What it takes to become a man – by Joe Stallard

One of the things that I am loving about writing this blog is that I am writing about how I’m rediscovering who the Church are and, as I do so, am discovering more and more of the Church every day.

One of those people I have met through the world of blogging is Joe Stallard.

Joe is an incredible guy who has an amazing testimony and has been a great help and encouragement to me – yet I’ve never met him face to face, only through the Internet.

Joe read my post the other day on Self Esteem in young men and was inspired to write a post in response to it. He asked if I would like to use that post on my blog and I gladly accepted, it’s a great follow-up with a different perspective and I’m honored to be able to share it with you. So… Over to Joe:


A follow-up to the questions and issues raised by Peter in his excellent post titled "Rediscovering Young Men."

As you know, the post addressed the issue of self-esteem in young men and their seemingly irrational approach to finding said self-esteem or self-confidence. I’m not going to criticize their methods or motives, rather I just want to say that it’s part of the growing up process for boys.

Work out, get strong, be a man.

Part of what they’re hoping to achieve is to be acknowledged as a man. Strong, tough.
There is one underlying question that plagues every man. It is the question "Do I have what it takes?"

In our contemporary society, we miss this issue by a mile. No, the real answer doesn’t come from hanging out with his buddies or building up his muscles. These are just things that boys do – mostly because our society approves and endorses them.

Regardless of how we may wish that things were different, more and more boys today are growing up in fatherless homes. You know the statistics – and you know that statement is true.

And while that certainly contributes to the problem, most of the homes that do have a father present simply mishandle the whole process of trying to raise a "man."

Somewhere along the way, we lost sight of what it takes to become a man.

Manhood – and by that I mean real manhood – is something that must be bestowed. And only a man can bestow manhood upon another.

Ladies, with all due respect, this is not something that you can do. No, it must be done a man – preferably by the boy’s father.

One of the single most powerful things that a father can do is to let his son know that he has what it takes.

Whenever we, as fathers, consciously affirm this in our sons, a transformation begins to take place.

The boy starts to become a man. Self-esteem and self-confidence begin to show up.
Now for you fathers out there, keep this part in mind – you must do this when the time is right. You can’t bestow manhood on a 10 year old.

Ideally, this is a process that starts when the boy is young and continues until he reaches a level of maturity (usually in the mid to late teens).

If we stop and really consider these things, it helps to explain why there are so many broken men in the world today.

As fathers, we’ve lost sight of this. And then we wonder why our sons don’t turn out the way we hoped.

The good news is, it’s never too late. When we affirm that our sons (yes, even the grown ones) have got what it takes, real changes will begin to happen.

I’ll never forget the unbelievable changes that took place in my own son when I told him, "You’re smart, you’re tough – and I know that you’ve got what it takes."

The transformation that took place was incredible.

Confidence, maturity and a remarkable change in attitude. A new and positive outlook on life. He knew that he no longer had to prove anything.

If you have a son that is grown, or almost grown, take him aside. Let him know that you believe that he has what it takes. And speak a blessing over him.

Above all, never forget the perfect example given to us when those most famous words were spoken:

"This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased."

Thank you, Joe, for sharing your insight and experience in this with us.

If you want to read more by Joe, visit his blog at JoeStallard.com