By Leo Hellyer
Just as there are four meteorological seasons during the year, there are distinct seasons in a man’s life. There is a great study that would be awesome for each man to participate in, along with other men that they ‘do life’ with. This study is called Stepping Up – A Call To Authentic Manhood.
Dennis Rainey and FamilyLife have developed a study for men, in coordination with a number of well known Christian men, who are leaders worthy of being mentors to the Christian men of America. Some of these men are very well known and others not so much, but should be. Some of the godly men in this study are Tony Dungy, Crawford Loritts, Robert Lewis, Voddie Baucham and Stu Weber.
The DVD study starts off in a very impactful way with a depiction of Medal of Honor recipient Red Erwin and his heroic actions. There are many foundational and inspirational verses that are referenced in this study. One of the first verses included is 1 Corinthians 13:11, which says, “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.”
Going through the seasons of a man’s life is definitely a marathon. There are many ups and downs, twists and turns. There is a very popular sentiment that goes, “The only thing constant in life is change.” This is actually very true. There are a lot of changes that need to take place as we change from Boy, to Adolescent, to Man, to Mentor, and finally to Patriarch.
On this journey through manhood it is easy to be led astray. There are many brick walls, road blocks, and hazards along this adventure of life that we are all on. Some men are stopped at a certain point and stay there. There are many reasons why this happens. Sometimes it is because of something we have done, but many times it is because of something that someone else has done, or said.
If we are to successfully complete our journey, we must somehow find the courage, strength, and desire to Step Up and press on through the challenges that we face.
In the Stepping Up DVD series, Dennis Rainey uses the U.S. Army Old Guard at Arlington National Cemetery as an example for us to visualize manhood. “Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching, show integrity, dignity and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.” — Titus 2:7-8
If we are to progress through each of these seasons of manhood, we cannot leisurely relax and wait for it to happen. We must Take Initiative and respond. We must respond and Engage With Wisdom and Grace. We are in a battle. We are in a battle for our lives and the lives of those we are responsible for.
It is easy to look back at previous seasons of our lives when we were less responsible and had others to lean on. When our foundations, our Patriarchs, are no longer with us and we are becoming Patriarchs to others, all of a sudden reality can become a heavy weight on our shoulders. Sometimes it isn’t fun being the one who is in the lead, evaluating challenges, making decisions, and being the example for others to follow. It is for times like this that we have the Holy Spirit that lives within us. When we call upon Him, He guides our journey and strengthens us, so we can meet the challenges that we face.
One of the questions that Dennis Rainey presents to those who participate in Stepping Up is, “What is the most courageous thing you’ve ever done?” When asked this question, most men have a hard time recalling anything they did that was courageous. Most men haven’t saved other men on the battlefield, or pulled someone from a burning car, or performed CPR on someone who just had a heart attack. We are in spiritual warfare on a daily basis. Men, you are a hero, you are being courageous. When you take the time to read the Bible to your family at home before bed, you are courageous; when others at work are telling inappropriate jokes and you do not laugh, you are courageous; when you are asked to do something to take advantage of someone and you do not go down that path, you are courageous.
A courageous man of God is someone who can come home after a long day at work and relax with his family without regretting anything that he said or did during his time at work. It is time for the Christian men of America to STEP UP and honor God with their lives. We need to be Patriarchs for others to follow.
I thank God that a few of the men involved in Stepping Up became Mentors and Patriarchs in my life. Dennis Rainey, Robert Lewis, Voddie Baucham and Stu Weber have all impacted my life personally. I believe that God brought these men and I together, at the times that He did, because He knows that I needed a lot of guidance from truly courageous men.
As we live out our lives, men, we are not aware of the impact that we may have in others’ lives. Sometimes we do have direct relationship with men who are starting their life journey. Many times we do not know when we are being watched and by whom. God is the Master, and we are the instrument in His hands that He makes beautiful music with.
Leo Hellyer is a non-staff pastor with a local church and has been married to his wife Norma for more than 45 years. The couple volunteered with the Boise FamilyLife Ministry Team for 20 years. They are both employed by Boise Rescue Mission Ministries, Norma at City Light Home for Women & Children and Leo at River of Life Rescue Mission. Leo is also the President and Chief Firearms Instructor with Helping Hands Firearms Training LLC. If you have questions about Real Man’s Toolbox, or need other assistance, Leo may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 208-340-5544.