Stallion, Don’t Allow Yourself To Be Neutered.

8 08 2013

stallion-or-geldingDo you know what gelding is?  It is a stallion that has been neutered.  Stones removed.  Castrated.  Those who raise horses geld stallions for lots of reasons.  One of them is to make the horse more sedate.  Well-behaved.  Easier to manage.

There is one considerable drawback.  Geldings cannot stud.  They are sterile.  Unable to reproduce.  But they’re nicer, I suppose.

In his book The Journey of Desire, John Eldredge recounts an unsuccessful counseling experience he had with a guy named Gary.  Gary was nice.  Well-behaved.  Easy to manage.  His wife was worried because he had no passion for anything.  He was a “nice Christian boy.”  Did all the right things.  But not out of any deep sense of conviction.

A gelding.

Sterile.

Eldredge was unable to help a man who’d lost all drive for anything in life.  A good deal of this hemorrhage of basic testosterone was no doubt rooted in a distorted idea of what the ideal Christian male is.  “Gentle Jesus–meek and mild.”  You get the picture.  Not the type of person who drives thieves from the sanctuary with a whip and uses strong, impolite language with religious bullies.

Passivity, especially in males, is the bane of our age.  It sours marriages.  It produces mediocre job performance.  Is often sedentary and unambitious.  It leaves those who count on us without a leader.

Geldings don’t change the world.  Sorry, but it’s true.

When I read about heroes in history, I find they were possessed with passion for whatever their mission was in life.  Teddy Roosevelt.  King David.  Richard Branson.  Judas Maccabeus.  Steve Jobs.  And Jesus Christ.  True, they made mistakes (Jesus excepted).  And when they screwed up, it was a disaster.  But when they triumphed, it made history.

Your wife wants you to be passionate.  So do your kids.  Your friends and colleagues too.

In fact, the whole world wants it.

This is your time to be all there.  Find something—anything—worth doing and do it with all your might.

Suggestions:

  • Get out of your chair at night and get moving.  Exercise, do extra work, take on a new project demanding effort and adrenaline.  You don’t want to end up like so many poor souls whom you see at the discount stores, grossly overweight, listless and unhappy.  Too many cheap carbs and time in front of a television or computer screen.  It doesn’t have to be you.
  • Start a blog.  I did.  This one is sticking and having the net effect of making me get off my duff and practice what I preach to my readers.
  • Repeat after me: “I matter.  I can do this.  I am not a nobody.  And the world is counting on me being fully there in whatever I am doing.”  Again, if it isn’t worth doing with all your might, it probably isn’t worth doing.  You be the judge.

You’re called to be a stallion.  Don’t sell yourself short.  Go and produce life!

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Guys and Traditional Maleness

11 07 2013

frank_sinatra_2Some time ago, my wife and I had a compelling conversation over eggplant parmigiana:

Alpha males.

The term alpha male is a recent innovation, but the idea is well-known.  Like Justice Potter Stewart’s answer when asked to describe obscenity, he answered, “I can’t tell you what obscenity is but I know it when I see it.”  You know an alpha male when you see him.

Popular culture has given us worthy exemplars of the alpha male.  Steve McQueen.  John Wayne.  Clint Eastwood.  Frank Sinatra (pictured above).  All are established icons of time-honored maleness.  They were guys.   More recently, Liam Neeson and Russell Crowe.

When I asked Kath what defines an alpha male more than anything, she answered, “Confidence.  He’s comfortable with himself and owns his space.”

That really got my attention, coming from someone I know better than anyone on earth, a gal who doesn’t fail to speak her mind candidly.

An alpha male:

  • Is confident in his own abilities.  One proof is he doesn’t need to announce it.  He knows what he can and cannot do.
  • Is decisive.  He makes a decision, usually with dispatch, and then sticks with it.
  • Has drive and a spine–testosterone and iron will.
  • Doesn’t run for shelter and sympathy when the going gets tough.
  • Is not given to self-pity, especially displays of it.  Corollary to that is he doesn’t shift blame and takes a beating if he’s earned it.
  • Can defend himself intellectually or physically.  This makes women feel very safe and is quite a turn-on.
  • Will mask his fears even when afraid.  It’s Leadership 101.  Combat veterans understand this well.
  • Is not a poser.  Nor is he arrogant (an advertisement saying “I’m insecure”).
  • Walks into a room and leads.  He’s not looking for a leader.  He is one.  Frank Sinatra was king here.  It’s no wonder one of his nicknames was “Chairman of the Board.”
  • Aren’t desperately seeking people’s approval or permission to live life and forge ahead.
  • Is not metrosexual, though he dresses well and smells nice.  The idea of effeminacy makes him recoil.
  • Knows exactly what he wants and goes after it, come hell or high water.

The world awaits a tidal wave of return to traditional maleness–leadership, passion, decisiveness, direction and purpose.

So does your family.

And so does your woman.

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Got Testosterone?

5 07 2013

testosterone_1I had a fascinating discussion with some guys I met with regularly last year.  I mentored them and they schooled me.  It was mutually beneficial.  Our discussion topic:

Testosterone.

This is not wholly unexpected in a gathering of three or four men.  Testosterone and its maintenance is a subject you—and I’m primarily addressing guys—cannot afford to treat lightly.

I’ve read statistics that say, essentially, that males in their twenties today have 60% less testosterone than their twenty-something counterparts from eighty to a hundred years ago.  Remember, males in their twenties are generally at their most active.  Why is this?

