What I Learned From Other Men

If you are confused about what it means to be a man today, you are certainly not alone.   


Notice some of these articles:

*Why men are in trouble.

*The End of Men.

*Where Have the Good Men Gone?


Many men today are very confused.


Quite often sitcoms portray them as goofy, less than bright, and typically immature. It is assumed they would rather play golf than do anything noble or heroic. Again and again, a dad is portrayed as one who doesn’t get it. Of course, some do not. Some men seem to remain in a perpetual state of immaturity. As William Bennett notes, one of the common complaints from young women about young men is their failure to grow up. Bennett goes on to say:

Movies are filled with stories of men who refuse to grow up and refuse to take responsibility in relationships. Men, some obsessed with sex, treat women as toys to be discarded when things get complicated. Through all these different and conflicting signals, our boys must decipher what it means to be a man, and for many of them it is harder to figure out.


So how does this change?


Men need other men to mentor, guide, and correct them. The church is a place where this can happen. This is especially important if younger guys did not have fathers in their lives as they were growing up. Other guys had fathers who were silent, passive, and disconnected.

Several men blessed me during my 20s and this has continued to make a real difference decades later. They taught me through their words, manner, and willingness to speak into my life. What I did learn from some of these men?


1. Loyalty. One husband and father talked with me in our conversations about his marriage. I heard him express loyalty to his wife and children. I watched him as he spoke to his wife and saw his tenderness toward her. He esteemed her both in her absence and in her presence. I wanted to have a family where I treated my wife and children similarly.

2. Courage. One evening when I was still a college student, a church elder, I greatly admired talked with me about the way I was handling myself with a young woman I had been dating. He witnessed my behavior as I quarreled with her one evening and talked with me about how to handle my behavior in such situations. I had acted immaturely (and knew it), and he was trying to help me. I admired his courage for being willing to step into my life to help me mature.

3. Emotional Connection. It is true. Men and women are not wired the same. When I was in my early 20s and single, I had no idea how to connect emotionally with a woman. No way was I ready for marriage. I certainly had no idea how I would connect emotionally with children if I had them. Later, I began to learn how to stay connected emotionally with my wife and children as I watched (and talked with) two men in particular. I still had much to learn, however, these two men helped me get started and gave me a picture of what an emotionally connected family might look like.


Question:

Is there a person (outside your immediate family) who has made a significant investment in your life through friendship or mentoring? How has this relationship impacted you?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2 thoughts on “What I Learned From Other Men

  1. Are young men really that impressionable by TV shows? They’re the demographic group least likely to watch TV, spending more time with video games and the internet. Also, I’ve noticed that men often enjoy watching male buffoons on TV, because it makes them feel superior and better about their own circumstances.

  2. Jenny, that is a good question (regarding how much TV shows impact the thinking of young men.)

    I do wonder about the impact of fatherlessness on so many young men. So many guys seem to have very little idea of what it means to grow up. I say that not as a criticism but a concern for these guys.

    By the way, you make a good observation at the end about guys who like to watch male buffoons on TV, as it makes them feel superior.

    Thanks,