Meet Sarah Harmon
Recently, we shared in this blog about the need for boys to understand their calling as men to serve others with their manhood, and about the conversation that we regularly have with our grammar boys regarding a biblical approach to masculinity.
Middle and high school young men need encouragement, counsel, and instruction in the application of their masculinity in a biblical approach as well. Culture needs godly men, as does the Church, our school, our community, and every family. Yet, confusion abounds concerning biblical masculinity.
Masculine steward-leaders that are others-focused are always in demand. PCS strives to help our boys recognize their calling as men is to serve, honor and protect, and respect ladies, and in doing so, they are being obedient to using their masculine gifts as God intended. Doing so is definitely counter-cultural.
False masculinity is preached (and practiced) everywhere. Most of what culture recognizes as ‘masculine’ is really a distorted and even perverted practice of God-given manliness. We see it daily in politics, sports, political commentary, news and sports talk, pop culture ‘heroes’ and their dress and behavior, music lyrics, reality TV, etc. They each often get it all wrong.
They are often filled with messages that ‘being a man’ is serving your own desires and instincts, to (mis)use strength and dominance to get what you want the way you want, and to use the system to serve one’s self. Using one’s size, strength, power, and influence to get your way isn’t Godly masculinity. It is being a bully. The opposite of love isn’t hate, it is self.
Biblical masculinity is not achieved through power, control, position, or coercion, and it is not a self-seeking mission to satiate passions or desires. In fact, it is unrealistic to offer a 7 year-old boy absolute opportunity to indulge in his every desire, and then expect him as a 17 year-old to exhibit self-control when presented with 17-year old’s version of temptation and the desires that flood his body.
Culture distorts and lies about what true masculinity means. Who is out there telling them differently? At PCS, our men have a unique platform to partner with dads and male leaders from churches in giving leadership and examples as to what constitutes Godly masculinity.
We tell our boys beginning in about the 6th grade that the best way to be a defender and protector of ladies is to put it into practice by honoring and respecting their mother and all of their teachers.
A few years later, this practice is elevated when and if each young boy learns to guard, honor, and protect the most precious possession a girl has--her reputation. Our school culture would radically change if its boys would honor all of the girls by treating each of them as if they were their little sister or someone’s future wife. Sometimes the most courageous thing a boy can do is stand up for a female classmate (in whom he has no romantic interest) that is being talked about in a dishonoring manner. We have seen it happen here, and it is culture-changing and powerful. The true purpose of the power and strength that God has given men and boys is not to use it to satisfy one’s impulse and desires, it is to defend and protect the innocent and powerless and to serve justice in doing so. (See all of Isaiah 61.)
If we want to raise up Godly men that respond to injustice with measured strength, strong resistance, tempered emotion, and definitive action with the motive to defend and protect others, there must be instruction and intentionality in how to be real men by using their Godly gifts of manhood in the way they were intended.
PCS desires to be a strong resource in helping families raise up Godly men and women.
Recently I addressed a group of boys in the grammar school regarding the appropriate use of language, especially in regard to the presence of their girl classmates and lady teachers (and their moms/sisters/grandmothers, etc.). Our talk centered around coarse language- it was made clear that profanity is never appropriate anywhere.
A few thoughts:
Pre-adolescent boys need to understand that God made them the way that they are, and that being different from their girl classmates is a good thing. If you are a boy it is good to BE a boy. (Who would have ever thought that we would need to tell boys and girls that they should relish and appreciate their differences! But we do.) Gender-confusion is partly due, I believe to the confusion that is presented by culture. The over-feminization of culture, and of the Christian Church, often doesn’t recognize these differences. Boys (like their daddies) respond to a challenge, not in wanting to “be nice."
Boys need to be challenged to honor and respect ladies, girl classmates, their teachers, and their moms. In fact, the manner of respect a young man is required to show toward his mother is practice for the regard he will one day show toward his wife.
And boys need to understand that a root beer induced belching contest between boys at an 11 year-old spend-the-night party at a friend’s house IS funny. But it is not a way to impress girls and it is not cute at the Sunday dinner table.
Being a boy is awesome, but, like everything else, what goes with it is responsibility of time and place appropriateness, understanding in how to honor ladies, and that being a defender and protector of them is one of the greatest privileges that our Lord calls us to. It requires a large measure of adult patience and intentional practice.
We exist to partner with families in helping foster these traits. All of Isaiah 61 is geared toward the topic of masculine godliness and I particularly like verse 1 in our call as men to be defenders and protectors.
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from the darkness for the prisoners.” Isaiah 61:1 (NIV)