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January 13, 2023

Ep. 63 | Raising Good Men In a Toxic World

How do we raise men in a world that is targeting our boys and seeking to make them feel bad because they don’t act like girls? In this episode Nathan, shares sources of wisdom and some of his strategies and practices for helping train boys early to…
Life on Target
Life on Target
Ep. 63 | Raising Good Men In a Toxic World
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How do we raise men in a world that is targeting our boys and seeking to make them feel bad because they don’t act like girls? In this episode Nathan, shares sources of wisdom and some of his strategies and practices for helping train boys early to view their calling of manhood as noble and necessary!

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Episode Transcript:

[00:00:00] “A grown man is big enough and strong enough to roll his eyes at the falsehoods about his sex that the world tries to press upon him, but boys are not. Boys are vulnerable. Think of the phrase toxic masculinity. It is an offense against manhood to talk. So you can have bad men as you can have bad women, but manliness is a virtue as is womanliness

[00:00:30] Nor is there anything toxic at all about either the masculine or the feminine, except in as much as bad men or bad women make use of their faculties to hurt other people, to spread lies or to undermine the common good. The word toxic here reveals more than the user of it intends who is toxic. The word suggests something hidden secret, sly.

[00:00:58] Imagine someone [00:01:00] sprinkling a bit of sickening in the soup, not enough to kill, but certainly enough to make the diner sick. That is similar to what is being done to boys in our schools and in entertainment. They are told that there is something wrong with them because they are not like girls.

[00:01:21] They are also told that girls can do all the physical things they can and perhaps do them better. An absurd falsehood telling boys these things is poisonous, and I dare say it is intended to be. So. Those who speak this way want the boys to be weaklings, to despise their own sex, to doubt their natural and healthy inclinations.

[00:01:48] But toxic muscular. When you can’t persuade the men, you go for the little boys combined to the classroom. Enough.”

[00:01:58] No apologies [00:02:00] why civilizations depend on the strength of men by Dr. Anthony Esolen.

[00:02:07] I got an Instagram message from someone this week and he was asking me this question, my oldest child is a son.

[00:02:19] He has three younger sisters and spends much of his time with them and his mother during the week. Given that I work outside the home, I am looking for ways to incorporate more masculine inputs into him to facilitate toughness and resilience. You asked me for my suggestions as a homeschool. I was also the oldest in my family.

[00:02:47] I was homeschooled. I had five younger sisters, and by the time my youngest brother showed up, I was 13 years old. And as I say, the war was already over. [00:03:00] We have five kids and three of them are boys, 14, 10, and six with sisters. Between them, this is really an important subject to talk. Because we need to start working on this as soon as possible with our boys.

[00:03:17] One of the men in our church had a six month old son and was already on the game and arranged to talk with Toby Sumter. I actually published the Zoom call with him in episode 12 of my podcast entitled Straight Talk for Dads. I’m gonna let you guys listen to that whole episode on your own. The link will be in the show notes, but I wanted to run down.

[00:03:40] The eight points he made in that talk Point number one, it is never too early to begin to begin preparing sons for manhood. Number two, always require immediate, complete, and joyful obedience to parental commands. Number three, [00:04:00] talk about the reality of sexual temptation and self-control from early years.

[00:04:07] In language they can understand practice. Male female distinctions from a young age. Talk about marriage and children regularly. Talk about marriage as a good thing, a noble thing, a manly thing. Six. Guard your family’s entertainment choices, movies, books, and music. Seven. All the best teaching in the world isn’t worth anything if you’re not living it out yourself.

[00:04:40] Ouch. Listen to that one men. And then number eight, relating to modeling sexual faithfulness. You must be pure yourself. As I said, the full episode for that episode, episode 12 of a Life On Target podcast is [00:05:00] in the show notes.

[00:05:01] I also had a great talk about fostering physical and mental toughness in kids with Rob Sense. That’s episode 30. Um, but I wanna talk about a couple of my practices for raising boys that embody the particular strengths given to the masculine sex. So, one thing that we did, or one thing that’s been very helpful for me is to be involved in trail life.

[00:05:35] I am an eagle. But am not participating in scouting because they did away with boy and made it scouting. And I know that it is dependent on the troop, how that actually gets walked out. But I am not gonna be a part of a national organization that is trending woke. So we are involved in a local [00:06:00] trail life T troop.