Some of it is lifestyle and vocational changes.  We are far more sedentary than our counterparts working in the early twentieth century.  The lack of exertion equals more flab and diminished testosterone.

A lot of it is our diet.  We eat way too many carbohydrates and too much high fructose corn syrup (which is in a lot of processed foods, even some you might not suspect).  Why? Because carbs are cheap and easy.  And it’s killing us.  Dr. Mehmet Oz explains that too much of this locks belly fat in guys (hip/buttocks fat in the gals) because it requires a lot of insulin to be secreted to process it.  I’m not a doctor but Dr. Oz says high insulin secretion precludes a lot of fat burning.

Some other things that emerged during our discussion:

  • Soy apparently is the cause of lots of estrogen.  Estrogen and inactivity produces, among other things, the unsightly moobs (man boobs) in guys.  I’ve yet to meet a male who’s excited about growing male breasts.
  • Ministers have lower than normal testosterone levels.  Some of this may well be due to the sedentary nature of the ministerial enterprise.  But some of it is probably linked to an unbiblical and feminized view of Jesus Christ and Christianity, a la “gentle Jesus meek and mild” which, when wrongly applied, causes Christian men in general to be less aggressive and assertive when meeting the challenges and confrontations of life.  Ideas have consequences.
  • Diminished testosterone is linked to depression and erectile dysfunction, the latter not a particularly pleasant topic but relevant in our day.  Why all the E.D. meds, Viagra and the like?  I seriously doubt Frank Sinatra or Steve McQueen would’ve needed Viagra or Cialis.

What to do? [Disclaimer: I am neither a doctor nor a nutritionist.]

  • Get active.  Regular exercise, especially if your work involves sitting for a long time, is a must.  Your overall health, including testosterone levels, will improve.
  • Eat well.  Keep sweets and cheap carbs to a minimum and eat more proteins and the proper fats.
  • Have a healthy view of maleness.  Jesus Christ, while gentle at times, also cleared the Temple of moneychangers and their livestock with a whip.  There is a time to be gentle and a time to get tough.  The key is knowing the difference and choosing your responses and attitudes carefully.

Guys, this is important.  Take care of yourselves.  Your loved ones, especially your ladies, need this.

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Testosterone (and Its Maintenance)

30 06 2012

We had a fascinating discussion today during our weekly leadership gathering.  Our topics meandered through such things as “swallowing the sovereignty pill” (dealing with God’s right to do as He pleases with His creatures) to my future plans (return to graduate school to finish my Master’s degree, including a move) and we finally ended at a fascinating point of discussion.

Testosterone.

This is not wholly unexpected in a gathering of three or four men.  Testosterone and its maintenance is a subject you—and I’m primarily addressing guys—cannot afford to treat lightly.

Recently, I heard statistics that said, essentially, that males in their twenties today have 60% less testosterone than their twenty-something counterparts from eighty to a hundred years ago.  Remember, males in their twenties are generally at their most active.  Why is this?

Some of it is lifestyle and vocational changes.  We are far more sedentary than our counterparts working in the early twentieth century.  The lack of exertion equals more flab and diminished testosterone.

A lot of it is our diet.  We eat way too many carbohydrates and too much high fructose corn syrup (which is in a lot of processed foods, even some you might not suspect).  Why? Because carbs are cheap and easy.  And it’s killing us.  Dr. Mehmet Oz explains that too much of this locks belly fat in guys (hip/buttocks fat in the gals) because it requires a lot of insulin to be secreted to process it.  I’m not a doctor but Dr. Oz says high insulin secretion precludes a lot of fat burning.

Some other things that emerged during our discussion:

  • Soy apparently is the cause of lots of estrogen.  Estrogen and inactivity produces, among other things, the unsightly moobs (man boobs) in guys.  I’ve yet to meet a male who’s excited about growing male breasts.
  • Ministers—personal caveat for me—have lower than normal testosterone levels.  Some of this may well be due to the sedentary nature of the ministerial enterprise.  But some of it is probably linked to a feminized view of Jesus Christ and Christianity, a la “gentle Jesus meek and mild” which, when wrongly applied, causes Christian men in general to be less aggressive and assertive when meeting the challenges and confrontations of life.  Ideas have consequences.  Some of this is reflected in some worship music where God is treated as a girlfriend or boyfriend.  Can you imagine John Wayne singing certain worship songs that have captured our imaginations? Yeah, me either.
  • Diminished testosterone is linked to depression and erectile dysfunction, the latter not a particularly pleasant topic but relevant in our day.  Why all the ED meds, Viagra and the like?  I seriously doubt Frank Sinatra or Steve McQueen would’ve needed Viagra or Cialis.

What to do? [Disclaimer: I am neither a doctor nor a nutritionist.]

  • Get active.  Regular exercise, especially if your work involves sitting for a long time, is a must.  Your overall health, including testosterone levels, will improve.
  • Eat well.  Keep sweets and cheap carbs to a minimum and eat more proteins and the proper fats.
  • Have a healthy view of maleness.  Jesus Christ, while gentle at times, also cleared the Temple of moneychangers and their livestock with a whip.  There is a time to be gentle and a time to get tough.  The key is knowing the difference and choosing your responses and attitudes carefully.

Guys, this is important.  Take care of yourselves.  Your loved ones, especially your ladies, need this.

Image Credit