One thing I really enjoy is being a mentor and since my last post, I have started a small group with a few young men to discuss some things that I consider very important. I call them the 7 Pillars of Manhood. In order to be an effective man, you need these 7 Pillars: identity, destiny, strength, vision, accountability, generosity, and faith (if you're a young lady reading this post, that's okay. You should recognize a solid man when he has these 7 Pillars).
In my experience, teenagers really have a hard time understanding and developing their identity. How do you know who you are? What are your values, morals, and beliefs? What are your gifts, talents, and desires? Physically, who you are depends largely on your parents. Your genes, looks, mannerisms, and the way you talk mostly come from your parents. The way you were raised also plays a major role in defining who you are. You can also get a little more insight on who you are spiritually by understanding that you were created in the image of God. Genesis 1:27 says it this way, "So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them." If you are created in the image of God then you should have certain characteristics that reflect His nature.
Knowing your identity is very important because if you understand who you are, you can better respond to things like peer pressure and keep yourself out of trouble. You're the only one like you and understanding why you are the way you are is important. If you're having a hard time understanding this, talk to your parents. Ask them to tell you about your childhood. What kind of child were you? Were you honest, helpful, or moody? Ultimately, you should ask God to show you who you are and who He has created you to be. This should help you get a better grip of yourself and although you may not find out your true identity today or tomorrow, you should be on a quest to figure it out quickly. The sooner you do, the sooner you'll be able to tackle the next pillar, which is destiny (where you're headed)! God bless you.
Written 12/31/2014 by John Weaver