As I continue this series about the foundations of my God Buddy concept, I want to make a no-cost offer on this topic to the 1st 5 people who accept the challenge. Read through to the end to find out more.
The part of The Quest for Authentic Manhood study that had a great impact on my own personal growth was creating an Authentic Manhood Plan. This has become something that I now feel every man and woman should do as part of managing their life as an adult. Let me tell you more.
As a quick recap, after initially hearing in The Quest study about the problems that result from the vanishing manhood in today’s society and then learning about God’s original design for masculinity and feminity, we received this vision that I can still recite, even many years later:
“An authentic man is one who… Rejects Passivity, Accepts His Responsibility, Leads Courageously, and Expects the Greater Reward of Heaven”.—from Dr. Robert Lewis’ Quest for Authentic Manhood
The essence of authentic manhood is having the responsible, courageous mindset to follow the model of Jesus Christ’s teachings and living a life that is worthy of the reward of Heaven (Matthew 25:23).
Dr. Lewis then explained that to become a godly man, we must first take care of any unfinished business from our past by addressing the 5 most common “wounds” that we all face. His last step is to create a plan for how to live the rest of our life or what Dr. Lewis called an Authentic Manhood Plan.
“When you come to the end of your life and have nothing but death to look forward to, and nothing but memories to look back upon, what will you need to conclude that your life was a success and you’re satisfied?”—Joe Aldrich , author of Life-Style Evangelism and former president of Multnomah School of the Bible
Creating Your Manhood Plan
Creating a Manhood Plan requires some deep reflection and prayers about three main areas of your life:
- A Look Back (into your past)
- A Look at Now (your present self)
- A Look Ahead (at who you want to be)
Each section of Dr. Lewis’ Authentic Manhood Plan included questions and examples that helped guide you through this exercise and its application. Following is an outline of the 3-parts of the Plan with including questions and examples to use for your own prayerful reflection.
1. A Look Back…
A. What personal strengths do I presently have due to positive experiences and good people in my past? How can these strengths and assets aid me in my journey to authentic manhood?
B. What unfinished business undercuts my journey to manhood?
- Which of the manhood wounds presented in these sessions have I not adequately addressed?
- Have I made a decision to move through the pain rather than be crippled by it?
- What keeps me from addressing these wounds?
- Whose help do I need?
- How will I practically address the wounds affecting me from my past? Be specific.
- How will I know when I am finished with this unfinished business? Can I describe “finishing”?
C. What past mistakes do I still need to deal with fully? (i.e. confess and be forgiven for, make a resolution for, accept responsibility for, etc.)
- How am I going to deal with these mistakes?
- What steps do I need to take?
- Whose help do I need? (i.e. friend, pastor, church leader or member, a professional counselor).
D. What questions from my past still need to be answered? Who can help me? Have I made an appointment to seek their help?
Take all the above information and write about the foundation of your manhood. Create specific action steps. Create goals that are specific and measurable to address any lingering gaps.
- EXAMPLE: I will talk to my dad about our relationship and ask him face-to-face whether he loves me or not and whether he is proud of me or not. I will do this by MONTH AND DATE.
- EXAMPLE: I see my Depravity Wound and now know how little I understand about the spiritual life. I will have someone take me through a basic Bible study to build a strong spiritual foundation by MONTH AND DATE.
- EXAMPLE: I will ask forgiveness from the wife and children I left in a divorce and will make whatever restitution necessary by MONTH AND DATE.
2. A Look At Now…
A. How do I evaluate myself in light of the biblical definition of real manhood?
B. According to Scripture, what manhood responsibility do I have at this stage in my life? Make a list.
- Do I accept these responsibilities with conviction?
- Do I have a specific plan for assuming these responsibilities?
- What obstacles are holding me back?
C. Where am I succeeding as a man right now, in regards to my biblical calling as a man?
- Would others agree with me?
- How can I see God blessing/rewarding me for these successes?
D. Where am I struggling or failing as a man right now?
- How, practically, can I reverse this?
- What key steps can I take within the next 30 days to actually start a reversal process?
- Whose help do I need? Have I made an appointment to seek their help?
Take all the above information and write a summary of your current state. Create specific, measurable goals for addressing your present pursuit of real manhood.
- EXAMPLE: By MONTH and DATE I will surprise my wife by taking her on a special weekend getaway to renew our relationship.
- EXAMPLE: I will start a regular Bible reading program using the “One-Year-Bible” on MONTH and DATE.
- EXAMPLE: I will lead our family out of the excessive debt we have using a debt reduction plan and the help of a qualified financial advisor. To begin now
3. A Look Ahead…
A. What goals must I accomplish for me to say I have achieved true manhood by the end of my life?
B. What adjectives would I want my wife to use to describe me over the year of our marriage?
C. What sort of “old man” do I want to be? Describe in detail. How can I avoid having similar regrets to King Solomon described in Ecclesiastes?
“Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.”— Ecclesiastes. 2:11
D. How do I want to be remembered by those who knew me?
E. What specific experiences and memories do I want my children to have with me before they leave home?
Take all the above information and write it out specific, measurable goals for future pursuit of real manhood over a lifetime.
- EXAMPLE: I want to know what my spiritual gifts(s) are and I want to use them in some effective way for the Glory of God.
- EXAMPLE: I want each of my sons and daughters to know what biblical manhood and womanhood is and to have celebrated with them in three ceremonies that leave a lasting impression.
The God Buddy Principle
I found working on my Authentic Manhood Plan helped me understand my past and sharpen my vision for the future. I worked on my Plan over several months and then shared it with Rick, the guy who first invited me to The Quest study. Rick and I then met several times over the next couple of years to discuss our progress. I also shared my Plan with my wife and have refined it a few times over the years and shared it with a couple of my closest God Buddies.
I challenge you to reflect on the questions and begin to draft your own Authentic Manhood Plan. Once you have the initial draft, pair up with a God Buddy and review each other’s plans. This will add some accountability, confidentiality, encouragement, and application so you can become the man that God intended.
My Special Offer
So here is my offer. I am willing to personally help the first 5 guys with their Authentic Manhood Plan. Just reach out to me via phone call, text or this link Contact Me on God Buddies website. I will commit to 2 one-hour phone calls: one to get you started and one to review the sections of your plan.
So reach back to me quickly to be one of the first 5 to accept this free offer. It will not cost you anything but some of your time and a commitment to become a better man.