At the Life Teen Leadership Conference, a young man stood up and shared a short testimony about learning to share his faith with his male friends. This sparked a conversation about what one young man standing up to declare his faith can do for other young men - how when one young man in high school or college or the workplace is public about his faith, it gives the young men around him the courage to do the same.
The truth of what it means to be a good man is collapsing in the modern world. I am blessed to partake in teaching young men and to watch my friends work with young men and strive to reverse the ways our culture is shaping them. Together, we are helping them believe in what they are called to, the truth what they were made for...
Real men stand for virtue and real men declare their faith.
I went to a wedding recently, and arrived early to rehearse music. I entered the church and there were two rows of young men sitting, and I heard the groom's voice loudly and clearly.
He was leading his groomsmen in the rosary before his wedding Mass.
And it was, in one moment, very symbolic of the picture of what every man could be - a man who knows who his life belongs to...a man who stands for something and leads his friends and the woman God placed in his life to good things...a man who does not cave to the ways of the world but triumphantly lives for something more than the flimsy "manhood" the world wants him to settle for...a man who is not afraid to be vocal about what he knows is truth - loudly and clearly enough that everyone in proximity can hear it.
It takes one young man to decide to be a leader, to live a life that is different and a life that stands out to make a difference in those around him. I have seen young men decide to take up this challenge with my very own eyes, and I have watched the ripple effect they create by their bravery. Perhaps one man's example does not encourage one of his friends to share his faith; maybe his example gives another young man the open door to ask about the mere existence of God, questions that he has always desired to ask someone. It is a simple formula...courage in one sparks courage in others.
I know that it is immeasurably challenging to be a man who strives for holiness, who is committed to something or someone or anything at all. Those are the very men our world greatly needs. We need holy men. We need steadfast men. We need courageous men. I am grateful to know so many unbelievable men like Stephen, willing to lead by their example and say...
I am not afraid to be a leader. I will not cower at the idea of commitment. I am not fearful of standing for truth. I have the courage to do what Christ calls me to do, and I will do it without hesitation.
May God continue to raise up good men, and may we, as women, support and encourage them every step of the way in their journey.