Continuing with The 7 Pillars of Manhood, strength is up next. Strength is very important (and I'm not just talking about the ability to bench press 250 pounds-although, if you can bench 250, good for you!). You must have strength in these four areas:
Mental Strength A strong mind is one of your greatest assets. Making smart decisions, setting goals, and staying out of trouble takes a lot of intentional effort and it begins with a made up mind. Doing the right thing, even when it's not popular, requires courage, dedication, and a solid mind. Staying the course when everyone around you seems to be doing something else is not easy. If you don't do what most people are doing, more than likely you will be singled out, called names, and teased (by the way, this is temporary so hang in there). Have enough mental strength and self-esteem to not fold or cave into doing the wrong things.
Emotional Strength Being able to continue moving forward when you have faced one battle after another requires a ton of emotional strength. Facing rejection, losing a loved one, battling addictions, and being hit head-on with disappointment after disappointment is not easy. Keeping your emotions in check is something you must learn how to do, however. We are often told that "real men don't cry" and "suck it up and deal with it". While I do believe that guys shouldn't be cry babies and wimps, it is important for you to understand how to get emotional support when you need it. Many guys bottle up their emotions very similar to a volcano. At some point, all of the pressure inside will erupt spilling lava everywhere. Don't be a volcano. Be sure you have someone in your corner (preferably another guy) that you can talk with to keep yourself strong emotionally.
Physical Strength One of your responsibilities as a man is to be a protector. You are called to protect your family, friends, and loved ones. This may result in taking a physical approach. While I don't condone violence, I do believe that sometimes you have to let others know you're not a door mat. Todd Beamer, along with several passengers of United Flight 93, took a physical approach on September 11, 2001. As the plane was being hijacked by terrorists, the passengers, believed to be led by Beamer, refused to sit back and let the terrorists have control (read more about Todd Beamer and the United Flight 93 story by clicking here). Keeping yourself in physical shape and taking care of your body is very important in building physical strength because you never know when you might need to use it.
Spiritual Strength Being strong mentally, emotionally, and physically is great but I have found that having spiritual strength is also very necessary. There will come a time in your life when your mental, emotional, and physical strength alone won't cut it. This is when the strength of God is needed. It is God's strength, in my times of weakness, that has helped me overcome several devastating circumstances in my life. Joshua 1:9 sums it up perfectly by saying "Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
If you want more ideas of how to build strength in these four areas, check out Tip #41: Work Out Daily. I pray that you stay strong as a young man and do great things I know you're capable of doing. God bless you!
Written 6/13/2016 by John Weaver