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How do we become men?

Johnny Leifheit July 23, 2018
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When it comes to the topic of manhood you know it’s important, probably because you know what’s at stake. You know the stats on fatherless homes, or maybe even experienced it first-hand. You know there’s a need for “real men” but find the road to attaining this title yourself rather ambiguous. Culture works overtime (consciously or inadvertently) fostering a hazardous environment and then woes at the shocking results. All the while, the Church echoes from the pulpit what appears to be the same obvious fact… men, that is to say those of virtue, courage, honor, integrity, honesty, meekness, foresight, generosity and character are all but a dying breed.


C. S. Lewis, in his timeless classic, The Abolition of Man, argues a great many things for humanity as it was intended to be. In the process, he critiques its almost systematic disappearance by none other than man itself, or more pointedly, the ill-conceived ideas they embody. Yet, amid a culture so desperate to erase that which distinguishes us from anything outside our species, let alone the genders within, there remains an unrealistic expectation of selfless virtue as an undying characteristic of its people. It would seem society maintains a divided mind, wanting so passionately to dissolve the image we bear, while still retaining the pleasant values that would accompany. Lewis puts it this way, “In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.”


Do you feel that tension? The expectation to function through the guiding forces of righteousness and love without knowing exactly what that means, or who you are? We know good men are few. We hear the world say, “do what you want” and then somehow expect otherwise. We’ve witnessed this formula lead nowhere.


The question remains – how do we become this God-intended proverbial man?


1 Timothy 4:12-15, Philippians 4:8-9, and 3:17, John 15:8-10, Matthew 6:33, and 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 are passages among many of both Testaments, while speaking to different people, that share a common thread; there is an action, a pursuit, or a certain practicing of the faith necessary for growth and bearing fruit which seems to be more than a mere suggestion. Please hear what I am saying, salvation does not come through works. But there absolutely appears to be a grace-driven effort that should be inspired to follow. We were told we bear the image of God, and after centuries of misplacing what that meant, the author inserted His Son into the metanarrative of life to show us the way. In our fallen state, we needed once again to see. And such is often how many of us learn; it’s one thing to hear, it’s another to witness and then practice. Christ showed us the path, even blazing it first himself, and then presents to us the same beautifully simplistic request he did of Peter, “…follow me.” Matthew 4:19


This is precisely what Lewis was referencing in regard to “men without chests”. He uses the analogy of the chest as an example for moral courage; the God-inspired, grace-filled ability to actually follow His Word and example. Much like the muscles of the human body, this reorientation of the heart and its attendant desires needs training to produce results or “fruit” as scripture says. How do we become men? Watch real men, and do as they do. Watch Jesus, and follow in His path.


Gentlemen, this is exactly what TeenPact Venture is all about. We seek to have fun but challenge our limits: to be well-rounded in skill and firm in the faith; to build a sanctuary – a place where you can ask tough questions and pursue with excellence the inspired Word of God; to cultivate an experience where truth meets relationship; to join a brotherhood that’s ready to kneel in the trenches alongside you, and press on toward the image we were called to bear. It’s a chance to really practice living the faith we say we believe – together.






September 30 – October 5, 2018


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About the Author

Johnny Leifheit

Born in New Hampshire and raised in Maine, Johnny is a New Englander through and through. From its classic rugged coastlines, and mountain sides… Read More