It’s crazy how two words embrace so many emotions for a guy. They trigger the fighter while exposing the quitter. Most moms hate it when you say it to their sons, although we are partners in the creation of these other human beings. But all we’re doing as dads is trying our best to get out our sons’ best as well. With balance, and love connected to them, these can be the two most influential words in the developmental process of a young man.
Even if you’re not a fan of that type of tough love, you root for it and cheer for it when you see it.
Chris Paul, an incredible basketball player and a good friend, was in the middle of a serious play off game the other day when his hamstring started to give him trouble. The game was a nail biter that stayed tied most of the game. Chris being one of the leaders of his team — the Clippers — had a serious choice to make. He could submit to the pain, acknowledge his weakness, throw in the towel and put the weight of the game on the other players.
He WAS hurt, and could’ve justifiably given up.
But even the most motherly woman in the world had to stand up and cheer when Chris fought the excruciation of that hamstring to make the last shot as the clock signaled the end of the game. The Clippers won based on his endurance to man up in the midst of the pain.
You don’t just learn how to do that when the clock is ticking and the crowd is watching. You learn that after years and years of coaching and discipline to be strong even in the face of true realities that could give you every reason to walk away.
This Mother’s day weekend, I need the strong Godly men out there to MAN UP. I don’t care how hard marriage and family can be, how monotonous child raising can become, or how both of your bodies [again, BOTH bodies, beer belly!] are changing. You made a promise to the Lord to honor her, those kids, with everything you’ve got. So the clock ticking and your midlife awakening can’t be at the expense of not fighting for your first love. But do you know where that starts? Not when we are men, but when we’re boys.
Ladies, if you are tired of seeing men leave their families, and not fight for the women in their lives, you CANNOT raise sorry boys.
Young men these days are weaker than a lot of the pop songs on radio today: lots of noise but no hook. Nothing that sticks with you. No substance. Mothers, if you pick up, defend, justify, and fight your man every time he tries to put some meat on that boy’s bones, you will hand him over to a young girl someday to marry and the failure of their family will be from seeds you planted in him. And the cycle continues. If he’s going to fight for her, he’s got to learn how to fight for what’s right now. He’s got to learn how to man up.
Being raised by a single older woman myself, I missed a lot of development as a young man. God bless her soul, but she couldn’t give me what Tammy was going to need in her man. That was my father’s job… wherever he was. I had to learn fast to fight. I failed a lot at it at first and had to change coaches from time to time. But I was drawn to winners because I wanted to win at family. God has always challenged men in His Word to “man up.”
When Moses was throwing all of those excuses at God about why he couldn’t go represent God in Egypt, God was like “boy, hush up with all of those excuses! I’m going to go with you, and if anybody got a problem with you, stutter through your words and tell ‘em GOD S-S-SENT ME! MAN UP MOE!”
Walking away is so easy I believe that’s why it’s so wrong. Many men suffer from the disease of passivity. They don’t sweat or strain a lot these days, but cheer for other men that do. They wear jerseys of their heroes on the field and don’t create any for their sons to wear as well. Instead of being like Mike, these kids need to be like their pops. Both the young and old need to be challenged. Don’t let young men disrespect you, even if they’re your own.
Don’t let them talk to their mom any kind of way. You’re a weak father if you do. You don’t want any problems so you remain quiet. But, bro, the problem will show back up on your doorstep someday if you don’t.
Mothers, fathers, and sons… the clock is ticking.. the culture is in overtime and our families are losing.
Will you grab your pain and make excuses? Or will you position yourself so that when God passes you the ball and your family needs you to get back in the game and win, what will you do?
I pray you man up.