“There is need for a crusade of manliness and purity to counteract and nullify the savage work of those who think man is a beast. And that crusade is your work”
– St. Josemaría Escrivá
1. Tell cool, funny jokes, not the kind that would make a pure woman blush—or be offended!
2. Find saints that you relate to and ask them to pray for you as you imitate their virtues. Some awesome real men include St. Joseph, St. Augustine, St. Maximilian Kolbe, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, and St. Josemaría Escrivá.
3. Keep your standards high; only date women who have the qualities you want in a future wife and mother of your children. Pray for your bride, that she will have the love and strength to save the gift of sexual intimacy for you, and pray that you’ll have that strength, too!
4. Read the Bible—be open to God’s Word. Let it convict you to courageously do the hard and holy things.
5. Respect women, even those who don’t respect themselves and may throw themselves at you. Don’t take advantage of them but help them to know their true worth. These women have a hole in their heart that they are looking to fill—point them to the only One who can fill it, Jesus Christ.
6. Be a man of integrity. Do everything as if someone were watching, because God is watching. Prepare now to someday lead a family. Work hard to prepare yourself to provide for and protect them, not only financially and physically, but also spiritually, morally, and emotionally.
7. Be both strong and gentle. St. Francis de Sales said that “there is nothing so strong as gentleness and nothing so gentle as real strength.” And wrap your brain around this quote by contemporary Catholic psychotherapist Philip Mango: “What’s a real man? He’s not a bully or a wimp. He transcends his own ego, his own fears, his own selfishness, and sacrifices himself as a gift to those he’s called
8. Say a prayer when you see a woman dressed immodestly (for the sake of the woman). Pope John Paul II said, “[God] has assigned as a duty to every man the dignity of every woman.”
9. Say a prayer when you see a woman dressed immodestly (for your purity’s sake). Use this moment, when Satan wants to pull you away from Jesus, to draw closer than ever to God.
10. Honor your mom and sisters. A smart woman knows that the way you treat your mother is the way you will someday treat her.
11. Find creative ways to express your (pure & chaste) feelings to the woman you like or are dating. Show her that you can love her without using her and that she is beautiful both inside and out.
12. Find good male role models to emulate; get relationship advice from Godly men.
13. Be open to the priesthood.
14. Show gentlemanly respect to all women, not just the woman you’re dating. What does it mean if you hold the door for your girlfriend but let it close in the face of the woman walking in right behind her?
15. Trust in God’s mercy. When you fall, go to confession. Receive strength from Christ truly present in the Eucharist. Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati said, “With all the strength of my soul I urge you young people to approach the Communion table as often as you can. Feed on this bread of angels whence you will draw all the energy you need to fight inner battles. Because true happiness, dear friends, does not consist in the pleasures of the world or in earthly things, but in peace of conscience, which we have only if we are pure in heart and mind.”
16. Don’t settle for counterfeits such as pornography or masturbation (in fact, avoid them like the plagues they are) if you want to someday enjoy the utterly amazing gift of sex as God intended.
17. Guard your senses from temptation, and be always ready to choose God’s way, no matter what the cost. The mind is a dangerous battlefield, so “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Phil. 4:8).
18. Recognize Mary as your Mother and say a prayer to consecrate your heart to her. Her prayers for you will be very powerful in helping you draw near to her Son.
19. Lay down your life in the little things; practice making small sacrifices by putting someone else’s wants or needs before
20. Make Jesus Christ your best friend and greatest role model. J.R.R. Tolkien, in a letter to his son, wrote, “Out of the darkness of my life, so much frustrated, I put before you the one great thing to love on earth: the Blessed Sacrament…There you will find romance, glory, honor, fidelity, and the true way of all your loves upon earth…which every man’s heart desires.”
These 20 suggestions were written by the Christian Life Men’s Group of Dayton, Ohio, the men of the One More Soul office, a few other great real men, and two young women praying that all young men everywhere will have the strength, courage, and love to become more and more like Christ.
Copyright 2007 One More Soul www.omsoul.com (800) 307-7685