Excerpted from Living That Matters: Honest Conversations for Men of Faith by Steve Thomas and Don Neufeld. Used by permission of Herald Press. All rights reserved.
The beliefs, values, and behaviors we associate with being a man—collectively known as masculinity—vary widely. Sometimes they support us in developing healthy emotions and relationships, and other times they undermine us. Both parents and society influence boys according to which of the expressions of masculinity they throw their weight behind. The resulting messages greatly affect a boy's understanding of what it means to live as a male. Male children and youth then accept these characteristics as their own in different ways and degrees, consciously or unconsciously. Living into these creates further meaning for them.
In the past half century, what it means to be a male in North American society has undergone an overhaul. Old assumptions and beliefs about male dominance and privilege have been directly challenged by women seeking equity and by marginalized people who have exposed injustices perpetrated especially by white male power.
Globalization has also brought considerable change through evolving social and economic trends. This change has blurred once-clear lines about masculine definition and behavior. One outcome for men is what might be called a "loss of job description."
Read the full reflection in Living that Matters: Honest Conversations for Men of Faith, which serves as a men's guide for conversation and reflection and includes 70 topics, for use by individuals or groups. Order Living that matters: Honest Conversations for Men of Faith HERE.