[00:06:00] I’ll put the. In the show notes as well, trail life usa.com/find, hyphen a hyphen troupe. The links in the show notes. The uh, spot map of the United States has hundreds of local churches and even though there is a variety of theological back, , our troop has about, I would say 60 to 80 boys and about 30 to 40 dads showing up.

[00:06:32] And I’ve actually seen some trail life social media stuff that said they started it for boys, but realized that it was also fulfilling a pretty amazing fellowship, uh, need for men. So my boys will laugh at and poke fun at me when we get in the, the car at the end. That I only talked 30 minutes after it was over or whatever, cuz there’s just a lot of good things happening.

[00:06:58] We also, uh, are [00:07:00] making our way through Future Men Weekly. We kind of got out of the weekly practice during the holiday season, but started that back up. And that’s by Doug Wilson. It is impossible to overstate how wise and helpful this book is. It’s filled with scripture. Predominantly Proverbs, but I wanted to read you the chapter titles just a little bit to help maybe sell the book a little bit better.

[00:07:29] Um, the introduction, understanding Future Men Chapter one, the Shape of Masculinity two. A Femininity and Biblical Masculinity. Call, A Call for Fathers A Covenant Home. Doctrinal meat, secret sin, tolerated sin, laziness and hard labor. Money paths and traps. Christian liberty, mom and sisters, church and worship giants, dragons books, schoolwork, [00:08:00] friends fighting sports and competition girls and sex courtship and petrol contempt for the cool.

[00:08:09] And then conclusion fighting idols. It is phenomenal and one of the, uh, chapters is actually entitled as I read, chapter 10, mom and Sisters. And I wanted to read a beginning of that chapter here real quick cuz I think it’s helps frame this whole issue of responsibility and your role as a dad in the household.

[00:08:37] “A father needs to know the state of his flock. Proverbs 27, 20. If we walk in the light as God is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, first John one, seven. And if we are not in fellowship with one another, then at least one person is not in fellowship with God. But while the fact of any strained relationships may be easy [00:09:00] for the husband and father to ascertain the underlying cause of the temptation may be much more difficult for him to identify” and he lays out principles for mom.

[00:09:10] and talks about how they must teach their sons to, with respect and toughness and how to strike that balance, keeping the differences and building toughness, making manners. That’s all in that chapter on mothers and sisters, and that was an interesting one for my sons and I to discuss. Very practic.

[00:09:33] Also in episode 41, I talked with Bill Rapier about 50 minutes into it he talks about what he is doing with his father son ministry. And then I had a couple things I just wanted to throw out, um, that I think are really important. So one, I think it’s really important to help pound into boys at an early age that everything here.[00:10:00]

[00:10:02] And it applies to boys of all ages because if you don’t know this, you’re still a boy that it’s not about you. It’s about something bigger than you. It’s about being part of your family and your community and the church and all of us in service to God. And that oftentimes the thing that you want to do, the thing that’s comfortable, the thing that is the easy thing is very often not the.

[00:10:30] By the fact that it is easy because even leisure, even time of rest requires work and doing it well. The one Instagram guy that talked about this, talked about, working, and having, his son left with mom all day. And I just, I want to challenge. You, out there as fathers, do you really have to go off to the office all the time?

[00:10:55] I know that maybe your current position has you [00:11:00] employed and working in nine to five and gone, but is there a way to start your own business? Is there a way to structure your house so that the business is being done out of your home and we. A talk about this, uh, at our church actually, and it’s pretty funny because my pastor’s wife is the kindergarten teacher and she started talking about, and she said, she just immediately said, what, what you do with your boys doesn’t count.

[00:11:27] Nobody can do it like that. Um, in the sense that I own my own construction business and I’m routinely taking my sons with me, to the job site. And sometimes my wife says they have school, and the way that we do our school is tons of reading. So oftentimes I can say, Can he bring his book? Can he do this?

[00:11:46] And then I know, Hey, you’re supposed to be reading your book. You’re not just standing around. If we’re in the car, dad’s talking to a subcontractor. You can get your reading in. But they’re getting to, to move with me throughout. And my son’s 14. My oldest [00:12:00] son’s 14. I take him probably one, uh, afternoon or day a week.

