Are you a model?

I borrowed this from a devotional I just finished (appropriate credit below). I have talked with Brenden Kurtz about our shared desire for a community center and a big part of that would be the mentoring of boys/young men by older guys. Our current generation of 20-somethings and younger … for the most part … are missing a lot if critical skills physically, socially and otherwise. Who are you mentoring today?

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I’ve always wanted to be a male model. No, not the dude strutting the runway kinda model. A male model, for others to follow. Problem was, I had no idea how to become that kind of man. I needed help.

Growing up, I didn’t have the benefit of a strong example in my father, but fortunately many other men modeled for me what it looks like to be a man. They were male models. I hope I’m doing the same for other young guys.

To this day, the very thought of these men make me smile. My grandfather, my uncles, and a few others stepped up when I could have easily spun out of control. They modeled wisdom over foolishness, perseverance in the face of pain, and just how to get things done. I have honored each of these men on several occasions, and I will continue to do so as long as I have breath and opportunity. But one male model looming large in my mind today is Randy, my father-in-law.

After college I moved in with a good friend, Josh. He told stories about his trips home and doing stuff with his dad. Typically as men we try to one up each others’ stories. I could never top Josh because I never shared his experiences. He always talked about working on some engine or repairing some kind of equipment with his dad. Growing up, I remember my grandfather and uncles working on cars, but they never invited me under the hood. I think every boy longs to bond with his dad while repairing something mechanical. Josh’s experiences were mesmerizing to me. In a sense, I was jealous.

A few years later I fell in love with Josh’s sister. His stories with his dad, Randy, became my own. We laugh about how Randy would ask me to hand him some three quarter 1/8 inch something or other and I fumbled through his toolbox looking for the right bit, lugnut, or ratchet. Over the years I’ve spent many moments under the hood with Randy. While repairing brake pads, or hoses, or tuning up my clunkers, he’d share his stories.

As Christians, we are adopted kids. God invites us into his garage with his own sons – men like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Paul, and Peter. And while he tuning up our hearts, he shares stories of grace. Before God, we had no stories of time with a Heavenly Father. But now, we sit at the same table with his family and shares the same gifts of grace he’s given to his children for years.

Who are you inviting under the hood? Maybe you’re not the most mechanical of guys, I’m not, but you and I have stories to share with other men. You can model to your kids and other men what it looks like to be a man, and an uncommon one at that.

Dee Lanier

Head Coach, UNCOMMEN

For more on being an UNCOMMEN role model, check out http://www.uncommen.org.

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