If there is one thing a young man should do, he should be sensible. That is, he should be self-controlled, clear-headed, and sober-minded (Titus 2:6).
Paul tells Titus six things an older man should be (2:2), four things an older woman is to be and do (2:3), and seven things that a young woman is to be (2:4-5). But for the young man, he only tells them one thing they are to be (though he also gives four manifestations of that one thing, vv. 7-8). The young man — someone generally under the age of 40, but even more precisely someone in the 15-30 age bracket — should demonstrate self-control in everything that he does. Even as a young man, every area of his life should be marked by sensible — thoughtfully and biblically considered — decisions and by self-control.
When a boy becomes a man, he may be young, but he’s still a man, and it’s time to put childishness of every sort away (cf. 1 Cor. 13:11; 14:20).
Look around our culture and you will only rarely find such a young man. Part of the reason why young men struggle is the power of the flesh. They have not been taught the biblical means and provision to fight against the flesh, or they have become too lazy to fight against it.
And sometimes the young men recognize their need to develop biblical self-control, but they just don’t know how. And they look around for someone to lead them, and they don’t find any accessible godly examples to disciple them. So where, then, can a young man turn?
While it is always better to have a real person to disciple and equip him in the context of a real relationship (going to a Christ-exalting, Bible-preaching church will generally provide such men), there are other means to grow in Christ as well. We live in a time when many resources exist to help us, and there are several that can at least help a young man begin on the journey to sensibility.
Here are a few I’ve found helpful:
- Al Mohler, “From Boy to Man: the Marks of Manhood.” Mohler lists 13 qualities that mark the transition from boyhood to manhood. Thought short, this ought to be in every father’s tool kit as he seeks to lead his son. It is available as a PDF or for purchase (available in the church bookstore for $3).
- Al Mohler, “The Seduction of Pornography and the Integrity of Marriage.” Probably nothing derails the modern young man’s quest for sensibility as sexual sin. Mohler confronts that topic directly in this two-part series (part one | part two). It is also available as an audio download.
- Kent Hughes, The Disciplines of a Godly Man and The Disciplines of a Godly Young Man. Two excellent books on the basics of the spiritual life. The latter one is recently release and primarily a condensation of the first one. See also the website related to Young Men.
- Phil Johnson, “Sound Doctrine, Sound Words.” A really excellent message on the influence of the culture on the church (audio only).
- Kevin DeYoung, Just Do Something. While this book is primarily about finding the will of God for one’s life, it is more than that. It is also a strong exhortation for believers — and young men in particular — to make a decision and follow through on it. A very helpful book.