Posts tagged training young men

6 non-negotiables for training young men (part 2)

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:

Training young men to be men of God2. 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.

6 non-negotiables for training young men (part 1)

1 Corinthians 13:11 tells us, “When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.” Adolescent young men need to be trained to step away from childish things, and learn how to step up and speak like a man, think like a man, and reason like a man. Here is the first of six non-negotiables for training young men:

AngryBoy1. They need help assassinating selfishness and pride.

From the time a boy is born, he is full of himself. As a toddler he needs no training to become a tyrant. He does that naturally. And if allowed, he will morph from an incorrigible and bullheaded boy into a self-absorbed teen and, ultimately, a selfish adult, “Enemy Number One” of true manhood. When a man suffers from arrogance, he isn’t teachable. He can’t admit fault. He refuses correction and won’t be responsible. With himself as the center of his universe, all others must make their orbits around him and his needs. Ultimately he rebuffs almighty God and says, “You do Your thing and I’ll do mine. I am my own god.” A man who is full of himself will never be the man God created him to be. It is only as a man understands who God is and how he relates to God as a man that he can begin the process of becoming a real man. When a young man does understand his relationship with God, it affects all of his relationships. It makes him a giver rather than a taker. He puts the needs of others ahead of his own (Philippians 2:3–4). And he understands that a portion of his mission on earth is to help others know God personally, as he does. Avoid feeding his primal selfishness. Instead charge him with the care and protection of his mother, his siblings, and others. Put limits on the amount of time he spends on the Internet, texting, or playing video games. Instead, put him to work. Hard work. Our sons worked ten to fifteen hours a week when they turned fourteen. Work is a powerful tool in overcoming selfishness. Sweat and calluses are good for a young man. Ultimately you are training your son to assume responsibility and fulfill another nonnegotiable, what Christ called the great commandments: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind,” and “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37, 39). Read Part 2 for non-negotiables 2 & 3 Excerpted with permission from Stepping Up, by Dennis Rainey, FamilyLife Publishing, 2012.

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