Every year my two boys and I read Thoughts For Young Men by J.C Ryle. I don’t know of any book that hits young men between they eyes any better than this masterpiece. We have gone through a Men and Boys' Bible study on this book at Trinity. Anytime I can find solid advice for my boys or our young ladies at our Church, I do everything I can to put it in the hands or in front of the eyes of our parents. The last two weeks I have highlighted two great posts from Kate Conner, but in reading these post she had a link from another blogger that gave his advice to young men and I would be cheating you if I didn’t post this. You can read it here or go to his blog, but by all means read it and go through these with the students in your home. Hope it encourages you!
Ten Things I Want to Tell Teenage Boys
First a disclaimer : This post is a complete 100% rip-off of something Brooke’s cousin Kate wrote on her blog a couple of weeks ago and it took off. Here it is : Ten Things I Want to Tell Teenage Girls - It’s brilliant and you should read it and then follow all of Kate’s writings because she is awesome at it.
Her post has blown up and I’ve been seeing people post it on twitter and facebook that I know don’t even know Kate. I love that it’s happening and it inspired me to come up with a list of my own directed toward boys. So thank you Kate for inspiring me.
Now 10 things I want to tell teenage boys (young men)
1. Pull your pants up. No one wants to see your crack hanging out or your underwear. It makes you look like an idiot. No one with any sort of authority will ever take you seriously, it’s hard to run, jump or move. It’s not slimming and it’s not 1990 anymore. Do I need more reasons?
2. Look people in the eye/Have a good handshake. These two things will tell me a lot about a young man. It will tell me if they are confident, driven and respectful. If I was hiring more team members and someone came in didn’t have a good handshake and didn’t look me in the eye while I was talking to them I wouldn’t hire them. They could be super qualified for the position but without those two things I’m not interested.
3. Open the car door for your girlfriend/fiance/wife. When Brooke and I started dating about four years ago I decided that I was going to open the door for her every time we got in the car and I still do to this day. As men we need to make sure that our lady knows she matters to us and that she is important and there is no better way to continue to tell her this then opening a door for her. There are times when I will get in the car and Brooke will look at me and say, “You know you’ve been opening the door for me for 4 years...That means so much to me.” It’s easy and it shows respect and kindness. Do it!
(Ladies- If a guy doesn’t open the door for you, tell him he should start.)
4. Not trying isn’t cool. Try hard in school, in sports, at work and at whatever else you do. It is worth it and will pay off.
5. You are not entitled to anything. Life is hard and takes work. No one is going to hand anything to you for free. You haven’t “earned” anything. You need to work and work hard to earn things. Stop acting like the world owes you something, like your teachers, parents and bosses owe you something. They don’t, you have to work for everything.
6. Develop good eating habits. I know this might seem like silly advice and sound very motherly, but you will thank me in 20 years when you can still see and touch your toes. If you are skinny right now and eat whatever you want just know that it won’t last forever. Your metabolism will slow down and weight will just start to hang around your gut. You don’t want a gut. You want to stay thin and fit because you’ll live longer, your wife will be more attracted to you and you’ll be able to actually play with your kids longer. If you can develop those habits now, it will pay off big in the future.
7. Stop swearing. It’s not tough, it’s not cool, it makes you sound unintelligent.
8. Stop looking at Porn : This will ruin your marriage, your life and your ability to enjoy sex. I used to work as an intern for XXXchurch and we would meet young man after young man whose life was ruined by being addicted to porn. It’s not worth it.
9. Have integrity. Stand for truth and always do the right thing. Sometimes it’s a lot harder but it’s always worth it. Leave a legacy that is good.
10. Be a real man. Real men are not the men you see on TV or movies. Real men are kind, compassionate, respectful and honest. They fight for truth and justice. They love their wives whole heartedly and deeply. They care for those who need help. They work hard.
I was not a real young man. I was kind a punk kid coming out of high school and through most of college. I didn’t do half those things on that list. I made bad choices that I regretted. I don’t look at them as learning experience, I look at them as mistakes and if I could go back and change them I would. Don’t live with the idea that “you only live once” or “you have to do something to learn from it.” That type of living is idiotic and full of shame and regret. Instead, live honestly now.