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Raising Boys to Manhood – Manhood Principle #1 – Rejecting Passivity

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Back in November I started a Saturday series for single moms to help them raise their boys to manhood. In December, I had a little hiccup. I haven’t posted in that series for quite a while. Things happen you know.

In my last post in this series, I contrasted the manhood of Adam and Jesus. Every man draws his masculinity from one of these.

I also outlined the principles of authentic manhood, and left you with a promise to share more about principle #1 in an upcoming post.

Today I’m taking a break from my prayer series to keep my promise to single moms.

If you need a review, check out my previous posts:

Single Moms Saturday Series

Single Moms – Raising Boys to Manhood

How Our Culture is Failing Our Boys in Their Quest to Become Men

Single Moms – Giving Your Sons a Definition of Manhood

swinging into water

Principle #1

A Real Man Rejects Passivity

 According to Robert Lewis in his book Raising a Modern-Day Knight:

1) Every male has an innate physical and psychological aggressiveness to initiate, explore, and achieve. If you have boys in your home, you know what I mean. My boys grew up teasing, wrestling, throwing balls, and constantly doing things to bug each other. I can still remember the day one of our boys packed his stuff in a little bandana, tied it to a stick, slung it over his shoulder, and left the house for a great adventure. (Ask your son if (and how) he can relate to this statement about a male’s aggressiveness.)

2) Unfortunately, this part of a man’s nature is not translated into homes, families, and communities.

A) Talk to your son about the example of Adam.

In the garden of Eden, God gave Adam explicit responsibilities:

  • A will to obey (don’t eat the fruit)
  • A work to do (cultivate the garden)
  • A woman to love (Eve)

When Satan tempted Eve, Adam was with her as she contemplated what to do. God had given Adam instructions not to eat from that tree before Eve was even created.

Ask your son what he thinks Adam should have done – and why.

B) From the book, Raising a Modern-Day Knight:

Read and discuss the following quotes with your son(s).

“As naturally aggressive as Adam was, when the moment of authentic manhood arrived – when he was called upon to act responsibly, take charge spiritually, and protect his woman – Adam just stood there! He went flat. He became passive. He refused to accept the social and spiritual responsibilities entrusted to him by God.”

Adam and Eve both disobeyed God’s instructions and ate from the forbidden tree.

3) Our culture has been drastically impacted by the passivity in men today.

From Raising a Modern-Day Knight:

“Families cry out for men who will do more than “tune out” when they come home from work. Kids want dads who are involved, dads who provide moral and spiritual direction, dads who are affirming and life-giving. Women want men who will protect them, not use them. Society needs men who will stand for moral absolutes.”

Discuss: Talk to your son about how he can be involved with his family one day and why that’s important. Talk about ways he can stand for what’s right in the world. What does that look like? In the lunchroom when a student eats alone everyday, at school when someone’s being bullied, at a party when others are drinking, at home with his responsibilities, at church when help is needed . . .

4) Jesus gives us the perfect example of manhood as God intends.

“More manhood was displayed in the manger than in the garden with Adam.” Robert Lewis

In the manger, Jesus rejected His divine right as God, initiated toward the world as a man, and accepted social and spiritual responsibility for mankind.

Have your son look up Philippians 2:5-8 and read it out loud. Discuss how Jesus rejected passivity. Ask your son if he’ll commit to rejecting it in his life.

Real manhood begins with a decision to reject social and spiritual passivity when doing nothing is the more comfortable and natural option.

We can help our boys channel their physical and psychological aggression into social and spiritual action for the good of all.

Have your son memorize manhood principle #1: A real man rejects passivity

What do you think about this principle? How would a rejection of passivity help our society as a whole?


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  1. Rachel from Anderson says:

    Great post Lisa!

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