(Excerpt from Leslie Ludy’s “Authentic Beauty”)
I found it both fascinating and humorous that no sooner did I finish writing my last post when, while browsing through a book I had just borrowed, I came across this. I’ve recently read several of the Ludy’s books, and just can’t get over how good they are. It takes a lot for me to “go crazy” over anything, but wow! I’ve just never read books like these! So just as a side note, if’n you ever come across any of them, take a moment and read it. It’s life changing.
There are four practical things you can do right now to help young men to be true poets.
1. Be tender. A girl being tender to a guy is different from a guy being tender to a girl. Tenderness is giving to someone else what they need the most in the moment they most need it. It’s getting into the skin of someone else, looking at life through the other person’s eyes, and therefore meeeting those needs the way that person needs them met. And, as we all know, being in the skin of a guy is very different from being in the skin of a girl. Guys are motivated and encouraged by very different things than are girls.
Again, the safest and best way to practice tenderness is on your dad and brothers. They way to find out what motivates a guy—and therefore what he might most need—is to study him and determine the two or three things that he enjoys investing his time and energy into. It could be basketball, it could be computers, it could be airplanes, it could be a million other things, but every guy has an interest and a place in which he invests himself.
Then watch him at work. Guys, for some odd reason, love to be cheered on and observed at their craft. If you show excitement for a guy’s area of interest, you will gain a unique avenue into his life. A woman who appreciates a man’s hard-earned skill is a woman a man will listen to. And if you compliment a guy after you observe him excelling at his craft, your words will work to help shape him as a man. Remember, the words of a woman have the power to make a man either a poet or a peon. Please use that power the way God intended it to be used and help us become princes.
2. Be a guy-nudger. To nudge a young man toward becoming a poet, you have to be covertly creative. The secret is in cultivating an atmosphere in which he will feel unpressured and unnagged, yet challenged to grow. Practice thinking of creative atmospheres in which a young man could take steps forward in the direction of becoming a poet.
As I’ve mentioned previously, if you have a brother, this is a great place to start. I know it doesn’t sound very romantic, but brothers are a great training ground and safe to practice on. For instance, invite your brother on a date. Take him to a nice restaurant and gently nudge him toward treating you like a lady. Stop in front of each door, and if he doesn’t open it for you, say, in your most genteel voice, “Aren’t you going to get the door for me?” When you sit down to eat, sweetly ask him to order for you and, if he’s willing, do your best to be excited about his choice. Throughout the night, encourage him as a young man and inspire him as a Warrior Poet. Even allow him to pay for the meal if he is man enough to offer. A great line to throw in somewhere during the night, right after your brother has done something admirable, is, “You are going to make a great husband someday!” If you say it sincerely, he will never forget those words. Just remember, allow the guy to take the step forward. If he feels pushed forward, he probably won’t budge.
If you don’t have a brother, ask God to show you creative ways to nudge your guy friends toward greatness. You may not be able to practice the above suggestions on guy friends without giving them the wrong idea, but there are plenty of safe and healthy ways to nudge guys toward warrior Poet manhood. If you see a friend demonstrating an attribute of Christ, take the time to point out that quality. If he does something gentlemanly, let him know you appreciate it. The more you appreciate his positive attributes, the more he will be inspired to grown in those areas of his life.
3. Be willing to be unappreciated. Plain and simple, when a young man finally takes a step forward in the Warrior Poet direction, never say, “I told you so!” You may have played a huge role in his growth, but if he senses an “I told you so” attitude from you, he will tend to either go backward or close you off from being a part of the process from then on. To protect a man’s dignity, allow him to feel that the step was wholly his. If he desires to give you credit, that’s great. In fact, that would show even further progress in his man-ness. But don’t try to force him to give you the credit. Remember, you are supposed to be an undercover guy-nudger, not a front-and-center guy-shover.
4. Be a defender of masculinity. Just as you need young men to stand up and fight for authentic, God-designed femininity, guys need you to stand up and fight for authentic God-designed masculinity. In a sense, we need you to be female warriors defending the awesome potential of what manhood could and should be. Please don’t punish manhood because of the idiocy of one or even a few. Manhood can be so much more than it is today, but we are spiritually weak and our true nobility has faded. One thing that will have tremendous influence on changing this for young women to put on their armor like a Joan of arc and come crashing into the battle to our defense. Great things are in store for our generation if you catch this vision. Manhood will once again rise from the ashes of compromise and will be something worthy of your highest affections — I believe that dep within my soul.