About Boys, Teens and Men

We’ve been watching “Friday Night Lights,” a TV series about a Texas high school’s football team and the player’s lives. I hadn’t expected Jesus to be in the script along with people going to church or high schoolers having that much sex. In another age, the show would have been subtitled, “Hormones on parade!” The show takes on tough subjects with respect and directness. To me, the show’s constant theme is the place, role and responsibility of men. Fathers and how teens become men and how honorable men act.

I re-read my book Caught in the Tail Lights to make sure I am offering a quality product. Several of my relatives and friends are in the grisly process of divorce. I want to suggest they read it and find long-term help for themselves and the kids. There are some words in my book about the damage done to the kids when one of the adults speaks ill of their ex—which is the kid’s parent. A kid will personalize the verbal attack and will take the criticism or ugliness as a personal evaluation. When “love turns to war” obliteration of the ex becomes the primary battle strategy. When a relationship goes sour, the perceived rejection is the worst of all feelings and it sets loose a vicious tendency in the hurting. Retribution or a need to prove the ex is worse than infected pond scum. It is one thing to sit on a bar stool and sing, “She got the gold mine and I got the shaft,” and quite another to say it in the hearing of the children or adult children or attempt to convince the children. Jesus is quite clear about his evaluation of such–Matthew 18:6.

The child listens, observes and concludes the words have implications for themselves in the present and as they grow into adult. They begin to question if the attacking parent will defend them or throw them to the wolves. Children are active listeners and observers and often terrible interpreters. They don’t translate cynicism, sarcasm and hate naturally. They are literalists—the nuances are lost on them.

Stephen Mansfield’s new little book Band of Brothers arrived. Like all of his writing, I underlined a lot of sentences. His line “Manly men tend their fields” comes from 2 Corinthians 10:13:

“…we will confine our boasting to the sphere of service God himself has assigned us….”

Mansfield uses the phrase “sphere of service” and translates it “field.” God has assigned men a field. That field has boundaries. That field contains everything for which God has given responsibility. (Page 35)

“That field is comprised of the people, things, and priorities God has assigned to you. Your job is to know your field, protect your field, and make sure that everything in your field flourishes according to the will of God.” (Building Your Band of Brothers, Stephen Mansfield, 2016 Blackwatch Digital Publishers)

Mansfield says health and healing of wounds come to a man (and/or  woman) who “…using your gifts for the glory of God, own the field you’ve been given and making everything in that field come into its destined state.”

Can you grasp the honor and beauty of “making everything in that field come into its destined state.”

God especially gets ticked when covenants are broken. I thoroughly get it that sometimes divorce is the best idea. There are embedded covenants in that relationship, however, that are not erased by signatures on a divorce decree.

The words about children of divorce are mine since I’m pushing my book on adult children of divorce. Some of my friends are divorcing and the men are alone or start looking for another woman to fill the vacancy. That leads to ill-health. Mansfield says we guys need to be connected to other men. I invite you to invest 15 minutes into your life by listening to Mansfield’s podcast. You can listen to it on your computer without subscribing to his podcast. Link:

http://stephenmansfield.tv/stephens-new-book-men/

Scroll to second page for the podcast.

©2016 D. Dean Benton       Writer—Wonderer

 

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