I recently had the privilege and honor of mentoring a few young men.
I opened up the mentorship series by sharing my belief that the health of the church -- our local church as well as the Church at large -- rests on the back of solid men who "hit the mark" through Christ.
Not because men are better or that women contribute less.
But because Man glorifies God when he redeems the curse of original sin.
As long as you live, you will have to struggle to grow enough food.
The struggle and toil for "enough" is the underlying curse of performance in a fallen world. And that curse is the wedge through which the world confuses men by casting misleading definitions of manhood based on physical appearance, financial status, even intangibles like "ruggedness" and "independence."
The path to reclaiming manhood from the misdirections and sleights-of-hand endlessly released by our performance-driven world is a challenging yet fruitful one.
Five elements that can get you started are the following:
Step 1: Awakening
Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed.
It's easy to skim over the subtle, raging battle for men's souls in a performance driven world. Because great performance, by definition, looks good and its damage is easily covered.
So that first step is to be aware of and awakened to the importance of facing this challenge head on.
Step 2: Facing the Enemy Within
Once aware, men must tackle their own enemies within. Some common thorns are rage, pride, and covetousness.
A man who lets these thorns grow within himself unchecked and unconfessed invites the ailments of being performance-driven.
What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don't they come from the evil desires at war within you?
Step 3: Envisioning Glory in Christ
To hit the mark, the arrow must be directed towards its target. Yet, many men don't have a clear picture of this target -- the "future glory" through Christ.
Sharpening and building this vision in ways that co-exists without conforming to the ways of the world will give you that direction.
Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.
Three elements of this vision are sacrifice, calling, and movement.
Step 4: Preparing for Daily Battle
Because the drumbeat of higher performance is a daily one, so must be the habits to strengthen oneself.
These habits set a man apart from the world in these five ways:
- Grace versus Performance
- Kingdom versus World
- Community versus Isolation
- Fruit versus Thorns
- Freedom versus Slavery
Step 5: Embracing True Brotherhood
The journey to reclaim manhood, restoring sonship and resurrecting grace isn't a solo journey.
These things are best two with another. In fact, many are impossible to do alone.
Three ways this brotherhood can be best cultivated are:
- Strengthening through Weakness
- Redeeming by Growth
- Reconciling after Conflict