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Single Moms – Giving Your Sons a Definition of Manhood

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Hi beautiful single mommas! Thanks for taking a few minutes out of your crazy life to stop here. So how has your week been? What challenges have you been up against? Keep your chin up. Keep pressing forward. You are important and so is your precious family.

This is the third post in my series helping single moms raise their sons to manhood. For the first two posts click here and here.

Growing up, I can remember my mom saying repeatedly, “All men are rats.” This seemed to become her mantra.

Looking back, I wonder how this impacted my brothers. How did it shape their view of manhood? How did it shape them as they moved toward adulthood?

Boys have a desperate need for someone to define and demonstrate what it means to be a man. Are there any men in your son’s life who are a good example of what that looks like? Where can they find the definition of authentic manhood?


A vision of authentic manhood

Robert Lewis’ book, Raising a Modern-Day Knight, shares that the definition of manhood can be found by contrasting and comparing two men from history – Adam and Jesus.

They had opposite ways of life and two very different masculinities.

Every man will ultimately draw his masculinity from either Adam or Jesus.

Here are the four major differences between Adam and Jesus.


  • Represents life separated from God.
  • His natural drive was to live out his manhood based on instinct, reaction, and preservation.
  • Represents a failed manhood that sought to suck life from others.
  • Represents manhood devoid of any significant meaning beyond the fleshly here and now.


  • Represents life in union with God.
  • His manhood is influenced by spiritual direction – based on faith not his “flesh”. (He was utterly dependent on God the Father, sought his guidance, and carried out the work God the Father gave him to do.)
  • Represents a manhood that is life-giving not life-taking.
  • Revealed a manhood that is filled with meaning and a sense of destiny.

These contrasts point us toward answers to the question: “What is a man?” They help us formulate a definition of authentic manhood.

Robert Lewis’ principles of authentic manhood

A real man is one who:

  1. Rejects passivity
  2. Accepts responsibility (a will to obey, a work to do, and a woman to love)
  3. Leads courageously
  4. Expects the greater reward

Next week I’ll be posting details about principle #1 (a real man rejects passivity) so you can start applying it in your son’s life.

Something to think about

How do you view men in general? Have you considered how your comments and beliefs about men might be impacting the young men you’re raising? Are you projecting a positive or negative vision of manhood?

Read this with your son

Philippians 2:5-11 (As you read this, list the things Jesus gave up, the sacrifices he made, the things he did, and the reward that awaited him. Ask your son why he thinks Jesus did these things. Discuss.)

If you want to leave a comment, I’d love to hear one thing about your kids that made you proud this week.

Thanks for making your way to The Warming House this week. Hope you come back again. As always, I’ll leave the light on for you!

Because families (and our sons) are worth fighting for . . .


If you know someone who might be interested in this post, just click one of the buttons below to share it. If you haven’t subscribed to this blog yet, would you consider doing that today? I would love for you to make yourself at home here as part of The Warming House “family.” If you choose to subscribe, I’ll send you my overview of the Bible, “God Never Lets Go,” – a teaching outline of the entire Bible that you can use with your children, in your church, or anywhere else it’s useful.


  1. […] Single Moms – Giving Your Sons a Definition of Manhood […]

  2. Carey says:

    The “rejecting passivity” part is one it seems I took a while to learn myself. My wife often called it “floating” in the early days of our marriage. Even now I’m learning that if things are to be, they are up to me (within the sovereign God’s plan, of course). I’m a slow learner… realizing that dreams I have are up to me to accomplish – for myself, my business, my family, my relationship with my wife. I look forward to reading your next post!

  3. […] Single Moms – Giving Your Sons a Definition of Manhood […]

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