The Man Card
I have to admit, when I was younger, I was totally impressed how certain older men in my life handled themselves so well in a crowd of people. It seemed effortless to them as they made people laugh or shared a touching story or calmly gave a cool response to a heated situation. I thought, “how do they do that?” Was there a magical time in my life that same ability would click for me? What was this “man card” everyone was talking about and how do I get one?
I realize now, this is pretty much how every young guy feels most of the time. And if I’m honest, as an adult I still feel that way at times. What we forget is that what we see in others we admire is that they didn’t just start talking and acting that way overnight. They had to grow into it.
By design we are meant to be in relationship. We grow into and learn social norms by observation and teaching from others. When we are surrounded by people who speak and live great examples of godly characteristics, we tend to absorb those same qualities as well. This is why we need godly role models to help us grow.
God’s original built-in intent was to place us in the best environment to help us grow. As males, we are naturally inclined to need another male who is older to show us how to live different aspects of our maleness out in real life (this is true for women as well).
Closing the Gap
Unfortunately, as you and I both know, we live in a fallen world where many times the male figures in our life have given us a distorted model by either plain ignorance or inadequacy on their part. This is why there are many great organizations and ministries now that see this gap and hope to redirect the trend in a positive direction. That is what we are trying to do here with Champion Builders. Many leaders such as Cory Smith, who has a mentoring ministry called Training Ground, see that many young guys will have to be very intentional in seeking out help if they want to grow. This is what he says,
“In a perfect world, every older man should see a younger man’s need for mentoring and step in. The sad reality is that most the time a young man will have to initiate the relationship.” – Cory Smith
Lack of mentoring may not be the case for those of you in high school now. Most students are surrounded by built in systems in school and church. But you can be sure as a guy graduates, he has to learn to diligently seek out other older role models to help in his growth as a man.
Again I know from personal experience how inadequate you may feel about who you are as a young man right now. I also know the prideful flip-side of that in thinking that we know everything we need to know already to get by. Wherever your thinking is right now, will you at least admit you want to get better? If so, will you or have you already taken the big step to seek out an older man in a mentoring relationship?
I know it is intimidating or awkward at first. But, can you get a vision now of maybe one day, a young man saying of you, “I want to be like him.”
- What man is being intentional now to mentor you that you need to thank or be more intentional towards yourself?
- If you don’t have a mentor now, who could you contact to ask them if they would consider mentoring you?