[00:12:06] Um, and then, I tried to take him actually today and my wife. You take ’em yesterday from, 11 until whenever you can’t have ’em this week. Um, so I think that, uh, them being required to do work, to work with me, uh, as early as possible is also important for helping them understand that they’re serving something bigger than themselves.

[00:12:32] And before we move on to the next point, I fully acknowledge that the majority of you are not gonna have the luxury of starting your own business, but I am asking you to give it some serious thought. To consider how you might be able to structure your professional life out of the home, and don’t just discount it immediately and roll your eyes and be like, all right, Nate, another time, I’m not an entrepreneur.

[00:12:56] I’m doing this, whatever. Okay, that’s fine. Just give it some [00:13:00] honest thought and pray about it and see if there’s a reason. If you’re actually feeling this pull to be more present with your family and you’re seeing these things going on with your son, is it. There is a creative way for you to do it. Is there a way for you to take a risk for you to go after something that ultimately will be good for your family, uh, and make you more dependent on God and allow you to have more control and ultimately be more free?

[00:13:27] Just give us some thought. But if you can’t do that, it’s not, it’s sin, obviously. It’s what I’m doing. It’s not, I’m not trying to call everyone else to do the same thing. The reality is there’s 168 hours in a week. So even if you’re working a lot, um, average American works 33 hours a week or something like that.

[00:13:50] Uh, if you’re working above average, you’re working 50, 60 hours a week, you’re, um, just say 50 hours, sleeping eight hours, taking 24 hours off for the [00:14:00] Sabbath, two hours for hygiene and sleep. Every, I think it’s 32 hours or 38 hours, still left in the. and that means that you need to, if you can’t be at home and work outta your home and have some of the flexibility of that, make sure you are taking advantage of that additional time.

[00:14:17] You’re setting your life up. You have habits in place and you are able to do the most with your family. And I, I even talked with my wife about it this week, so I gotta get back to a weekly Bible study with the girls and the boys, and she said, We need to make sure that we are more consistently executing breakfast and dinners and family worship and reading every night before bed.

[00:14:46] And so that’s where I renewed my focus and reading Chronicles of Nar to them at night, reading Psalms of Proverbs, praying for them, making sure that we’re getting that dinner. Table time together. I am [00:15:00] leading the family in worship. I am reading the word. We are praying together. I’m getting a good book in front of them, and we have logged a couple good 45 minutes to an hour hanging out together as a family and.

[00:15:15] In all transparency, I was a little bit of a jerk tonight when we did that. I yelled at some of the kids, I had the practice repentance and seek their forgiveness. And that’s back to Toby Sumter’s point about all the good teaching in the world is not gonna work if you’re not living it yourself.

[00:15:32] And sometimes living yourself. Practicing repentance, practicing confession to your kids and not being a dagum hypocrite about the way that you behave. And then walking here and talking a podcast and acting like you understand how to be a dad perfectly, because I don’t. I’m learning, I’m growing. These are just some strategies that I am doing and committing and putting habits into place and trusting the Lord and hoping and [00:16:00] praying upon his.

[00:16:02] Foundation and the righteousness of Christ making itself, uh, manifesting itself the seeds that I plant, that the Lord will water it and grow up our children in the faith. So, alright, point number two, we have to teach our boys to love discomfort, uncertainty, and doing the right thing. and taking responsibility, always the chapter and future men on taking responsibility or the part of the chapter about taking responsibility is huge.

[00:16:36] A man takes responsibility. I did it. It was wrong. I’m sorry. And that is something that you have to be all over your sons about. There’s frankly tons of men that don’t do that.

[00:16:51] And the discomfort, um, you know, they say in, uh, like I said in the Princess Bride life is pain highness. Anyone who [00:17:00] says otherwise is selling something. I’ll post a clip of Andrew Huberman, uh, in the show notes talking about how the brain, if you can actually convince. Yourself that the actual process of doing something hard is the reward, then it actually is the best for your brain and dopamine systems, not the reward at the end, uh, but actually believing that during the activity you are getting the reward.

[00:17:30] And I think that that just lines up perfectly with a Christian. Doing the right thing, doing the hard thing. Pushing ourselves is the, is the reward. Living faithfully, following the law. Obedience is the reward. It is life. It is blessing, and we are close to God in that, but also physical pain and discomfort.

