The previous post discussed the first of 6 non-negotiables for training young men so they might grow into mature, godly men: They need help assassinating selfishness and pride.
Today’s post focuses on the next two non-negotiables:
2. Young men need to learn and apply fundamental convictions and character qualities to real-life issues.
What are the fundamental values and truths of your life—the lessons you want to pass on? I developed a list of more than fifty items. Here are a few:
- To know how to love, forgive, and ask for forgiveness. Too many young men know how to make a living but don’t know how to resolve a conflict.
- To demonstrate common courtesies and communicate honor and respect to others, especially women.
- To know how to turn away from temptations that men face, such as lust, greed, idolatry, stealing, cheating, and lying.
- To know how to handle success and failure — some of the best lessons I taught my sons were from my failures as a father and a man.
- To know how to lead others in the valley when facing tragedy and suffering. I wanted my sons to know that courage is ultimately built on convictions. And convictions are developed as they learn the truth about God and life, and about who they are as men. Convictions and courageous actions occur when life and truth collide. I’ll never forget celebrating a courageous choice to withstand peer pressure that our son Samuel made in college. We cheered him on.
3. They need a relationship with their dad.
A dad’s relationship with his son is the bridge over which truckloads of truth, wisdom, training, and character lessons are driven. If the bridge doesn’t exist, or if it washes out, a boy is dangerously isolated. Dads must keep that bridge in place so the supply lines can flow during the battle. The natural tendency of teenage boys is to push their parents out while inviting peers in. To counter this, dads can map out what their sons like to do and develop common interests so they can enjoy one another and experience life together.
Relationships are built as we are transparent and authentic with our sons. Share your failures and struggles, as well as your successes with your son.
What questions do you have? Or what successes have you had with your teen or in mentoring a young man toward maturity?
Read the next post for training young men in non-negotiables 4-6
Adapted by permission from Stepping Up, by Dennis Rainey, FamilyLife Publishers, 2012.