July 16, 2012

Redefining Manhood Part 3: Becoming a Major League Man

How do we raise major league men? I think there are three things. First, every man and every boy needs a coach.  Now, parents, you are that coach, and you are also your boy’s friend.  But, he needs a coach more than anything else.   It’s that important. Look at what it says in Eph. 6:4. “And now a word to you parents. Don’t keep on scolding and nagging your children, making them angry and resentful. Rather, bring them up with the loving discipline the Lord himself approves.” It’s saying, don’t be an unpleaseable parent. Affirm your boy. Boys need affirmation.  Your boy also needs motivation and needs to learn self-discipline. He needs a coach.

What does a coach do?  First, a coach models. Somebody said, I would rather see a sermon than hear a sermon. I would rather see a sermon preached in someone’s life than hear the preacher preach a sermon. I think that is so true. How we need models. Some of our kids suffer from what I call the Zacheus syndrome. You remember Zacheus? He was the wee-little man who couldn’t see Jesus because all the people were in front of him. Some of our kids can’t see Jesus because, parents, we are in front of them. They can’t see Jesus because they don’t see in our lives the character qualities of Christ coming out in our lives each and every day. Your kids follow in the footsteps that you thought you had covered up.

Steve Farrar tells about riding in the car with his 15-year-old son. They stopped at a stoplight at a crosswalk, and a scantily clad woman walked by in front of them. Steve Farrar just made it a habit, a practice of his, whenever a women like that walked by, he just kind of looked away. Whenever a pretty woman walked in front of him, he just automatically looked away because the tendency is just to do the opposite, men, would you agree? So, he just looked the other way. Well, they drove on from that stoplight and a few stoplights down, his 15-year-old son said, “Dad, you never look, do you?” He said, “What do you mean, son?” His son said, “I just watched you when that woman walked by. You didn’t look at her. I’ve noticed that about you, Dad. You never look, do you? Because you love mom … I think that’s cool.” Steve Farrar said that just really woke him up to realize that everything he did, his son was watching. Dads, everything you do, your sons are watching. You are the model for them. Mom, your son is watching you. Everything you do, they watch.  They pick up everything that you do. You think, “Aw, they are just kids, they don’t really know.” No, they pick everything up. It’s scary, isn’t it? It’s a scary thought that my little guys are watching me all the time because I’m their coach, and they look to the coach.

That’s why a coach not only models, but a coach teaches. John Wooden, one of the best basketball coaches of all time, coached UCLA to a dozen championships or more.  He would always coach this way. He would say, “Don’t do this, do this.” He would always grab his players and say, “Hey, don’t do that, do it this way.” And that is the way you coach.  That is the way you teach. Don’t do this.  You do this. You show them how to do it. Tell them what not to do, and then you show them what to do. That is what we do as parents. We are to coach by teaching.

So, what do you teach your boys? Well, there are several things that you must teach your boys, parents, that no one else will teach. The first thing is you need to teach them how to act toward women … how to think about girls and women …  how to treat them with value and respect and the honor that they deserve. Coach, if you don’t teach your boy that, no one else in this society will, that is for sure. You have to teach them that.

The second thing you need to teach them is about sex, because if you don’t teach them, everyone else in society will, won’t they? They will teach them the wrong view. It’s so important that you teach them that sex is God’s gift.  It’s a beautiful thing. It’s a wonderful thing.  It’s not dirty, but it is a sacred gift to be reserved for marriage only. There are a lot of good books out there right now that talk about how to talk to your kids about these subjects.  Check out your local Christian bookstore.  I’m certain that they can recommend books to help you.

Then, you need to teach them self-discipline.   Self-discipline is basically doing something that you don’t really feel like doing, but it is the right thing to do. That is the job of the coach, the parent, to teach your boys this. Boys need to know this so they can become all that God wants them to be.

Now, I also believe that every man needs a coach. You need a mentor. You need to be in a men’s small group. There is no way that you can be the godly example that your kid needs unless you are with a bunch of guys in a small group, growing and learning, and becoming all that God wants you to be. Just doing life together … I’m not talking about being with a bunch of spiritual giants that are Bible scholars, not at all. I just mean hanging around some guys who are trying to go the right direction. They don’t have it all together, but they are trying to go the right direction. Get into a men’s small group. It will change your life.