WHY PROTECTING INTEGRITY IS IMPORTANT TO MASCULINITY

Bathroom Book for Men

Arena Men,

All the blog posts in the month of July are excerpts from our 365 Men’s Devotional, The Field Guide: A Bathroom Book for Men. We are sharing the five essentials from my new book Strong Men Dangerous Times in preparation for the August 1st launch of our Best Version Assessment that will be available on our website. 

The Trailhead

It took three years to draw the tag, three months to find someone to pack in with me, three days to pack my gear, and three hours of driving, and three minutes to get our packs ready for the grueling hike into the backcountry. There we were, a 16-year-old student in my youth group named Nate, and myself. Giddy as two school children, we made last minute adjustments to our forty-pound packs and were soon to embark upon an adventure we would never forget. Years of planning and anticipation were literally ten feet away on the trail that would lead us four-and-a-half miles and 2500 feet of gain to our wilderness basin camp.

            We had no clue what was in store for us! We were oblivious to the snowstorm heading our way, the fatigue we’d experience, and the food we’d run out of in four days.

            At this point it really didn’t matter. All that mattered was we were here—now.

            That’s the beauty of the trailhead.

            Ignorance is bliss and hope overrides reality. The trailhead is a place of great anticipation, “But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?” (Romans 8:24). Everyone is a champion before the season starts. Every boy is President of the United States in kindergarten. Every young man has a full ride scholarship in middle school.

            Of the five essentials defining manhood, protecting integrity is the starting place. Women don’t care about respect and integrity the way men do. A man without integrity is a man without respect. Respect is the greatest gift a man can give another man, but it’s only given to men of integrity.  Without integrity a man won’t get far in his journey to manhood. Integrity is foundational to becoming a man. Without it, he will be viewed as no more than a foolish child, weak male, or poser.

            Men, be warned. If you lack integrity, you lack everything. You’ll never become the man God designed you to be. Pack your life with all the characteristics needed to be a whole man, complete and lacking nothing (James 1:4). Commit to being impeccable in your integrity. Climb through your life without excess baggage, having to resupply, or getting killed (or someone else for that matter) somewhere on the way!

            Below are two things every man must know about integrity to walk upright as his best version. 

Thing #1: Integrity is the FUNCTIONAL Component of Manhood

In the Garden of Eden, we are disrupted by a disturbing image of Adam—the prototypical male. His skin looks glued to his exposed muscle that moves like living things under his tan cover. He is made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26), the only creature on the planet that walks upright with his sex organs exposed.

            But not today. Today he is bent over covering his penis from his wife while frantically sewing fig leaves to cover his nakedness (Genesis 3:7).

            His lack of integrity not only caused guilt but shame. Shame conditions us to hide the fullness of who we are from those who trust us the most.

            Fast forward to the man, Job. Job walked upright as a man of integrity—unhidden and unashamed.

            Listen to the words of God to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man fearing God and turning away from evil. And he still holds fast his integrity, although you incited Me against him to ruin him without cause. (Job 2:3, 1:1, and 1:8)”

            Integrity is critical because it enables us to stand upright and exposed without fear, guilt, or shame to a world that is skeptical towards true masculinity. 

Thing #2: Integrity is the FOUNDATIONAL Component of Manhood.

The Tower of Pisa is known worldwide for its unintended tilt. It is 183 feet high from the ground on the low side, and 186 feet on the high side. The construction of the Tower of Pisa began in August of 1173 and was originally designed to be a bell tower. The tower stood upright for over five years, but just after the completion of the second floor, in 1178, it began to lean.

            The foundation of the tower, only ten feet deep, was built on a dense clay mixture that was too soft to hold the tower upright. Because of its weight, the Tower sank downward until it had found the weakest point and began to lean in that direction. Construction halted for 100 years after the tower began to lean awhile the Italian government hoped the soil would settle, giving it enough strength to hold the weight of the tower.

            The tilt remains, though the structure was stabilized, it was partially corrected during the restoration work performed between 1990-2001. Prior to the restoration efforts the tower leaned at an angle of five-and-a-half degrees, but now leans just four degrees. In other words, the top of the tower is displaced horizontally twelve feet, ten inches from the center.

            All could have been avoided if it were built with a solid, deep foundation. How many problems in your life are foundational? How much pain could have been avoided in you, or someone responsible for you, if you would have had a stronger foundation of integrity?

Full Capacity Man

The Men in the Arena Board of Directors is passionate about small groups (aka teams). We believe teams are the greatest tool where we see long term growth in men. Starting this fall we are unveiling a NEW strategic plan to train thousands upon thousands of men globally about how to live at full capacity as their best version. 

            During the month of July, we will write about each of the five essentials of manhood that will be covered extensively in our new program. They are explained in detail in the Amazon #1 bestseller, Strong Men Dangerous Times. On August 1st we will go live with the Best Version Assessment and with active placement of trailblazing men into teams with our seasoned National Team Captains.

            Spots are extremely limited to first come first serve. This is not a marketing ploy. We are launching five teams of 20 men maximum this fall cycle, five more during the winter cycle and five more in the spring—a 300 men maximum. Sign up today to reserve a spot on the Wait List. The only cost involved is the price of the workbook.  

 

Living at Full Capacity in Him,

 

Jim

  

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