I have always believed that there was no way I could teach my two boys to be men. I just can’t do it. It is genetically impossible. Ever since I read “Bringing Up Boys” by Dr. James Dobson, I have held the belief that it takes a man to teach a boy to be a man. There are just some things that a mother can’t teach her sons. This belief was again confirmed when I read half of the book “Wild at Heart” by John Eldredge. (One day I will finish it.) A book written mostly for men to help them recover their masculine heart. Sounds funny doesn’t it? But, there is a real issue that there is a lack of men in boys lives to help them become men. I’m talking about real men. A man after God’s heart.
As an author I wanted to understand this a little bit better so I can make my male christian characters more believable. My Sunday school teacher, someone I would consider to be a real man, talked about this idea of a real man to us and is striving to teach the teenagers on his football team. (He is head football coach of our local college.) When I talked to him about it he recommended I read a book called “Season of Life” by Jeffery Marx. I had more fun reading it than I did the other two books. (Seriously, I am going to finish reading “Wild at Heart” someday.)
I was probably half way through the book when it all made perfect sense to me. Yes, I know, men think differently than women and how could I understand it. That’s not what I understood. I understood that there were more things that I could teach my boys than I thought. It all comes down to the perfect example any man or woman could have. I can now tell my boys that I can’t teach them to be men, but I know the one person who can other than their own father. That man is Jesus.
“Season of Life” made me think about Jesus and remember a time when I was a teenager. My youth director pointed out to us a few things about Jesus that I wouldn’t have thought about. He talked about what most pictures of Jesus looked like; long hair, beard, mustache, skinny man. Then he reminded us that Jesus had been a carpenter. He made us think about what it would take for a carpenter to get wood to make furniture or to build a house. There were no machines, no electric saws, nothing but maybe an ax or a saw to take down a tree. I can only emagine what he had to do to get the tree back to his shop. Not only that, but furniture wasn’t made of particle board like it is today. It was solid pieces of wood that would make a table heavy. Do you remember what happened in the temple when Jesus was angry? That’s right. He turned the table over. Not an easy thing if the table was made of thick solid wood. I could never picture Jesus as a skinny man again.
There was more to Jesus than just strength. He was a man who put other’s first. He was never there to take care of his own agenda, but always to help other’s. Ultamatly, his main purpose was to do God’s will. It was God’s will that we all have a relationship with Jesus. Those two things where his cause, his purpose in life. This is why I think thousands of men went to see Jesus and why woman were willing to drag their children along with them to hear him.
So, did this book help me to understand better what a christian man should be like? Yes! Do you have to be a christian to understand how to be a man? No. This book did not go into detail about the bible or about Jesus. Though it touched upon it a few times, I could probably count on one hand the number of times.
One more thing. After reading this, I think I will buy a copy of this book to give to every coach my boys will have. I think I’ll give it to their scout leaders, too. Not that I don’t think they are not men, but that any one would benifite from reading it. They may not read it, but that’s ok.
Is there a man in your life who almost always puts other’s before himself? Is there such a man? If you enjoyed this post leave a comment.