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What is a man?
Welcome to today’s video. And you might see an interesting title on today’s video. It’s kind of a simple question; What is a Man? Simple question, right? In our training, we’re not only going to teach and train on finances. We are going to focus on family, we’re going to focus on faith. And a question I’ve been going through recently with raising three sons that I have is what is a man? And the reason I’ve been encountering it even more is that I just had my first son turn 13, Joshua. So, in parenting there are different stages of kids. There’s about the 0 to 5 range where you’re kind of just bringing discipline and order. Rules and training your child. Then you have about from 6 to 12 where you’re almost coaching a little bit more. Hopefully they’ve got a lot of stuff down and it’s not taking as much work. If you haven’t done as much work in the 0 to 5 range, 6 to 12 is a lot of work, right? Then there’s the 13 and beyond. 13 to 18 is what I would say would probably be the next zone. And that’s more of a coming alongside and coaching and mentoring in a different way. In that you’re allowing your kids to grow into more of who they are, calling out their giftings, calling out what their future is and who you see them as and not letting the world tell them who they are. All that backdrop to tell you I have a 13-year-old as of a couple weeks ago. And one of the questions I looked at is “What is a man?” This is a pivotal age, I think, when you hit your teens. I’m looking back on my teen years and I didn’t have any definition. In fact, up until I actually did what I’m about to walk you through, I didn’t really have a definition of what a man is. In our culture, today men are usually very emasculated. If you watch TV and movies usually they’re pretty feminine. Or it’s the other extreme. They’re like some people I’ve seen on the internet where they’re in your face. Swearing, cussing and just like scare the crap out of you. So, there are two extremes to “What is a man.” Really, I think the answer is more in the middle, right? It’s not this wimpy guy, and it’s not this super Rambo-type guy. So with my son turning 13 I wanted to do something special for him. You see I’ve got a sword today. I’ve got a sword I’m going to talk about. And this is part of the process. Part of a warrior mindset. Part of becoming a man and starting to install that into my son. This is actually not the exact sword, but I gave him a sword just like this for his 13th birthday. I did a ceremony for him, and I’m going to go through what I did. But it was to. . . We had just returned from a trip from England, actually. We saw the system over there. How you become a Knight. There’s Pages, there’s Squires, and eventually you become a knight. Well, Pages is up to I think about 8 years old. 8 years old to about 21, I might have that age wrong, you become a Squire. Sorry. At 8 you become a Page. Till about 12 or 13. . . forget the ages! It’s somewhere like that. From 13 to 21. . . you become a Knight at 21. But the first part you serve the Queen, you serve the Castle. The next part when you’re a Squire, you serve the Knight. You learn how to fight, you learn how to battle. You also learn how to use your mind. All that to say that’s my reason for this. And I’ll get into that in more videos. This video is kind of for an overview of “What is a Man?” I went through a book called “Raising a Modern-Day Knight.” And the author’s name isn’t coming to my head right now. I’ve been through a lot of different books on raising boys and what it is to be a man. What it is to be a father. What does that look like in my life? Because growing up I didn’t have a great example of a father. I never had anybody look into my eyes and call forth destiny, or call forth the good things in my life. What were the good things about me? In fact, I had very little encouragement from male figures growing up at all. I remember I was in the eighth grade and we had a basketball coach scrimmaging. He pulled me aside and started yelling at me in my face. Just like, cussing me out. And all I heard was yelling at me because I was showing off. Because I became really good at basketball. Number one, I didn’t think I was showing off, but all I heard was a compliment in the midst of all of that. He would say “you’re getting so. . .” I won’t use the words he used. . . “good, Usner. You getting so cocky on the floor.” And I remember I think I was running all kinds of laps after that. But the whole time I’m running I’m just thinking “man, am I really getting good?” Like, nobody’s ever told me anything like that. It’s kind of like a different type of encouragement. But someone yelling, spitting in your face I took it as encouragement. At that time in my life I didn’t have any. When I looked at my boys and raising them, it was like “Okay, how can I number one speak life into them?” I won’t get into that in this video, but I do a lot to do that. To call out their destiny. But the main question is “What is a Man?” That’s what this video is about. Because as my son turned 13, he’s hitting a new stage. He’s starting to enter into manhood. So, I wanted to give him a vision. The Bible talks about where there is no vision the people will perish. Proverbs 29:18 I believe. So, for my son the same thing. I need to give him a vision of “What is a Man?” I need to give him something to aspire to. Well, number one, I need to set the example, right? I need to. . . but to set the example, I need to understand what it is myself. So we came up, and this is actually from the book, “Raising a Modern-Day Knight,” and I’ve kind of put my own spin on it based on what I do with my kids. But there’s four main points of what a man is, and we’re going to lay this out. Me, I teach my kids a lot out of the Bible so I use examples there. So, the first thing we talk about what is a real man is someone who rejects passivity. They’re not someone who is passive. You see a lot of people out there who are passive. You