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Fueling Masculinity’s Noble Fire

Men in Crisis

“The fire of righteous manhood is threatening to die out in our generation,” says Stephen. Today men often do not know who they are or what they are meant to be. He blames men, not women, for allowing righteous manhood to decline and for allowing masculinity in general to become an object of scorn. On their television there are two types of men: (1) IdiotMan – the kind of guy who is considered stupid by his family for his simpleton ways; and (2) DogMan – a man driven by lusts and bodily needs. Both of these types of men distort manhood. Stephen wants to see noble manhood restored. “When a man knows his strength and his gifts and uses them to enable others, when he understands his needs and satisfies them in righteous ways, he is a thing of beauty. He reflects the glory of God,” shares Stephen. 

Seven Fires Inside of Men

“Fire comes when change happens,” says Stephen. “It occurs when the right combination of elements takes place and a transformation begins. If you, like me, want divine, manly fire burning in your soul, then welcome the change and embrace the transformation that fire brings.” He identifies seven fires that ought to burn in a man’s soul:

  • Heritage – being empowered and lifted by the wisdom of the past. Unfortunately, we live in an age where heritage is rarely passed from one generation to another, but Stephen says it is important for men to claim their heritage. He gives the example of Winston Churchill whose parents neglected him terribly as a child. His dad (a politician) was cruel and disapproving, but instead of collapsing under the weight of his father’s anger Winston claimed his heritage. After his father’s death, Winston decided to make the positive part of his father’s legacy his own often referring to his dad in speeches and his writings. Winston inspired people with this heritage during the dark days of the Second World War. He even won the Nobel Prize in Literature. 
  • Battle – contending for what is good and right. Men must be ready to battle the spirit of this age when it seeks to make them weak and compromising or attempts to destroy their family.  
  • Destiny – discovering and living out true purpose. Often times we can’t see how one phase of life might prepare us for the next. For Abraham Lincoln his years practicing law, his time in state legislature, and his year in Congress prepared him to become a national speaker and eventually the President of the United States. “The layers of experience you go through in your life are your opportunity to prove yourself in all these things and acquire skill,” shares Stephen. 
  • Friendship – cultivating relationships with men who make us better. Unfortunately, most men cannot name a best friend. When men are younger friendships seem automatic, but life takes over and men are left with “rust friends” or buddies they once had but who have been nearly lost through neglect. Men are supposed to have other men in their life that inspire them, comfort them, guide them, and protect them. 
  • Love – fighting for strong relationships. Love for our friends, our children, our wives, and our God have to be tended. When a man neglects the important relationships in his life, he begins to believe everyone has failed him and lives out his life in anger and bitterness.
  • Legacy – leaving an imprint on the next generation. Booker T. Washington rose above his past. He did not give his life to bitter revenge nor did he sidestep the evils of slavery. Instead, Booker elevated black people by giving them a vision. Blacks were not slaves, dressed in rags and mired in ignorance, but rather a great and gifted people who had a God-ordained role to play in the world.          
  • God – connecting with the one who made us is essential if men are going to become the man God made them to be. Many men think of religion and the church when they think of God. Stephen shares how men have not always fared well in their relationship with the church. “Church has often been a place where manhood goes to die,” shares Stephen. Some men see church as a feminine experience that emphasizes feelings. The good news is that the culture of many churches is changing. Stephen’s advice is to find somewhere that is a good fit and where they speak boldly to men.                         

The Ritual

In an effort to commit to each specific fire ignited in your soul Stephen encourages men to participate in a ritual (nothing occult like) to make a public declaration of their intentions. This ritual will serve as a reminder to a man of who he is and who he intends to be. For example, men may choose to light seven candles or seven campfires to symbolize the fires within each of them that need to burn. Stephen shares, “What we are about here is a declaration of intention before God. We are making a covenant. We are committing ourselves before God and man. We want to be men with these fires of God burning in our souls.” Stephen suggests for men to engage in a time of prayer and fasting before this event. He also encourages men to invite those who will help hold them accountable in these areas.  

Stephen's Story

Stephen grew up as the son of a U.S. Army officer, and spent many formative years living in Berlin during the dark days of the Cold War. After college, he began acquiring a reputation as a speaker. During this time, he also wrote books, hosted a radio show, and led a number of social service organizations.

In 2002, he came to international attention when his book, The Faith of George W. Bush landed him on the New York Times bestseller list twice, won him numerous awards, and was a source of Oliver Stone’s acclaimed movie, W, a chronicle of President Bush’s rise to the presidency. This book led to many other influential works over the next two decades. While managing his busy writing and speaking life, he also founded a company that helps prominent figures and top organizations produce high quality books. He began training leaders, often appearing at conferences around the world, and coaching leaders to speak well, something he has done with politicians, leading artists, bestselling authors, and at major universities. 

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