It means something to be a Smith.
I come from a long line of Oregon wheat farmers. I tasted my heritage when Dad sent my teenage self away from my comfortable middle-class city life to hoe weeds around hundreds of acres of hot, arid, Eastern Oregon fields with my uncles and cousins. I’m grateful now, though I wasn’t then, for the front-line exposure to my family’s history. It cultivated (nice pun!) some of the honor of being a Smith within me.
I realize now that Dad taught me nobility. I learned that Smith men are hard workers. We keep our word. We are responsible. We make plans and follow through. He especially taught me that Smith men treat women, all women, with respect and honor.
I’m far from perfect, but I’m very grateful for my Dad and other honorable male role models who inspired me. Their example shaped me, and continues to push me.
Our culture doesn’t generally promote what Stephen Mansfield calls noble manhood. Watch the average movie or TV show, and you’ll see little boys in men’s bodies: irresponsible, pleasure-seeking, and ultimately selfish.
Especially where women are concerned. And why should these boys-in-men’s-bodies become responsible? Many women have also been programmed by the cultural lie, and no longer expect commitment or responsibility before giving themselves away.
The cultural lie is that the physical is what it’s all about. Hook up, “hang out,” and do what feels good. Those old out-of-touch Bible people just want to take away your fun. Be free!
So a young man can keep acting like a little boy because culture teaches him that it’s O.K., and women don’t expect him to be responsible, courteous, or, most importantly, committed. Without motivation, inspiration, and discipline, men won’t rise to their call to nobility.
This backwards thinking is a tragic loss to both men and women. It’s fatally broken, and it’s hurting everyone. It ultimately leads not to the freedom promised, but instead, to every kind of slavery and pain.
Noble men know that the road to freedom includes hard work, perseverance, commitment, and sacrifice. They know they have not been given the gift of life to constantly waste it on their own selfish pleasures.
As a dad of four daughters, I’ve seen their hearts broken when they’ve mistaken a little boy for the noble man I taught them to wait for. I’ve often told them they are worthy to be treated with the highest respect by an honorable, truthful, faith-filled and authentic man.
Men, it’s time to reject the cultural caricatures that would lead you to a life of selfish lost-ness. That means not coming home after a hard day and thinking we “deserve” to watch TV or be on our phones all night. Instead, we need to be present with our families, helping in our homes, doing dishes, leading prayers—demonstrating real love to our families.
And young men, you need to rise above culture’s lie. You are made to be a man, and if you don’t know how to become a noble one, you now have heard the call and expectation. Rise to your calling. Seek help and advice from wiser men who will mentor you. Stephen Mansfield and The Art Of Manliness are two great places to start.
Bonus thought: Seek happiness in itself, especially through selfish pleasure, and you won’t find it. Seek nobility, goodness, honor, and responsibility, and you’ll receive happiness as a deserved reward.