- Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love. 1 Corinthians 16: 13-14
When does a boy become a man in white American culture? When he gets a driver’s license? When he moves away from his parents? When he can enlist in the military? When he gets his first full-time job? When he turns 21? When he gets married? When he owns his own home?
Who can say? There is no clear point of transition. There is no specific “rite of passage,” no exact moment when a boy becomes a man. Unfortunately, this leads to the insecurity found in many boys. They don’t know when they are men. Again and again they try to prove that they are “grown up.” Often, it means choosing a destructive path – living in a false reality(on a computer or gaming console), driving recklessly, learning to smoke, getting drunk, having sex, etc. Movies are filled with stories of men who refuse to grow up and refuse to take responsibility in relationships. Men, many obsessed with sex and unable to control their bodies, treat women as toys to be discarded when things get complicated. Through all the conflicting signals, boys must decipher what it means to be a man, and it is tough to figure out.
For boys to become men, they need to be guided through advice, habit, instruction, example and correction. Each generation of men and women have an obligation to teach the young, to equip them for life’s struggles. They must be like Paul, who said, “Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1). Paul sets the bar high, as does Scripture on the whole. It’s not about perfection; part of being a God-honoring man is admitting failure and asking for forgiveness.
There can be no manhood without God. Wisdom comes from knowing God and submitting to His will. Teach a boy to abide in Christ and there He will flourish.
— Proverbs 1: 1-7
The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel:
To know wisdom and instruction,
to understand words of insight,
to receive instruction in wise dealing,
in righteousness, justice, and equity;
to give prudence to the simple,
knowledge and discretion to the youth—
Let the wise hear and increase in learning,
and the one who understands obtain guidance,
to understand a proverb and a saying,
the words of the wise and their riddles.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and instruction.