NY Times best-selling author, latest, Mansfield’s Book of Manly Men (2013)
Founder of Mansfield Group and Chartwell Literary Group
Pastored in Texas and Nashville; B.A. from Oral Roberts University
M.A. from Abilene Christian University
Ph.D. from Whitefield Theological Seminary
Married, 1 adult son, 1 daughter
Stephen Mansfield: Be Your Most Masculine Self
Stephen Mansfield is a New York Times best-selling author, who is best known for his books on faith, history and contemporary culture. He has released this unique work to explore manly virtues by examining the lives of the manliest men. “My goal in this book is simple,” says Stephen, “I want to identify what a genuine man does – the virtues, habits, the disciplines, the duties, the actions of true manhood – then call men to do it.” And not only do it, Stephen would love for a whole movement to start that would shift the culture. He hopes men will start taking action in their own lives, start groups locally, and in turn build a manly culture. He seeks to counteract “all the truly insulting TV commercials and sitcoms” portraying men today. He includes a list of 50 “Manly Men” quotes to inspire, manly movies to be watched and manly books to be read.
Society says being a real man means driving expensive cars, owning a big house, dominating a woman, and not being bound by anything except the advancement of your own career. According to Stephen a true man is honest, humble, compassionate, responsible, courageous and faithful. He also says masculinity is more than an identity. It’s a discipline – something requiring cultivation. For that one needs the help of many teachers, fathers, and brothers. Stephen highlights thirty such figures. Some are soldiers, some are philosophers, and some inventors, revolutionaries, adventurers, and preachers – and all have something unique to teach us about manliness. Examples of this are: Rudyard Kipling for vision; G. K. Chesterton for humor; George Washington for power; and Nehemiah for conquest.
Stephen's favorite example is Winston Churchill for legacy. Churchill led England through two world wars, a global depression, and the threat of communist subversion. Though he was a national hero, he battled depression all of his life. He endured tragedies with his children and disapproval from English society due to some of his political decisions. The most difficult trial he endured was that his father hated him. Despite his father's disregard for him, Churchill made a choice not to be bitter or resentful. Instead, he decided to see himself as an extension of the good in his father's life.
Some of Stephen’s other favorites are: Abraham Lincoln for suffering – he went through depression; Witold Pilecki for sacrifice - Polish national hero who voluntarily went to Auschwitz; Booker T. Washington for humility; Theodore Roosevelt for wilderness/adventure; and Yabetz (or Jabez) for honor – from the book of Chronicles he was born honorable but with low expectations, despite this he always kept reaching for the best in life.
FOUR MANLY MAXIMS
Stephen says the best thing is that the path to true manhood is very short and simple. It starts when one takes responsibility in his life and lives to the glory of God. As a result this helps to build the culture. This path to manhood is biblical and how Jesus approached it. Males get overwhelmed because the decisions to do something are talked to death. Stephen says most males just want to get things done and say “let’s go.” Any male can start right away.
Stephen has four Manly Maxims to live by, which are:
- Manly Men Do Manly Things - It’s biblical that doing comes first and healing comes later. In Jesus’ examples, doing is emphasized first (i.e. Jesus telling the lame man to rise up and walk). In the Gospel – you’re not going to be good enough; you’re given the grace to do it. God gives the grace to do the right thing, which is good news for men.
- Manly Men Tend Their Fields - Starting can be as simple as a man writing down his “field” and starting there doing the simple tasks. It can be practical things, like cleaning the house, taking your wife to dinner, etc. Ask yourself, “What is your responsibility?” It is within the reach of every man – just pay attention to the needs around you. Men need to defend their zones. If you tell a man what his area is, he will take care of it and do what is necessary.
- Manly Men Build Manly Men - Men need other men. There is a benefit of male friendships. Men need to learn how to be friends with other men again – how to be a “band of brothers.” It is sad how lonely most guys are. Men need the benefit of the company of other men working in their lives. Unfortunately, society hasn’t valued the company of men but the Millennial generation is learning to embrace that again. Wives are not a replacement for good male relationships. For example, in the TV show The Dog Whisperer, if the trainer can’t get through to a dog, he will put the dog in a pack. There, the dog will quickly learn how to behave properly.
- Manly Men Live to the Glory of God –A man cannot fulfill his role in life successfully without doing it to the glory of God. If he fulfills his purpose for God, he does things unselfishly and is content to know he is pleasing Him. Men (all humans) are made by God for His pleasure, and to live in relationship with Him. This relationship with God is the only way a person can be whole, fulfilled, empowered, and effective.
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