Parents. Coaches. Teachers. Pastors. Old friends.
All of the above have something very important in common. They all have the potential to serve as mentors in the lives of others.
A mentor can serve many roles in the life of a gentleman. Some mentors serve to teach, some to guide, others still to discipline. Some perform a combination of these roles together. But no matter what role your mentors serve in your life, they can undoubtedly all be described with a single word.
There are few relationships in the life of a gentleman that are more critical to his growth, maturity, and wisdom. Great mentors know how to identify the strengths within someone, and help to develop them fully. If we are live out our full potential as men, it is imperative that we first invite others in who know how to draw that potential out of us.
I’m sure most men hear the word “mentor” and think, “old man mentoring young man”. While it’s often helpful to walk with someone older than yourself so you can learn from the experiences they have lived through, it’s certainly not required.
In addition, it’s not required that your mentor be male, either. Of course, relationships with women must always be treated with the utmost respect and attention to ensure neither party is placed in a compromising situation, women have wisdom men could never gain because of their unique perspective and God-given gifts that men do not have.
With that said, there are many benefits of men seeking out other men as mentors as well. There are unique and specific parts of a man’s heart that can only be spoken into by other men.
Regardless of who you seek out to walk with you in your struggles, victories, temptations, and sorrows, if you are yet to take this critical action, I implore you to do so as soon as possible.
As gentlemen in this modern day, we must learn to allow others into the most intimate parts of who we are. We must learn to be vulnerable, to be teachable, to be humble.
Today, humility is not a word that is often at the top of the list for valued traits in a man. That is a damn shame. And a truly unfortunate lie, indeed. The lie that a humble man is a weak man is one of the most damaging things our society is teaching our fathers, brothers, and sons. It is our responsibility as modern day gentlemen to ensure that we set a different example with the way in which we live our lives.
By inviting others to walk alongside us in our journey, we are showing those around us that humility and teachability are virtues to be sought after, not shunned.
And today, dear reader, I want to utterly reject the notion that humility = weakness. It takes strength to be vulnerable. I would even argue, that it takes strength to be weak, at times. I’ve watched some of the men I respect most in my life be willing to be desperately weak, and completely helpless, in the appropriate situations.
Seeking out a mentor is one of the most humbling things that you can do. And you’ll also find there are few things in life that provide you with more unshakable and unwavering strength.
The importance of ensuring you are allowing others to walk closely with you cannot go overstated. All gentlemen should have at least one other wiser individual who is intimately involved in their story. That relationship looks drastically different from situation to situation, of course. Some may need a mentor to guide them as they make important decisions. Others may need a mentor who keeps them accountable in areas of temptation or struggle.
Regardless of the role they serve, there are few relationships more valuable in a gentleman’s life. Take whatever steps necessary to ensure you are seeking them out. And if you already have mentors walking with you, nurture those relationships with the greatest care and attention.
Now go, gentlemen. Go as examples of humility, integrity, and strength. Be teachable and moldable. For one day you will be the teacher. And when that day comes, you are to be overflowing with the wisdom that has long been poured into you.
* If you have a mentor that has made a significant influence on your life and in your story, take the time right now to let them know their significance. It is difficult to mentor. It’s one of the most honorable, but difficult challenges that someone can undertake to step into someone else’s life and offer wisdom and guidance. Make sure that your mentors know that you are aware of that, and appreciate their willingness to do so with you. Perhaps even share this post with them, and comment below about the impact that they’ve made.