Tag Archives: values

Season of Life

This book, by Jeffrey Marx, was recommended to me by a man who is highly involved in coaching youth football.  I know next to nothing about football, so I wasn’t sure I would like it.  I was hooked in the first three chapters.  Here is an excerpt from chapter three.

“What is our job as coaches?” he asked.  “To love us,” the boys yelled back in unison.  “What is your job?” Joe shot back.  “To love each other,” the boys responded.  The words were spoken with the familiarity of a mantra, the commitment of an oath, the enthusiasm of a pep rally.  This was football?

The coach, Joe Ehrmann, was a former professional football player.  His devotion to these high school players is not focused on football skills or winning but in helping them become exemplary young men.  His code revolves around four “strategic masculinity traits” that form what he calls “the moral and ethical foundation” of a man. Joe believes these traits must be intentionally taught to boys.  “It will not just happen on its own.”  The traits are:

  1. accepting responsibility
  2. leading courageously
  3. enacting justice on behalf of others
  4. expecting God’s greater rewards

The author follows the football team through a season, and is able to see the challenges as well as the celebrations.  His meetings with “Coach Joe” changed his life, and I’m sure will continue to reach and change the lives of many others.  “Coach Joe” expands on topics such false masculintiy, relationships of a real man, working for a greater cause, and empathy.  This book is a wealth of good advice and example.  God knows we need good examples.

This book reaches beyond football – to anyone who cares for the future of manhood.  The definition of manhood is changing, and not always toward the good.  Internal character is being replaced with brash talk, attitudes that treat women as objects, and an coveting an image of being powerful, wealthy, or both.

“Good” doesn’t just happen.  Being bad is easy with all the bad role models and idle time.  Being good takes work on the part of many people.  This book moves me to join those who work for the change toward good.

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Making Love

“How often do you think we should make love?” she asked.

His head swirled.  This isn’t what he expected.  He applied to be on this game show because he thought it would be fun to tryout.  He never expected to actually get on the show!  Now here he sits on one side of a curtain, along with two other men.  A girl sits on the other side asking the male trio personal questions.  At the end of the questioning she selects which guy she wants to date.

Her questions were simple, and his honest answers came easily – at least until now.  How could he answer this one?  He believed that sex was an act too intimate for any relationship short of marriage.  But if he gave that answer, on national TV, he would be a laughing stock.  Worse yet, he’d just reinforce the stereotype people carried around for Christians – clueless goodie-goodies.  He needed an answer that carried a message, was honest, and be considered a “good” answer by Christians and mockers alike.  And he needed it now!  “Bachelor number three, what is your answer?” asked the host.

“Well, first I need to make clear that I don’t think making love is the same thing as sex.  Sex can strengthen love, for sure.  It can also imitate love and, unfortunately, replace love.  But I don’t think it makes love.  I think love is made by caring more for another person than for yourself.  You make love by going to a show when you want to go sit at home and watch TV.  It’s waiting without complaint when someone is late.  It could even mean listening to someone talk instead of watching the big game.  So to answer your question as you asked it, I want to make love every minute we are together – and apart.  I never want to have a moment in our friendship when we weren’t making love.  And as to the sex question, I think that’s something you and I can discuss in private.”

It was dead silent for a second then the audience erupted in applause.  One woman in the crowd yelled, “If she doesn’t pick you, I will!”  The two guys beside him just glared.  For the first time in anyone’s memory, the host was speechless.  And across the curtain, unknown to him, the young girl dapped at a tear in her eye.  God had given him the right answer – and not just for this show.

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