Let me give a preface: You need to know that although these are my beliefs, I didn’t actually invent these conceptualizations. They are out of the Bible. Hope this does not turn you off. Much of Christianity is really just churchianity and is a far cry from the Christianity of the Bible. These phases can be found in the lives of David, Jesus, Joshuah, Moses, as well in the lives of countless historical men. The person who has best capsulized these ideas is John Eldridge who wrote “Wild at Heart” and “The Way of the Wild Heart.” I strongly recommend them to every man, especially fathers of sons. My life has been changed by these books. He is a man’s man who speaks to men about being men and fathers. He speaks Biblical truth without being “church” or preachy.” What he says lines up with the Bible and with psychology. I am no dummy. I have two doctorates. But I have learned from these books things that I would have never learned, otherwise.
Stage Three: In stage three a man has come to the point of validation. He feels that is valued as a man by other significant men and he has reached a level of competence in the skills (fixing, making, operating, exploring, creating) that make us men. We have learned to work and be productive in some endeavor. Now one begins to evaluate one’s role among others. Among those roles is that of PROTECTOR. One prepares oneself to protect self, others, and core values. We come to realize that there are some things worth taking a stand for, fighting for, and perhaps sacrificing oneself for. Certainly any male who is a man would take a stand for and protect his own children, or wife, other children, or important principles or values. Stage Three involves becoming competent as a protector. Taking a stand on what is right. Protecting those we love in whatever way we can (from injustice, from abuse, from cultural vices, from crime, from the coming bird flue pandemic, etc.) Protection is not just physical. It is emotional, it involves character, integrity, initiative. It is a willingness to face the hardships and discomforts of opposing that which threatens the happiness or wellbeing of those we are protecting. But it takes the manly confidence we gained in phases one and two to be able to fulfill this role. It is having the wisdom to know which battles are worth fighting. And I am not just talking about being a pugnacious, combative bully. It is about being a man with enough guts to do what is best for those he loves. It is not about beating up others to prove to yourself or others that you are a man. But we become less passive and more proactive. There are 3 other stages. MXL