The Complete Roadmap to Better Manhood

This final post of the year briefly recaps the entire series about creating a roadmap to better manhood. Since becoming a mature adult man should be the goal for every male, my goal was to help redefine what it means to be a better man. The introductory posts covered why the world needs better men, what it means to be a mature man, and how to act like a good and proper man. Other posts in the series describe the hard and soft skills every man needs to learn and how to apply those skills to his adult life.

I also hope this series helps you understand why I believe becoming a godly man is the best version of being a man. Whether you agree with me on that point or not, we probably all agree that the world needs better men. We need men with a better understanding of the skills needed to be good men. We need men with better knowledge of how to use their manly skills and unique masculine traits properly for the greater good. The world needs better men who are failing at life and let themselves become invisible. It needs better men who learn to thrive for the benefit of everyone.

Why Do We Need Better Men? 

I opened the series by stating that many guys have gone “off the road ” in how they use their manhood. Today, too many immature males (I hesitate to call them men since they still act like young boys) misuse their masculine traits for sexual abuse, misogyny, racism, and power to gain an advantage.

Others completely avoid their responsibilities at work, to their families, and in their community. Many guys absolve themselves from any results of their behavior and have become passive in how they live. They cover up their confusion about what it means to be a man with addictions to alcohol, drugs, pornography, streaming services, and gaming. They hide behind the mask of loneliness, afraid to show themselves to the world or allow any friends to help them.

This “unmanly” behavior has led to the opinion that any display of masculinity is considered “toxic” and that all men are bad.

Men are Lost

Some believe that men are lost and they need a map out of the wilderness. The reality is that men are failing in life. They are lonely, depressed, anxious, and directionless.

Sociologists worry that men are falling behind in nearly every important measure. Studies show that the state of the mental health of men is worsening. While men are diagnosed with depression at half the rate of women, men die by suicide 3 to 4 times more often. Rapidly changing sexual mores, political madness, and unclear gender expectations have led to confusion about his role as a husband, lover, father, and provider. 

The old map for men needs to be replaced. We need something better that changes how we understand manhood and how the world views men today.

The Old Roadmap Needs Repair

German counselor Alexander Mitserlisch (1908 – 1982) wrote it this way: “Society has torn the soul of the male, and into this tear, the demons have fled—the demons of insecurity, selfishness, and despair. Consequently, men do not know who they are anymore. Rather, they define themselves by what they do, who they know, or by what they own.” 

It’s no wonder guys are confused. They do not know who they are anymore! Nor do they know how to act like a man in today’s society.

Men are bombarded with mixed cultural messages. How can we be strong yet flexible; stoic and emotionally available; and tough but gentle? How do we use our masculinity and have a moral worldview that promotes the greater good? Are they supposed to be hard-charging and dominating men of traditional masculinity? Or do they act like the soft, passive boys called for by the feminist movement and portrayed in many TV shows and movies these days? 

A New Roadmap for Manhood

Essentially, the current road to manhood has become full of cracks and potholes. It’s time to rebuild the road and learn how to use manhood traits for good. One way to build better men is when men help each other become better men. It’s the main theme of my blog: men need deeper, more authentic friendships – what I call GodBuddies.

The key to becoming a mature adult man is learning the proper skills and knowing how they apply to life. It’s maintaining a proper balance of your natural masculine traits that show strength and perseverance, with the soft, more interpersonal skills that show empathy and emotional intelligence. Balance is what makes a better man. It leads to men who know how to act in ways that end hate and abuse. It eliminates the greed that leads to poverty. Balance uses power and influence to build up people, not oppress and take advantage of them. Balanced men create a world filled with peace and love in which everyone thrives. 

Creating a Better Foundation for Manhood

Although we need better men across all societies and belief systems, I firmly believe in God’s plan for humanity and the use of Scripture to guide my life. For that reason, I introduced the series by stating the road to better manhood begins by knowing the Secrets to Becoming a Real (Godly) Man. I then used an acrostic in the post, Start Being a R-E-A-L Man, which states that a “real” man:

  • Rejects Passivity
  • Engages with God (Others*)
  • Accepts Responsibility, and
  • Leads Courageously.

(Note: the asterisk denotes that those who do not believe in a divine creator still need close friendships. I wrote previously that The Highest Type of Friendship is Spiritual, which is a type of friendship that transforms good men into godly men, or what I call GodBudddies, who are men who share a desire to become more like Jesus Christ.)

While these posts are based on a belief in God, there is also wisdom in knowing the secrets to becoming a man, the need for GodBuddies, and what it means to be a “real” man.

The Base Layers of The Road

After the foundation is laid, I believe the road is built by A Man’s Identity. This is when he learns who he is as a man (and Who’s he is as a child of God, which is an important distinction between being a mature man and a godly man.) Other layers include A Man’s Worldview, how he uses his Masculinity Properly, and discovering his Purpose as a Man.

These layers of the road begin the maturity in a young male since he learns to Manage Himself Well. His maturity continues as he uses several disciplines to travel down the road of life:

  • Setting Goals
  • Developing Good Habits
  • Learning to Prioritize
  • Developing Self-Discipline
  • Seeking Feedback
  • Learning from Mistakes, and
  • Being Self-Aware.

