Living Above The Influence

As my wife and I were raising our three sons, we frequently encouraged them to “live above the influence.” This meant making good decisions, resisting peer pressure, and avoiding the temptations of risky behaviors. Especially during their teenage years, we prayed often they were making choices about substance and alcohol use, premarital sex, and bullying that could negatively impact them and others. Our hope was they would avoid acting like the immature males we see in society and portrayed in the media today.

All three of our sons are now in their early 30s, gainfully employed, and either married or in a long-term relationship. Whether consciously or not, they have followed the Success Sequence that I wrote about in an earlier post. Not that my wife and I did parenting perfectly, but we do chuckle whenever any of them repeats one of our favorite sayings, “Have fun, be safe, and make good decisions” when we leave on a trip!

Oftentimes, living above the influence means walking alone and making the opposite choice of what society or your friends say is acceptable. Walking alone means making decisions that go counter to the mainstream. It means resisting the temptations when others can not. It means walking away from violence instead of engaging in or encouraging it. Living above the influence means not conforming to the ways of the world but transforming your mind to live above them (Romans 12:1-2). But walking alone also doesn’t mean living in isolation because loneliness is a huge threat to men.

Men, you need deeper, more authentic friends and mentors, especially during adulthood. You need mature men for your big decisions. You need men who have gone down that same road earlier in life and are willing to share their failures. Men who are trusted friends for when you are struggling with a temptation. These are men who will encourage you, support you, and hold you accountable. They are mature and godly men who will help you “Have fun, be safe, and make good decisions!”

Wisdom for Men is my opinion on topics that help men become better. The sources used are not fact-checked but support my theory that men are better with deeper, more authentic friendships. This GodBuddy theory is based on biblical principles but applies to all men, regardless of their beliefs. Better friendships can help solve the crisis of male friendship…and the world needs better men. It needs more men who desire to be more like Jesus, our ultimate role model.

[Feature Image from a Facebook post by RoughCut Men]


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