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Becoming the Man God Created You to Be

Author Mark Batterson discusses how to disciple men with the virtues of tough love, willpower, clear vision, and moral courage. Read Transcript

Mark Batterson is the first to admit he lacks the critical man


He says he gets lost if he needs to put together anything that

requires more than two steps.

Me, too.

Well when he's had to rough it in nature,

he made sure to even bring an inflatable mattress

to that experience.

But Mark says manhood is more than just a skill set.

It's a role that needs to be played.


NARRATOR: The "New York Times'" bestselling author and pastor

Mark Batterson says men and boys are confused about their roles,

responsibilities, and relationships,

and the very reason God made them men.

We live in a culture that in many ways

has redefined manhood, devalued manhood.

So we settle for something far less

than God originally intended.

NARRATOR: Mark's latest book, "Play the Man,"

tells guys how they can become the man God created them to be,

no matter how they were raised, so they

can teach the next generation about life and love.

Mark Batterson is back with us on "The 700 Club,"

and we welcome you.

It's good to have you back again.

Thank you, Terry.

It's always a joy.

Well you've got this new book, "Play the Man."

What does real manhood look like?

Like How do you define that?


Well I think we have to go back to the beginning

and realize that God did create us male and female.

So it's not just a good idea.

It's a God idea.

TERRY MEEUWSEN: It's a God idea.

I think it's something that we should celebrate.

And by the way, I think the greatest gift

a man can give a woman is to be a man of God, and vice versa.

And then we look to the New Testament.

And I think Jesus is the standard, the example of what

it means as the son of man, and of course as the son of God.

But we need look no further if we want the standard for what

it means to be a man of God.

He had it all, you know?

He knew when to exercise a sense of offense, or authority,

and he knew how to be tender, and gentle.

The title of your book, "Play the Man,"

that actually has some historical significance.

It does, and I love history.

TERRY MEEUWSEN: I can tell that reading your book.

Yes, yes.

155 AD, the bishop of Smyrna, a guy named Polycarp,

and you can read about him in "Foxe's Book of Martyrs."

He was arrested for his faith and brought into a coliseum,

told to recant his faith.

But he heard a voice from heaven that said, be strong, Polycarp.

Play the man.

And that's what he did.

He courageously died for his faith.

And the good news, Terry, is I don't think many of us who

with the freedoms we enjoy will be

called to do that in the West.

But are we going to live for Him?

And what does it mean to take up your cross daily and follow


And so this book is really a call to men to play the man.

And I talk about what that means, and talk

about seven virtues of manhood, and that's

the heartbeat of the book.

Talk about the seven virtues, because as you said,

it's not just a call to be this thing.

You really give some direction on, what does that look like?

What does the content of a real man look like,

and how do I get there from here?

Yeah. because what is that target?

In our culture, we're not even sure exactly what that means.

What is it that differentiates men?

And so you've got to go back to scripture.

And the very first virtue, Terry, that I talk about

is tough love, and I'll define it.

Tough love is carrying a 300-pound cross

650 yards down the Via Dolorosa for someone else's sin.

That's tough love.

And so to me, a tough guy is not someone

that can blacken an eye or bloody a nose.

It's someone who's willing to be nailed to a cross for someone

else to sin and.

TERRY MEEUWSEN: And he does it willingly.

And he does it willingly.

And that's what we're called to as men to follow that example.

So that's your first virtue.


Give us some of the others.


Well I talk about everything from childlike wonder,

to willpower, true grit, raw passion, clear vision,

and that one's key.

Because a lot of men have more vision for perhaps the church

they lead, or the business that they started,

or whatever occupation they're called to than their family.

And we've got to make sure that we've

got vision for our families and for our children.

And then I end with moral courage.

Because at the end of the day, it

takes some courage to be the kind of husband and father

that God's called us to be.

More and more in the culture that we live in.

But let's jump back to childlike wonder,

because there's a difference-- and you

talk about this in the book-- between being

childlike and childish.


Childish, not a good thing.

And a lot of boys--

I want to be your wife, not your mother.

But they never really become men.

It doesn't happen by default. And so I've

actually taken my boys through a discipleship process.


I love that.

Which we can talk about.

But I think maintaining that childlikeness.

And by the way, I think that's one

of the gift of having children, because it reminds you of what

it's like to be a child.

And if I remember correctly, Jesus took a child,

put him right in the center of the Kingdom of God, and said,

unless you're like this little child,

you can't even get in the front door.

And so that chapter, I have a little bit of fun talking about

that childlikeness, and what that

looks like for a man of God.

You talked about the special--

I don't know what you call it, like a program,

or a practice that you put your boys

through as they come to puberty and get

ready to go into manhood.

All of this would be so much easier for young men--

about to be young men if their dads kind of led the way.

Talk about what it is you do with your sons.


A couple of months ago, I'm in a setting with 500 guys,

and I ask them a question.

How many of you were intentionally

discipled by your father?

Three hands went up,

Wow, out of 500.


Houston, we have a problem.

Because we have fathers who've never learned what

it means to be a spiritual father.

And I'll be the first to say that I've

made lots of mistakes, and I share

some of those in the book.

But I wanted to get one thing right.

And part of it, Terry, is that I want to be famous in my home.


To me, success is when those who know you best

respect you most, and that's my wife and my children.

So as my sons approached their 12th birthday,

I thought, I've got to do something.

And so I created this discipleship covenant

that I share in the book with a physical challenge,

mental challenge, spiritual challenge.

And if you want, we can talk about that.

But a year of discipleship that then

ended with a rite of passage.

Terry, in our culture, it's almost

like we don't do anything with our sons,

and then they turn 21, legal drinking age, and then

that's their rite of passage.


Come on.

We've got to do better than that.

And so what I wanted to do was take my sons

through a discipleship process.

And at the end of it, celebrate it.

Because now, we've stepped into this thing called manhood.

And let's help this young man become a man of God.

And so that's the process that I went through.

And you've spoken that manhood over them

in a way that calls it forth from them,

which is so wonderful.


And isn't it interesting that the Heavenly Father even

did that at Jesus' baptism?

He said, this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

And that's my heart as an earthly father,

to speak that same thing over my two sons and my daughter.

It's what's supposed to happen.

And it's all here, Mark's insights.

You need to check out this book.

It's called "Play the Man."

It's probably never been more needed

in our culture for fathers or young men growing up

than it is today.

It's in stores nationwide.

Lots of wise counsel.

And here, Mark, thank you.

Always great to have you with us.

Thank you so much, Terry.



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