Vol. 4 Issue 02 | January 12, 2018
Three Things This Week
1. Redefining College Manhood
What it is: Male university students enroll less, misbehave more, and graduate at a slower pace than their female counterparts due in large part to distorted cultural notions of masculinity.
Why it's a start: Male students at Stony Brook University admitted that living up to the “common college-age expectations of masculinity” (binge drinking, promiscuous sexual encounters, frat culture) were harmful. In addition, when guys run into academic problems “it’s really hard for them to be vulnerable. It runs counter to the narrative of ‘be a man, be tough.’” But instead of attacking masculinity, let’s redeem it. Ask your son what “being a man” means and then see if those same virtues are expressed in the life of Jesus who used his strength not to destroy but to restore and his courage not to conquer but for sacrifice. Here are 25 virtues found in the ‘best of men”. Also, check out the “Man Maker Project” to learn how to foster Christ-like masculinity in your home.
What it is: “Sure, you’re a ‘friend’, but are you a true Friendo?”
Why it's not quite so innocent: This new social media quiz app allows users to ask questions about themselves, send them to their friends, and “see how well they know you.” Though the app is trending with younger teens, there are several “NSFW” categories of questions users can unlock like “MSFK” (short for marry, sex, friend, kill) or “in bed, I am…” It’s easy to see how teens can start with innocent questions, and quickly spiral into dangerous territory. Unlike TBH, the app isn’t anonymous and is rated 17+. Read this parental review and ask your teen if they use the app and if they have unlocked, or been asked any of the adult category questions.
3. A Voice Becoming
What it is: Moms, what if there was a framework for creating rites of passage for our daughters that draw them into deeper, purposeful, life-changing faith in Christ as they become women? As of this month, there is!
Why it's helpful: Adulthood often just sneaks up on us. Our kids hit their 18th birthdays, and surprise! Now they’re ready for the adult world!? It shouldn’t be that way. A Voice Becoming: A Yearlong Mother-Daughter Journey into Passionate, Purposed Living by Beth Bruno seeks to change that, helping mothers who want to usher their daughters into womanhood but know they need more than tips, techniques, and programs. The book is for moms who desire to help their daughters know the story of God and the global sisterhood of women they are joining.
Dr. King’s Nonviolent Dream
Monday is MLK Day in the United States, a national holiday set aside to remember the most important civil rights leader in the modern era. Known for his famous boycotts, marches, and inspirational speeches, Dr. King courageously mobilized a nation to address racism and segregation. For him, the question “how is the struggle against the forces of injustice to be waged?” was answered through nonviolent resistance. In the 1960’s as well as today, the real task is figuring out how to overcome injustice without resorting to injustice. But practically what does that look like? How do we help our kids confront the cyberbully, withstand peer pressure, or protect themselves from an abusive/sexualized relationship without becoming the evil they oppose?
In his book The Stride Toward Freedom, Dr. King lays out the six principles for resisting evil nonviolently.
- Nonviolence is resistance not passivity: It is the courageous, active confrontation of evil by the power of love.
- Nonviolence seeks an end to hostilities by winning a friend: The end result should be redemption and reconciliation.
- Nonviolence attacks injustice not people: It recognizes that evil doers are also victims and not evil themselves.
- Nonviolence chooses love instead of hate: It avoids both physical and internal violence.
- Nonviolence believes suffering is redemptive and transformative: Like Christ on the cross, it takes on suffering without retaliation. It is the willingness to take on suffering in order to right wrongs.
- Nonviolence believes the universe is on the side of justice: God is the God of justice and the sacrificial cross of Christ has already defeated evil.
Active peacemaking is not the absence of conflict, but rather the practice of confronting evil by forcing it out into the open in the hope that one’s adversary will repent. From this perspective, peacemaking is no longer passive, but active. Ask your son or daughter if they have any enemies, and why? Have they mustered the courage needed to face them, and if so, how? What would it look like to apply Dr. King’s principals to that relationship? Because if we’re honest, retribution is easier than reconciliation. Christ’s command to love our enemies isn’t simple, but it is a liberating action for both the oppressed and oppressor.
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