Monday, January 9, 2012

Real Men Climb Mountains

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, ESV)

The above verse has been this year's theme for my small group of sophomore boys that I've been discipling for the past three years. This past weekend, we took the guys on an adventure up a mountain, both literally and spiritually. Strapping on huge backpacks weighed down with about 40 lbs of water, food, firewood, and camping gear, we hiked the three miles and 2700+ foot elevation climb into the Superstition Mountains to the top of Flatiron. It was an incredibly difficult hike, and many of the guys didn't believe they could make it. Slowly but surely, they scrambled their way up cliffs and ridges until they reached the summit, where we camped overnight. It was breathtaking to see a panoramic view of entire Phoenix valley, especially as the sun set and the city lights looked like reflections of the stars above.

In a devotion from the weekend, one volunteer leader, Nate, shared a paraphrase Donald Miller's definition of a real man from Father Fiction:

"If you are a human being, and you have a penis, then you are a man."

Beyond anatomy, we talked and shared what being a true Godly man was, and shared our expectations that these guys were not the boys our culture would believe them to be. They are young men, but they are men nonetheless. This means they are dangerous, powerful, capable of both great good and incredible harm. Likening their masculinity to fire--which may have involved some homemade flamethrowers--we shared about the incredible responsibility they have as men who will lead in our world. Nate asked the guys to finish the sentence of "real men..." and they came up with awesome Biblical answers.

The volunteer leaders on this hike--Nate, Charlie, and Brian--were amazing leaders and Godly examples.  I hardly did anything; Nate practically planned and led the trip himself. These guys embody Godly masculinity and are striving to be more like Jesus, and I'm humbled and blessed to partner in the Gospel with these men.

The list of characteristics the guys came up with:

  • Real men love. 
  • Real men work hard.
  • Real men keep their promises.
  • Real men aren't full of self-pity.
  • Real men aren't passive.
  • Real men are self-controlled.
  • Real men are honest.
  • Real men take responsibility .
  • Real men aren't selfish.
  • Real men serve/are humble.
  • Real men are confident.
  • Real men give freely.
  • Real men are patient.
  • Real men turn away from temptation.
  • Real men are strong minded.
  • Real men renew their minds.
  • Real men sacrifice.
  • Real men lead.
  • Real men stay/are committed.

What would you add to their list? And how are you encouraging the young men in your life?
Nate and Brian peering over the cliff. Made me dizzy watching them.
Charlie at Siphon Draw, with Flatiron in the background (top left)
"Tebowing" at the summit
Our group of men at the start of the hike

1 comment:

  1. So stinking cool. Love this concept... and Arizona is crazy pretty this time of year.