I left home at 17 thinking I was equipped to rule the world. It was confidence born of ignorance. I was abjectly out of my depth, but I had a good start. My Dad, like my maternal Grandfather, was a strong man. Unlike my Grandfather, my Father has a relationship with the Lord. For 17 years Dad taught me all about being a godly man. It was mostly by example and without many words. I got a better start than most, but it still wasn’t enough for me to know how to live as a believer and a man. That came later.
Growing up brings wave after wave of people vying to influence our thinking. Without belaboring modern families, we can agree that parents have great competition in rearing their children. This is especially true with boys. Every decade seems to bring new ideals concerning masculinity. Society continually reinvents the real man. From the Marlboro Man to the Metro sexual the ideas flow and ebb, but they always bring the pressure to meet the current standard.
Society says this. The pastor says that. The girlfriend quotes Cosmo. Dad never really talks. Mom just complains about Dad. The Coach is wearing me out. John Mayer sure is cool. The influencers are everywhere. A man can live his whole life never seeming to meet the standard.
I did have a good example. My Father modeled integrity, work ethic, honesty, and rock solid reliability. He showed me how to respect and value women in a world that does not. Above all he loved God. Yet, as a young man I listened to the other influencers too. At age 40 I looked back on a life full of accomplishment and adventure. I had done pretty well in achieving and projecting success but I did not feel successful. There was no satisfaction. I felt empty, unfulfilled. Does any of this resonate with you?
Let me tell you about where I am now in my 50s. I own the same accomplishments and many more, but they hold little value. The opinions of people carry little weight. Like a friend of mine likes to say, “Your opinion of me is none of my business.” I care only for the perspective of my Father God. He has given me my true identity. That truth has drilled down to bedrock. My soul is anchored in a supernatural confidence that was created from His words to my heart.
Relationship with Father God allows me to live in authentic masculinity. It is where every son should live. In the next blog, I’ll tell you what it looks like to seek out your Father God and let Him speak healing into your life.
Written by Jeff Dean