see they need to do something right and won’t act for whatever the reason is. Fear, timidity, conditioning, whatever it is. So, that’s the first thing. We look at the Bible; we look at Adam. In fact, this morning I went through Genesis 3 and 4 with my son. We get up once a week as part of this journey walking him through some stuff that will define who he’ll become as a man. So, this morning we actually focused on this one point of rejecting passivity. We looked at Adam in the Garden of Eden; everyone’s heard that story, probably, how they bit from the apple that would reveal good and evil. That they weren’t supposed to bite from. But a lot of people miss in this story that before Eve, who was tempted by the Serpent in that story – the devil – Adam stood right by her the Bible said. Actually, while this happened. He watched his wife, he knew God said “don’t eat of the apple.” He watched his wife take a bite, and then she goes like this and hands it to him. He takes a bite. In that moment, in my mind, all mankind major changed happened. First sin, a lot of things happened and I don’t want to get into that now. The main thing I pointed out to my son was that he was passive in the moment. He didn’t stand up; he didn’t do what he knew he was not to do. So, that’s the first thing; reject passivity. And I’m going to go into this deeper in another video. The second thing is that someone who’s a real man takes responsibility. I’ve got a great story on this; as I’ve been training up Joshua, who’s 13, I have an 11-year-old and an 8-year-old now, Joel and John. And so, I’ve been teaching them this as well. On the way to school we talk about what are the four things that makes you become a man. So, all of my boys are learning this vision now even at a young age. The second thing is someone who takes responsibility. So, my son Joel, who’s 11, did something. I don’t remember exactly what it was, but he didn’t take responsibility for his actions. He gave me an excuse of why his behavior was a certain way. And all I did was I said. . . I think I said “What’s point number two of what a man is?” And he goes, “Takes responsibility.” I was like, “Well, do you want to try that again?” He goes, “Yes, sir, I do.” And he started to take full responsibility for what he could have done differently in the situation. So that’s part of the byproduct of already seeing with my kids that I’m not even directing this at. The third thing is leading courageously. A real man is someone who’s going to lead. It can be in the face of fear, it can be in the face of battle, whatever it is. But they’re courageous. Which is an exciting thing. A lot of images come to mind and you can picture battle scenes. If you’ve watched “Braveheart,” right. . . I’m thinking of a lot of different movies. But when they rush into battlefield yeah, they’re scared. But they lead courageously, right? The best leaders in history are the ones that in the face of trouble, in the face of challenges, said “You know what, I’m going to lead. And I’m just going to go do it. I’m going to attack what’s attacking me.” That’s the third part of being a man. Again, this is Jeff Usner’s definition. It’s what I’m training up my boys in right now, and expanding upon. But the fourth thing is that they know there’s a greater reward. Everything that we do on this planet, it’s not just about them. It’s about the reward that can come through helping others. I believe there’s an eternal reward to this as well. But people have talked about the “Law of Sowing and Reaping” or karma you hear. There’s a greater reward in everything we do. Every action that we take is amplified and creates an effect on those around us. Not just us; one thing I’m learning is that it does generationally as well. So, part of going back to the original question of “What is a man?” The four things, again: a man is somebody who rejects passivity, right? They’re not passive. And I know many times in my life I’ve seen things that I should have stepped up and done something about. But for whatever reason, I stepped back. I think a lot of men deal with that; a lot of people in general. For whatever reason. Not in this video, but we’ll get into that in the future. So, reject passivity. Take responsibility. Take responsibility over your actions. Your life is your responsibility. You need to step in and take responsibility where you’ve made mistakes, acknowledge it and repent. Move forward and find out how you can get better. The third thing is someone who will lead courageously. In the midst of challenge, in the midst of trials, in the midst of everything kind of hitting the fan. . . do you step up? Do you lead courageously? And the fourth thing is expecting a greater reward. I wanted to do an overview video on “What it is to be a Man.” So, if you’d like to add anything to this, comment wherever you might find this video. Please comment on this video; below, beside, wherever you might see this video, on what your definition is of a man. And some of the things you’re using to raise up your kids. I know for me, when I gifted my son with this sword, as we took him through this, I did a special ceremony with him. Spoke life over him, and did it in front of other people who he loved their opinion and respected. And I gave him this. And I know in his life it’s going to make a difference. As my son teared up, even as we walk through this. And just hearing the words come from my mouth into him, things I wish I would have heard. Things I think most men would have wanted to hear. Stuff that makes a difference. So, what is a man? We just went through the four points. So, I would encourage you today, even if you don’t have kids or you’re having kids, to learn this. Even if it’s just for yourself as a man. Start to grasp these four concepts in your life. Start to live them out every day, and make a difference where you’re at. So, thanks a lot for watching this video. Be sure to share it, comment on it, like it. Subscribe, wherever you may find this video. And I’ll see you on the next video!