Maybe young men can just keep up with a few old buddies on social media and just base their methods on what they’re doing. Right or wrong? These are plans for destruction, plans without any weight. Media and news won’t hold the power or knowledge to lead you in the right direction. It’s time to turn off the garbage and re-think the process of manhood. [TWEET]

“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”
1 Timothy 4:12

Where’s the training? Where’s the personal initiative? Let’s find out…

Personally, it took me a few of years after college to truly appreciate the power of continued training and initiative. I learned that there would be no teacher or professor asking me to do certain things anymore. It was all up to me. So what did I think was the right thing to do after school? I got married. I had no clue what I was doing, but I acted like I did. And as we went along, I thought I could somehow figure out a way  to make this marriage work. I was wrong, terribly wrong! Even with all my training through school and college, I had no idea how much more I would need to learn in life. I had to personally find out that my past experience was small and mostly useless, I had to recognize the paths that popular culture and media had set me on were not helping and I needed to make changes quick. So i did…

So after all of what not to do and my short personal story, here are 3 ways young men can continue to grow in maturity after all of their “training” at school and college.

THOROUGH RESEARCH OF CREDIBLE SOURCES

ASKING DIFFICULT QUESTIONS WHEN FACING DIFFICULT CIRCUMSTANCES

SEEKING GODS ASSISTANCE THROUGH HIS WORD AND PRAYER

 

 

 

 

 

 
Why should you seek assistance and training through credible sources? Because these are men who have walked in your shoes already, have fought the battles you’re about to fight and understand the feelings you have inside. School and College taught you your trade, now you need to find men who can teach you how to be a man. Who can teach you how to survive when facing difficult times at work, when facing unexpected challenges in marriage, or who can point you in a wise direction when dating. Where do you find these sources? First of all you get humble. Next you start asking some of the men you know or are comfortable around to talk with you or mentor you. Be ready and specific with your requests or problems and have ears to listen. Once complete, do it again on a regular (weekly, monthly) basis.

Young men would be wise to seek wisdom from credible sources [Tweet That]

Even though graduating college and getting a job right away was the right path, I had no idea how to handle the men and women who had been in the workplace for years already. College professors, teachers and your parents might be the only real experience you have in dealing with more mature or experienced people. So where did I go wrong with these co-workers? Well, I was too dumb and proud to ask questions. But you know it all right? Wrong! To aid in your continued training after schooling, God will place people in your life to help you grow and succeed. One of the best ways to do this is by getting humble and asking questions. Whether it’s about work, about your marriage or relationship or about something important to you; be sure you ask the difficult questions when facing difficult circumstances.

Recommended Book for this article:
Next Generation Leader” by Andy Stanley

Why should you seek out God? Because, whether you believe it or not, He is always there for you. Sure, I grew up knowing about God, but I didn’t really meet Him until my mid-twenties. I was up to my neck in work, my marriage was one fight to the next and my personal initiative to grow and mature was non-existent. Years of not embracing God and keeping a personal relationship with Him was taking its toll in my life. I decided to make big changes, and get myself back on the tracks. Once I asked God to walk with me, I started researching and learning again. I wanted to know what words meant and why they were important. I wanted to know what it meant to be a man and how to grow. I decided to seek God in prayer and discussion on a daily basis. You can make these decisions too, it’s never too late.

The bottom line is that you have a bright and positive future ahead of you. Don’t let your pride take over your life, when humility could let you soar. Become and stay a man of training and initiative. You’ll thank yourself in the future…

What is one piece of advice you would offer to young men growing in maturity?

 

  • brian

    The one piece of advice I would give may seem strange….but I would say make sure you make time for you and your wife….you may have kids, and you owe it to them to love them well, and train them, but don’t forget to make time for just you and your wife. If you make your kids your entire existence while they are at home, you will find it difficult when they start to leave. Love your wife the same during that season as you did before, and God will honor that when you are back to being just the two of you.

    • Brian, there is nothing strange about your advice, it is great advice. There are many men, including myself, in the season of raising kids and your advice is essential for keeping our relationship with our wife strong, healthy and relevant for years to come. Appreciate you adding this.