These disciplines help him master some hard and soft skills needed in adulthood. suggested that all males need a basic level of competency and awareness of these skills. I also stated he may not master all of them but he needs a support network of mentors and friends who can help him whenever needed.

The Hard Skills of Better Men

In my Summary of Hard Skills of Better Men, I outlined the basic skills males need to learn as adults. These included skills in Money Management; Good Personal Hygiene; Time Management, and Organizing Your Belongings. Other others included the knowledge of Navigation, Transportation, & Travel, and Education & Employment. I concluded the hard skills stating every guy also needs Fun and Adventure to counterbalance the stress of his responsibilities in adult life.

The Soft Skills of Better Men

The Introduction to Soft Skills listed the benefits to everyone when men have strong character traits and interpersonal abilities. I described the needs for Behavior Management, Being a Good Communicator, Controlling Your Emotions, and Self-care. All of these soft skills are critical to Building and Maintaining Healthy Relationships.

The Benefits of Better Manhood Skills

Each of these skills will help males operate well in life. The hard skills help him manage himself and his responsibilities. Soft skills lead to emotional intelligence, effective communication, and stronger relationships. Mastering these skills impacts how well a man interacts with others and shows good leadership at home and work. It helps him recognize the need for personal growth, self-awareness, and gaining a deeper understanding of oneself and others. They help him resolve conflict better and reduce miscommunication. They strengthen his adaptability and resiliency. These skills help him become competent and confident with his manhood.

Proper application of these skills in life shows maturity. It also demonstrates that he knows how to live in a proper balance of his masculine and feminine traits. Balanced men also have more positive mental health levels, see better career advancement, and enjoy more overall success in life. They become positive role models. People admire them and seek their wisdom. Mature men teach younger people how to succeed and how to recover from their failures.

Applying Better Manhood Skills in Life

The concluding section of this series described how to properly apply these hard and soft skills to Domestic Life: Home, Family, and Community, Problem-solving and Decision-Making, and Life Planning and Goal-Setting. I showed that as a man matures, he shows up more consistently across many areas of his life.

A mature man also begins to think beyond himself with an eternal mindset about his Legacy. He is a man of “virtuous masculinity” who lives “above reproach” and has a rock-solid reputation. He learns how to teach the next generation and give back by using his time, talent, and financial resources to serve others.

The main point of this series is that males need a better roadmap to become mature men. The map points him in a direction to become a better man. It shows him the skills he needs in adulthood and how to use his masculinity properly when he encounters potholes, hills, and crossroads. It helps him maintain balance in his life. The map shows him the destination for the journey so that he is admired and respected by others. When he follows this map, he becomes a better man.

Why Become Godly Men?

But there is another level of manhood that I believe turns a good man into an even better man. It’s becoming a man of God. Even if you don’t believe in a higher power or the need for a Savior for a sinful world, you will probably agree that the world needs more good men.

I admit that I have not mastered all of the hard and soft skills mentioned throughout this series. Nor do I want to come across as an expert on manhood. I fail at being a good and godly man too often. But I study the problems men face so I can learn how to become a better man myself. I have had my share of “successful failures” over the years. I know that I am a sinful man with many weaknesses but have learned from other men how to become a better man. I’m far from perfect but continue down the road to becoming the man that God designed me to be. A more godly man.

To that end, I believe we become better men by developing deeper, more authentic, and accountable friendships. We can help each other become better husbands, fathers, and siblings. We will become better workers. volunteers and mentors. Good men become better men when they do life together with a group of great men. Good men become godly men with GodBuddies.

Small GB logo

GodBuddy Focus 

Earlier in this post, I used the terms “Virtuous Masculinity” and living “above reproach” when describing how to act like a man. However, we should not think living in this manner is only associated with men. The Bible is full of examples of brave and virtuous women so this type of life applies to all people. Scripture provides a great map to follow to navigate a culture’s expectations for manhood and how we are to live following God’s commandments.

In his letter to the church at Corinth, the apostle Paul addresses everyone, both men and women, to become saints together (1 Corinthians 1:2). He calls them to “act like men” (1 Corinthians 16:13) which is a call to adult behavior. Paul exhorts them to stop being childish (1 Corinthians 13:11) and to live in control (Titus 2:6). Essentially, Paul wants the immature males to be under control of their behavior and emotions. It’s Paul’s map to maturity and better masculinity.  

As a mature man begins to follow the Son of God, he is heading down the road to becoming the very best version of a man. He simply needs to surround himself with a group of other men, his GodBuddies, who share the same goal of becoming more like Jesus Christ, the perfect guide for manhood.

For discussion:

  • Do you think the quote from Alexander Mitserlisch accurately describes the state of manhood today? Why or why not? 
  • Which of the hard and soft skills resonates most with you? Which is your strength and which needs developing?  
  • How can you apply this roadmap to better manhood in your life? Can someone else help you learn about what it means to be a better man?
  • Do you have any GodBuddies? If not, reach out to some godly men to begin developing deeper, more authentic friendships. 

[Feature Photo by Astrid Schaffner on Unsplash]

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