[00:17:57] We were working on the fence. Uh, or the [00:18:00] orchard putting fencing around some of the small trees. They didn’t get damaged. And one of my, my youngest son said he couldn’t carry the bucket that had a bunch of the tools in it and he was really whiny about it. And I said, you have to do this. Nobody is helping you.

[00:18:18] You are carrying it the whole way to the orchard. And it, you know, it’s about 500 meters or so away, but it was a bucket with a bunch of metal tools and stuff. It was probably. 12 pounds, something like that. I don’t know. And I would not let him not do it. And I made him do it. And I said, you’re, there’s no way out of this and you’re gonna do it.

[00:18:38] And at the end I said, you did it. You’re amazing. You didn’t think you could do it. You could. You, you have to believe you have to do it. And I pushed them. And that power of belief in realizing that when it’s discomfort and, and actually doing an honest assessment, can they. , is it just them believing, uh, a lie about their own capacity or [00:19:00] wanting it to be easy and making them push through that and those things.

[00:19:03] There’s opportunities for that 10 plus times a day for every kid to, and that is back to knowing the state of your flock and knowing your particular son and daughters weaknesses and honing in on that and when they do. And making sure that they follow through aunt and encouraging them and building them up when they do.

[00:19:27] And then I think the uncertainty of things and facing uncertainty and taking risks. You have to do that, especially as a man. And there’s billions of things happening every second. We know that, uh, in Matthew 6 26 that the Lord. That we look at the birds of the air, neither do they. So nor do they reap, nor they gather into barns and yet their heavenly Father feeds them.

[00:19:52] Are you not more of more value than they, and there’s just a really big problem with even adults [00:20:00] not believing that the heavenly father loves them, not understanding that they are gonna be clothed and have food. And the reality is after. There is nothing else. You don’t have to worry about it. Give me this, uh, day our daily, give us this day our daily bread in the Lord’s Prayer.

[00:20:18] Now understanding that we in America have so much and you can take risk in business, and that’s even at where I’m at with having a conversation with someone today could lose it all. They can’t take my mind, they can’t take my family because we aren’t, our family is not held together by wealth. Our family is not held together by, uh, the comforts of things.

[00:20:43] We’ve actually kind of structured our life where it’s a little bit dis uncomfortable in the bus and we’re closeness together and it has nothing to do with money. And so taking, a lot of times the risk and the uncertainty is a financial one. Modeling that for your [00:21:00] children, discussing it with them, how it’s good to, to do the right thing in, in the face of risk and uncertainty.

[00:21:07] Because honestly, there are a lot of. Men out there that are wimps when it comes to uncertainty. They maybe go to church, they maybe read the Bible. They maybe profess Christ with their mouth. But my pastor was saying in his sermon, they’re more admirers of the gospel versus true disciples of Christ and not wanting to go all the way to the cross with their actions.

[00:21:38] and we have to teach our sons to do that. And that goes back to taking responsibility and doing the right thing. And that sometimes brings uncertainty. That sometimes leads to not knowing what the outcome is going to be, but doing it anyway.

[00:21:55] Third, our sons are not required to follow in our footsteps. I think it can be [00:22:00] easy to want our sons to do exactly what we want to do, but the Lord has given them a specific mission and it may not look like what we did growing up I went and did a lot of crazy things in the military.

[00:22:13] I have my own. I am fully open to God, calling my sons to do a variety of work and my main thing with them is to love the Lord, dear God, with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength. And then their neighbor has themselves obviously. But then the next thing is know how to work. Work your butt off.

[00:22:34] Do good work.

[00:22:35] I really liked new St. Andrews had. Video about this a while back, but talking about the pilgrims coming to America and that there were no jobs, there were not jobs to do, but there was work. Plenty of work sore training our sons to see the work. To find the work and to do it. And they obviously modeling that for our sons as well.

[00:22:59] Anyway, [00:23:00] hope that helps. As always, thank you for listening. Engage with me on social media. Let me know some of the strategies maybe that you’re doing, on the post associated with this. And, also I’m working to start getting the email list going here in 2023 and sending out some more fiery content maybe that may not be quite appropriate for the social media waves.

[00:23:22] And starting to, catalog some of the habit building activities I’m doing, give some more practical business advice. So sign up for my email list@spearing.co and as always, have a.