Who is forming your manhood? What are the dominant male examples in your life teaching you about priorities, sexuality, money, relating to women, and faith?
It’s common for single guys to get a significant amount of their “education” about how they should live as men from their peers and from media such as movies, videogames, TV, YouTube, etc.
Stop and assess what you’re learning from your peers and the culture around you. How are they helping you with the priorities we’ve looked at in this series: toward your calling to marriage or celibate service; toward the milestones of manhood; in your watchfulness against your spiritual enemy?
Godly men are formed in the company of other Godly men. This truth calls you to be discerning about your friends and about what you consume from the culture around you. But it also calls you to be intentional about learning from mentors, Godly men who are further down the road than you are.
In his letters to Timothy and Titus, Paul demonstrates the value of younger men learning from older men. Biblical manhood depends on the formative instruction and example of older men who provide mentoring in three specific categories:
Counsel: It’s been said that life is too short to learn everything through trial and error. Christian men who are further along in life can offer wise counsel about common dead-ends and roadblocks if you’re willing to humble yourself and ask for advice.
Modeling: Too many guys have never seen Biblical manhood lived out “in the wild.” Maybe you missed out on having a dad, an uncle, a coach or pastor provide models for you to follow. Christian mentors can help fill that gap in your life.
Accountability: Finally, mentors can shape you by providing an accountability structure. One of the primary ways guys become men is through making and keeping commitments. Older men can hold you accountable to those commitments.
Unfortunately, the demand for mentoring tends to outpace the supply. You need to be intentional about cultivating a mentoring relationship.
Here are steps you can take now to find and engage mentors:
Join a church/small group: The fifty or so “one another” verses in the New Testament (such as love one another, serve one another, and pray for one another) require regular, committed fellowship with other members of the body of Christ. When you gather with others in the context of a small group you will find natural opportunities for discipleship and mentorship.
Observe: “Be imitators of me as I am of Christ,” Paul told the Corinthians. Watch in your church for men who are seeking to imitate Christ. Learn from their instruction and their example.
Ask: After you’ve observed Godly men for a while, seek them out. Ask them if you can meet them for coffee, a meal, a game, a run or some other opportunity to connect and get some advice. Don’t ask for a long-term mentoring commitment, but instead prepare 2 to 3 specific initial questions to ask and see where it goes from there.
Going Further: To learn about pursuing a mentor relationship, go to THE INTENTIONAL SINGLE MAN page.