Dear High School Boys,
Today, in a neighboring town, I had the opportunity to watch a small group of you at a convenience store. You were hanging around by the gas pumps, drinking orange sodas, obviously bored on a scorching hot July day in Texas. There were three of you, talking in low tones, eyes and ears acutely tuned to the cars passing by, in hopes of seeing someone interesting to spend the afternoon with. After a few minutes, a fourth came outside and all of you climbed into the truck. A sticker on the window read “Drink, F*ck, Fight.” As you started to pull out, one of you tossed a can out the window onto the parking lot, only a few feet from the trash cans that are put by the pumps for that very purpose.
Can I please let you in on a little secret, high school boys? Women don’t like men who are mean. They don’t like men who are irresponsible, who are selfish, or who think they own the world. Women really have no interest in men who are only interested in using them. Women don’t enjoy hanging around someone who drinks and fights.
And, if there are any girls in your school who seem interested in boys like that, it’s only because they aren’t grown up enough to realize what a real man is.
A real man works hard. He knows what real work is and therefore he doesn’t carelessly create more work for other people who work hard. So, real men don’t throw trash on the ground for someone else to pick up.
A real man knows that in order to be loved well by a woman, he has to devote himself to her. A real man protects her reputation. He thinks of her before himself. And, he certainly doesn’t see her as another notch in his belt.
A real man takes his responsibilities seriously. He doesn’t consider drinking to be one of his major hobbies.
A real man handles conflict well. He doesn’t solve problems by throwing sloppy drunken punches at someone. He knows how to resolves things peacefully and he reserves physical confrontation for extreme circumstances.
And, lastly, in my estimation, a real man knows that he is nothing without Jesus Christ.
Now, in the short time that I observed you this afternoon, I didn’t see any attributes of a real man represented among the four of you. Maybe that’s not fair. Maybe you are all wonderful upstanding boys who are models of goodwill and strength. But, as long as you are riding around town in that truck, with that sticker, with cans flying out the window, you will never seem like it.
So, let this be a lesson for you, fellas, and you can take it to the bank. Who you hang out with matters. Who you appear to be matters. And, of course, who you actually are matters. Today I didn’t see a real man among you.
But, there’s still time. Grow up. Love well. Live for the good of others. Love God. You are our future, and I hate to see you, and others like you, settle for a mediocre version of yourselves, just because it seems cool. We need you. And, you need a life that is more than drinking, having sex, and fighting, although to be honest I doubt you regularly do any of those things.
An Old Lady at a Gas Pump