Play the Man: Curiosity

Did you hear the one about the kid who wanted to know everything about everything?

Drawing on some stories of Teddy Roosevelt (who was evidently enough of a man to give a 50 minute speech with a bullet buried in his chest), Batterson paints a compelling picture of childlike wonder as the second virtue of manhood. Roosevelt was a man who was insatiably curious. I don’t know if he was the pre-cursor for Sid the Science Kid, but he was compelled to learn. He wanted to know stuff.Fence Musings-3

This kind of appetite for figuring things out, for seeking understanding, for learning is a critical component of being a man. Have you ever heard two 12 year old boys arguing about the merits of Ford vs. Chevy? Or throw in a third boy who just loves his Dodge? Maybe you haven’t, but let me assure you, it is the curse of doing youth ministry in rural America – I’m sure there’s an analogous conversation going on in the clusters of 6th Grade boys wherever you are. It’s amazing how much these boys know about their family trucks, right? Right? No. Actually, it’s not. They typically know more about how their fidget spinners work than the trucks. But that won’t stop them from declaring absolute devotion to one brand or another – because they’re boys and they don’t realize how much they don’t know.

Curiosity may have killed the cat, but you’re not a cat. You’re a child of God, so don’t ever lose that childlike wonder that Jesus built you with thinking it makes you more of a man to pretend that you know everything you need to know. You don’t. Men don’t know everything. The best of them know that there is a lot they still need to learn, that every day points out new gaps in what they know, and they continually seek to learn what they need to learn.

This isn’t merely a vain pursuit of knowledge for it’s own sake, though. It’s for the sake of more deeply worshiping our Father, who made all the wonders of the universe that keep us so enthralled. The more we understand our selves and our world, the more in awe we can be about our Creator. He loves to see that awe and wonder, that curiosity in His children. It pleases Him to no end when when we worshipfully wonder.

So go ahead, Man – Be Curious! Learn something.

What do you want to do with what you’ve been learning lately? Maybe, instead of emails and private messages to me, you can share your answer in the comments section. Maybe someone else can be sparked into action by what you’re learning. Or maybe they can help you take the next steps in your process.

We’re walking through 7 virtues presented in Mark Batterson’s new book Play the Man over the next several posts. Feel free to jump into the discussion. It may be helpful to use the links in this post to get a copy for yourself and follow along.

Play the Man: Tough Love

“Real men don’t cry.” I don’t know where this thought originated… Maybe it was some line in some movie where Clint Eastwood got shot without blinking, or where Bruce Willis walked barefoot over glass through a thousand explosions without flinching, but probably long before tough guys (or actors pretending to be tough guys) started showing up on giant screens. Somewhere, we’ve culturally come to understand the idea that men are supposed to be tough – and that means they don’t cry.

I would completely agree that men should be tough, but is an absence of tears really how we want to measure that? I don’t think so.

Mark Batterson lists some great character traits (virtues) in Play the Man, his recent book on “becoming the man God created you to be.” The first of these he defines as Tough Love. It’s that combination of toughness and empathy that allows a man to make it through the trying circumstances of life without become an uncaring jerk with no regard for anyone else whatsoever. Sometimes, life sucks, and it’s tempting to either crawl in a hole and ride out the storm or to lash out at anyone and everyone within reach.

Neither of those options will help us reveal God to the people around us, but Tough Love will. It’s what led Jesus to endure personal agony for our benefit. He was tough enough. And He loved enough.

Where do you need to toughen up a bit to get through the obstacles life is throwing at you right now? Can I help?

Where are you withholding your love to protect yourself from getting hurt? Maybe it’s time to take a risk and love the way Jesus does.


We’re walking through 7 virtues presented in Mark Batterson’s new book Play the Man over the next several posts. Feel free to jump into the discussion. It may be helpful to use the links in this post to get a copy for yourself and follow along.

Thanks for Reading

You have chosen to read my posts, follow my tweets and Facebook thoughts, or receive an email once in a while from me – and I want to thank you for that. I don’t take that for granted. I know you only have a certain amount of time to read stuff every day and there are thousands of writers churning out content begging for your attention by the minute. Thank you for valuing my words enough to read them. Despite the occasional foray into frivolity, I try to write stuff that matters, and I hope that what you’ve read from me has been helpful.

I want what I write to unlock something inside you and help you realize that more is possible than you’ve dreamed. The potential God has placed inside each one of us is nothing short of a history shaping, culture making, creative spark He hopes to fan into flame in order to restore everything to Himself. He is building an unstoppable Kingdom and you have a unique part to contribute to its momentum.

Having said that, I’m not sure any of the words I’ve written will be more practical and effective in helping you understand the work He has ready for you to do than what I’ve written (and what you’ll write) in PRAY! That’s because my words aren’t the ones that matter when it comes to building the unstoppable church – His are. My words aren’t the ones that carry the weight sufficient to push your potential into a kinetic movement that will rock the shaky foundations of our culture and reveal a solid bedrock upon which you can build real life – His are. And PRAY will help you strengthen your conversation with Him. It will help you make sure the story of your life isn’t missing the most important Voice of all.

Use that link to find it on Amazon, or ask your favorite bookstore to order it for you. Grow your conversation with God & let me know how it goes… This Kingdom is no accident.