Recently a friend of mine posted a status on facebook expressing frustration over not knowing what it means to become a man. This got me thinking, and here's where my thoughts took me.
What does it mean to become a man?
"For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter though a man's misery weights heavily upon him. Ecclesiastes 8:6
John Eldridge is one of my favorite authors on masculinity. He's written many books, the majority of which I've read. If I could recommend just one, I'd say Wild at Heart for Men, and Captivating for Women. Today though I won't draw from Eldridge because I'd rather use something I believe everyone who reads this will be familiar with.
Disney's Lion King is a great story and follows the story of Simba, who grows up a prince, ultimately runs away from home and responsibility, later to return to reclaim all that is his. When does Simba become a man/lion and is no longer the cub? It's not during Hakuna Matata in my opinion even though we see Simba age considerably during the musical interlude.
I believe Simba really grows up when he returns with Nala to face responsibility and confronts his father's death.
While I can't put forth an end all definition to what it means to become a man, I do believe it means accepting responsibility for yourself and for others around you. Doing your part to not only provide for your needs but in some way for the needs of others as well, whether physically or spiritually.
In this age though, there's too many examples of putting this off. Young men and women are far too often continuing to live with their family, delaying getting out on their own, and supporting themselves. Yes getting out on one's own may be tougher now than years ago, but we're also trading away the means by which we grow and mature. We become afraid to take risks, to venture into anything unknown, and revert back to our teenage years.
I shudder to think what our world would look like if this trend continues with each up and coming generation. We need to search out examples of Godly men and women, use them as inspiration and become examples ourselves to others.
I'm looking forward to taking more steps in that area myself in the coming year.