My boys are quickly becoming men. Sadly, I have to confess that I haven't always known how to help them to grow up. The culture they are living in certainly hasn't helped.
I desperately want to help my sons to live differently than what the world defines as "normal". I want to set a high bar for them regarding character and purity. I want them to treat women with respect. I want them to learn how to be godly men, not just, as Mark Driscoll calls them, "boys who can shave."
This means that I have to talk to them about a few unpopular truths. The following list of 10 things has served as the outline for my new book, "The Young Man's Guide to Awesomeness: How to Guard Your Heart, Get the Girl and Save the World." It has been designed to help teenage guys like yours start thinking about what matters in their lives. It is also the perfect way to "tee up" these important (but sometimes awkward) conversations in your home.
Here are some of the unpopular truths that your son needs to know:
1. The choices he makes now have the power to set the course of his life.
He can't afford to make the "I'm just a teenager" excuse. He needs to know that his life has already started and that the trajectory of his life is being set right now.
2. Porn is just as addictive as any drug.
Most every man wants to look, but the internet has provided your son's generation with unlimited accessibility. That's why, according the Chap Clark of the Fuller Youth Institute, 60 percent of our teenage guys are now addicted.
3. He probably doesn't need a girlfriend just yet.
Most teen romantic relationships are characterized by selfishness and sexual temptation. If the relationship is not going to help him to be more of what God wants him to be, then he's probably not ready.
4. Sexual activity should be saved for marriage.
He knows the big reasons why his sexuality is precious and worth guarding. (Hint: it has nothing to do with pregnancy or STDs.)
5. Practicing the long-lost art of chivalrous manhood will set him apart.
Most guys in our world are consumers of girls. He needs to learn how to be a young man who guards, protects and honors the women in his life.
6. God's plan for his life might involve doing some difficult things.
Instead of filling his days with video game adventures and entertainment, he needs to discover the calling that God has for his life. It might be hard, but it will be good.
7. Walking with God is the most important thing for him to learn.
Through his life, he will hear plenty of voices telling him what is important. Only One voice truly matters. That's why it's so important for him know God personally.
8. He's going to screw up sometimes, and that's okay. It's what he does next that matters most.
Too many of our young men believe that when they blow it, God is mad at them. They distance themselves further from Him. Your son desperately needs to know that God offers forgiveness and a fresh start. Every time.
9. Life is short and he can't afford to waste his time.
He may not have it all figured out yet (who among us does?), but your son can start getting his life moving in the right direction now.
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