This past weekend, you may have seen Batman v Superman (despite not-so-stellar reviews, the movie killed it at the box office). I’ve yet to see the film, but I sat down recently with a couple of buddies to discuss another epic battle that will mostly likely never reach the big screen…Boys vs Men.
A few weeks ago, I wrote 10 Differences Between A Boy and A Man. On the Liberation Project with Justin Stumvoll and Blair Reynolds, we discuss a few more. If you like these, be sure to listen to the podcast at the bottom.
In the 90s, we heard from an R&B group called Boys II Men, but the theme of this decade seems to be Boys Forever. You can often hear women complaining they cannot find a man.
Here are a few examples of Boys vs Men. We’ll call them the 8 Standards of Manhood.
1. Men take responsibility over their lives vs boys, who blame others and their circumstances. You’ll often hear them complain about the unfair hand they’ve been dealt in life. Boys make excuses, but men take responsibility. Men own their emotions, their actions, and even their thoughts.
2. Men keep their word vs boys, who keep their options open. Men make decisions and keep their commitments. They have authority because they back up their words with action.
3. Men are servant-hearted vs boys, who are only concerned about themselves, their wants and desires. But, men find their purpose by giving back. It’s also important to note that they serve without an expected return. Their charity comes from the heart, with no strings attached. A boy keeps record, and waits for his chance to demand payment.
4. Men are visionary vs boys who are only concerned about their immediate desires. Men are willing to put in the work. They are ok with delayed gratification. They make decisions based on the future. They do things with purpose. Boys party like there’s no tomorrow.
5. Men are courageous and protective vs boys who are passive. Not only do they not stand up for others, but they often don’t take a stand for themselves. Men face their fears and insecurities, knowing that bold action brings satisfaction.
6. Men are humble vs boys, who are full of pride. Humility doesn’t mean weakness. Instead, it means someone understands their strength but doesn’t feel the need to prove it. Self awareness and self value bring forth humility, and men have a firm grounding within.
7. Men are man-made vs boys, who believe they are self-made. Men are initiated into manhood by a group of men. Boys cannot become men in isolation. They believe they can find their manhood within women, but only men can bestow true manhood. Stephen Manafield wrote,
…you are not fully a man until you are a man among men who respect what it means to be a man—and who know how to summon manhood through honor.
8. Men forgive vs boys, who only seek revenge. A man will get the facts straight and will keep himself from overreacting. But boys are walking time bombs. They take things personally, get into fights, and do whatever it takes to protect their pride and prove themselves. Men are honest, even when they’ve been hurt.
A few weekends ago, I was speaking to a group of junior high and high school guys in Roanoke, VA. Despite the fact many of them were young, no blurred lines existed between their discernment of boys vs men. When I asked what characteristics and actions define men, their answers were spot-on. On a broad level, manhood seems elusive, but ask yourself before you take immediate action…
Is this something a man would do?
If you are interested in embracing your man-ness, this episode of The Liberation Project is a must-listen.