Why be encouraging as a man? Because… it is a responsibility as a man, and as a leader, and is a power that can transform a persons life.
It is the first of my Three E’s of Manhood.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” ~ Joshua 1:9
But what if we do not know The Lords command?
On the journey of The Emerging Man I can attest to the fact that most of the men I have run into are not the encouraging type. They are of the Old Guard mentality believing that toughness… breeds toughness… and not fear. The Old Guard believe that to show positive emotion, or to admit to, or to address the fact that we are fearful of a thing… is to show weakness.
The fact that they are unwilling to notice about themselves, and who ever they are teaching i.e. sons, daughters, ball players etc is the fact that they are responding to the world as a cornered animal would, reacting big, and loud, and scary… out of fear.
They may have never seen, or been apart of, true encouragement… and it’s powerful affect on a persons personal courage, confidence, and mental fortitude.
Encourage – early 15c., from Old French encoragier “make strong, hearten,” from en- “make, put in” (see en- (1)) + corage “courage, heart” (see courage) ~ Online Etymology Dictionary
To make strong or hearten. To put in courage. That is the job of a truly mature man. No matter your position, age, or walk of life.
To encourage someone can be as simple as acknowledging a stranger on the street with a smile, and a “Hello.” Or it can be very in depth, as when you are raising children, and you are helping your son understand a fear he has… and you encourage him, show him, teach him, and strengthen him to overcome that fear.
I believe men, especially dads, miss out on the most powerful tool they have at their disposal when they do not have an encouraging outlook with those in their circle of influence… and that is – they are being looked up to.
You might be saying to yourself, “Dave, I’m not agreeing with this. I’m not gonna stand there and say, ‘Come on little Johnny, don’t be afraid, hit the ball for daddy, you can do it. Don’t be scared now,’ that’s just crap.”
I never said, or would ever do, that.
What I’m saying is, “Have you invested the time with the person to help them understand the situation?” “Are you an encouraging adult male helping someone?”
Like that youngster learning how to hit a baseball.
Don’t lie. Don’t exaggerate. When asked. Tell them, “Yes, getting hit by the ball will hurt… but only for a minute.”
But… also teach them, “That is your box, that is your plate. Stand your ground, and put a good swing on the ball… just like we practiced.”
It’s the same lesson we need to learn for all of life. If you teach through fear… the fear remains.
It slithers around like a snake. Hiding, quietly undetected. Until, usually at the worse possible moment, it pops out, and runs across your foot, and your fear of it causes you to miss your opportunity. Even though it’s just a little Garter snake.
But you really weren’t ready anyway… were you? You knew the fear was still there, lurking, waiting, it’s a part of you because that is your training. How can you dispel your fear, vanquish it, and conquer it if that is what you are steering with?
When fear is regulated to the stands, to the cheap seats, to be a simple attendee, or casual onlooker, and you operate from an encouraged position, depending instead on your confidence in dealing with situations, because you have a past filled with encouraging accomplishments, instead of from a fear filled, “What if…” position then you have truly matured as a man, regardless of your age.
Encouraging oneself is hard to do because we don’t believe our self when we say,”You did that particularly well.”
Once we understand encouragement we can then apply it’s lessons through a myriad of methods… but I like a results driven approach. No screaming. Or demonstrative tantrums. Just the tried and true method of, “It’s not right. Do it again. Hips and hands. Swing through the ball… hard!”
Be encouraged today.
What? A little low… here have some of mine.