[LETTERS TO JOSH] What Does It Mean to Be a Real Man?

Dear Josh,

Tomorrow you turn 7 years old and I have been racking my brain about how to tie this birthday into a bigger picture manhood plan for you. I have been re-reading a book by Robert Lewis called Raising a Modern-Day Knight. He subtitles it “A Father’s Role In Guiding His Son To Authentic Manhood.” It is a great read and very thought provoking. He suggests making a big deal of some key dates on your calendar.

1. Your 13th birthday– in your teenage years you will go through a lot of changes as you start the transition from being a boy to becoming a man (we will talk about this a lot later)

2. Your graduation from high school– when you graduate you will experience more freedom than you have ever had and you will start to move from the authority of our home to launching out on your own

3. Your graduation from college – when you graduate from college (or trade school or whatever training process to prepare you for your career) you will have a big transition as a man who must face the world and begin providing for himself

4. Your marriage day– someday you will assume responsibility for a wife and a family of you own (Lord willing). And you will be King of your castle.

I want to add your 7th Birthday to that mix of special days. You are moving from childhood to boyhood. The next few years are filled with so many activities that are golden opportunities and are great years to begin to form some great habits that will lead you to being ready for the next manhood stages. You are a first grader now and it is time to take more responsibilities. But I am trying to figure out what your expectations should be over the next few years.

I really like Lewis’s definition of manhood

A real man:
Rejects Passivity
Accepts Responsibility
Leads Courageously
Expects a Greater Reward

I know you want to be the King sometimes, but for now you will have be content to be a prince in my castle. I hope your time at home will prepare you to be the man you were created to be. My goal is to give you everything I can to help you navigate these next few years. It is my prayer that these letters will be a reminder of principles to guide your way and maybe you can even pass these on to your children some day. Pretty good stuff, huh? We will start filling in the blanks over the next few years. I would like to start taking your to breakfast about once a week where we can talk through what it means to be a man. I am looking forward to our man breakfast.



Letters to Josh is a series of letters written from a dad to his son Josh trying to capture some of the important life lessons he wanted to pass on. These letters are a bit random in nature but each is written to address a key issue in the development of a young man. These letters are written from a very imperfect father whose love knows no bounds for his son. These letters are shared with you (the reader) only because we hope that the things we are learning and thinking through will help you and your sons.

Article Image by: Meghan Anderson-Colangelo, SXC Article originally published at: ReadyAimLife.com

1 thought on “[LETTERS TO JOSH] What Does It Mean to Be a Real Man?

Leave a Reply