  • Bryan,I truly appreciated your transparency in this article. Christian men need to stop watching from the sidelines and join the fight. I love the verse from Casting Crowns that says “Let the watchers become warriors, let the men of God arise.” When we walk in the Spirits guidance of manhood, we may be the only man in someones life. We may not even be associated with others directly, but real men draw the attention of eyes and focus because it is attractive. Why? Because it reveals the glory of God! Christ Jesus, the true image of God exemplified and paved the way for authentic manhood.

    • Powerful thoughts and quote Jeff. Thanks for adding them. I agree that as men of God, we must continue to set the example and in doing so, God will reveal Himself to those around us. Great stuff Jeff.

  • JT

    Brian good post my man..if I may chime in..I have been taught that the first place to start should always be the Word of God..You first have to renew your mind with the word of god..well you might say why the word of GOD? Because that’s the finish line..that’s the goal line..you have to cross that line first before you can be ready for Manhood..thats where it is..see the world has a type of fabricated manhood..just like they fabricate everything else..the world instead of understanding what real character is ..well it moves more and is attracted toward charm..and charm is who you are for the moment..but character is who you are are the time…Its what people come to expect fro you all the time.. so first things first ..you gonna have pick the bible up..start reading that bible..and make a commitment and decide that this is going to be my source. See, this is the book of life..if anybody knows how to live life God knows how to live life so,Here’s first base…here is where a young man can first gain the foundation of principles upon which he will build his life thus thrusting him toward Maturity in the choice he makes starting off with his decisions..see if he makes his choices and decisions based on GOD’s word and consistently makes decisions that line up with GODS word he now gives evidence of his growth, his MATURITY. As far as getting training from other men..even our own fathers, you first have to find out what a real man is…A REAL man, a REAL is a Christ man..a man of love, a man of faith, a man of Christ likeness…he’s a Christian..this a basic definition of what a real man is…so whatever definition you’ve heard of what a real man is..yeah it might have come as a fruit of this but this what a real man is hes’ a Christian…so every time you meet a guy thats not a Christian, he perpetrating manhood….see, we’ve gotten so used to the counterfeit that we don’t even recognize the genuine…so what happens is since we don’t know what a MAN looks like..we surround ourselves with counterfeit men…Listen guys…you cant have real manhood or maturity without Christ…..Sorry Brian…didn’t mean to hi-jack your post.. but I’m working on something….God Bless.

    • JT, this was awesome! I had to make sure I had time to sit down and really read your thoughts. You have enough one liners in here for a top 10 quotes page!
      All I can say is that you are right on. Young men are spending so much time looking for false sources, that they are missing the main source which is Christ.
      To be honest, you should fix this comment up and submit as a future post. This info needs to be spread!

  • Mike Wildsmith

    Great stuff in here Brian- thanks so much for sharing this. I’m thinking of printing a copy off for my 18-yr old step son for part of his upcoming high school graduation gifts. Very rich and very true!

    • Thanks Mike. This would be a great post for him. As Adam from “father vision” mentioned below, a father should be the main fruit bearer in his relationship with his son.

    • Robert Burke

      You might think it strange, but there might be words God doesn’t want used, because they oft are words used in antipode… they have bipolar meanings… and they can be used as a back-handed compliment.

      These words might be “stuff,” “cool,” “incredible,” “unbelievable,” “wicked,” “guys,” and “whatever.” When you hear these words in a sermon, they are a red flag…

      For example, “Hey guys, I have a really cool sermon that’s wicked-relevant and just unbelievably incredible!” (See what I mean?)

      So, maturity… means being careful with words and speaking straight, not antipodal.

  • Great point Adam. I absolutely agree that it is the fathers role to train up his son. But as you said, with many fathers absent, young men must be willing to seek help from other men. And yes, other men who are producing fruit. Your link about where and how to find fruitful help is very good and I encourage the Manturity community to engage in it.

    • FatherVision

      Thanks, Bryan.

  • Robert Burke

    To mature, find a Living Master and learn what that person has learned. Jesus did it to His disciples. Does church recommend this?

    Did Elisha sort of do this with Elijah? Did Paul mentor others?

    Will this post be deleted?