The Gentlemen’s Challenge: The Purpose of 12.

Life tends to get away from us. With the hustle and bustle of our regular routines, it is easy for us to stagnate and become comfortable where we are. While comfort is not inherently wrong, it can grow into apathy for life. That is when we see the problem manifest itself into laziness. Too many men that have fallen victim to this, me included. That is why I want to issue a challenge. 

Every day we do little things that impact our lives in a big way.

Whether that be the choice we make to love our spouse or disciple our children, the choices that we make have a deeper impact than we realize. The goals that we set carry with them the impact to affect the future direction and course of our life.

We don’t realize how much a small adjustment can impact our future until it is too late. A decision today can change the course of our future more than we realize. 

What is this challenge?

Simple. Every month pick one thing that you want to do that will make you a better man. Pick something that you will dedicate to completing every month that will make you a better person, husband, father, Christian, employee, etc., and attack it head-on. The Bible has called us to lead our homes and raise our children. It is time that we set an example of what that looks like.

What does this look like?

Well, it will be different for everyone. I have spent the last several weeks examining the areas of my life where I know that I am failing. I’ve spoken with mentors and loved ones and asked them to be honest with me. After all, how am I to know what needs to be fixed if I don’t know it is broken? These conversations were quite eye-opening. Many of the areas that I realize I need to address have been that way for a while. I just assumed that it was who I am. However, just because it has been that way for a while does not mean that it has always been good. 

The most eye-opening realization that came from my period of self-examination was this simple question: If your son were to be like you, would you be proud of who he is? If your daughter were to marry a man like you, would you be okay with him raising your grandchildren? If the answer to that is no then it is time to do better. 

What are you doing?

We don’t realize how much a small adjustment can impact our future until it is too late. A decision today can change the course of our future more than we realize. 

The goals for everyone will look different, but the outcome should be the same. “Will this make me a better man at the end of the month?” Examine the areas in your life that you feel you could do better, and then do better. It sounds simple… because it is.

For me, there are several areas that I believe I could do better. Some are serious, such as my health, and others are areas that I believe could be beneficial. That does not mean that my failure in them is leading to a catastrophic decline in my spiritual leadership. Rather, simply addressing these areas can provide a benefit to my family. 

The areas that I have chosen to work on are my health, education, and devotional life. Health is an area that, if left unchecked, can result in an early grave. So, I must address that immediately. However, education and devotional life are two areas that I feel I can do better.

That is not to say that I am neglecting these areas, but I would like to see growth. 

I won’t list all 12 goals that I have listed as many of them are repetitive (a couple of 5ks with varying times, increased overall lift totals throughout the year, etc.), and there are some that I do every year that I plan to increase (Bible reading twice a year over once a year, increase in prayer time, etc.). Here are some goals to help serve as an example:

1.) Tactical Aide Class

Now before you get confused, allow me to explain. Tactical has become a word that is overused in today’s “man” culture. Walk into any gun shop and you will see backpacks with a molle attachment and heavy-duty zippers listed as “tactical.” As if SOG was making backpacks for Seal Teams. No, this class is not one of combat medicine and how to set up a medivac. This class is a 12-hour crash course in emergency medicine. The focused areas include emergency airway management, dealing with shock, neck stabilization, bleeding control, and CPR. 

Do I plan on kicking down doors with the local SWAT team? No. Do I plan on responding to an active shooter event? I pray that I never do. I do travel a lot though, putting 40 thousand miles on my car this year. These skills can aid in an automotive accident the same way they can an active shooter. I also plan on increasing my hunting and hiking activities this year. My family has a hike planned every month. And these skills could be useful in an emergency. 

I pray that I never have to use them, but if my family and I are on a hike and my daughter slips and fractures her leg while a couple of miles away from our car, it is good to know how to handle it. 

2.) Thanksgiving

This one seems rather silly but to me, but this is something that will serve as a milestone of sorts. My goal for 2022 is to provide our entire thanksgiving meal from food that we have grown or killed ourselves. I know, it seems like an unusual goal, but it will serve as the culmination of a year’s worth of skills we plan to pick up. We have never had a garden before, but knowing how to grow one’s food is seemingly more important as supply chains struggle.

While I don’t foresee our country collapsing “Mad Max” style, we are called to provide for our families. Knowing how to do so in times of economic struggle will make life easier during those times.

Let’s face it, our government is not perfect. No government is. I don’t have enough faith in politicians to put food on my table. 

3.) Complete six 5k races

Remember how I said that some of my goals are repetitive? Well, here is one example of that. I am out of shape. Like, really out of shape. I know that if I ever want to see my daughter walk down the aisle or see the grandkids though, that I have to get this in check. To do so I have set up several milestones related to my physical health. My goal in the first 5k is to simply finish it. As the year progresses, my goals include a decrease in time with my ultimate end being a time of just under 42 minutes. 

These goals are ones that I believe will address the areas that I am lacking in my life, but these will also serve as skills to better serve my family.

While I may not be using the medical class to save people from an active shooter, it may serve to help my daughter or wife in the event of an accident. Why? Because car accidents happen all the time. Kids fall and hit their heads all the time. Accidents happen. All. The. Time. I want to protect my family.

The Gentlemen’s Purpose

Of course, there are other goals that every man should do every day, regardless of what their monthly goal is. That is why I want to encourage you to do these three things in addition to your monthly goals: 

1.) Half an hour of Bible reading a day.

2.) Half an hour of prayer a day.

3.) Pray with your family every day.

The goals that you set for the month will mean nothing if you are not seeking after the Lord with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength.

For the next year do these three things in addition to your 12. Let us serve our families well and lead them to a closer walk with the Lord. 

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1 thought on “The Gentlemen’s Challenge: The Purpose of 12.”

  1. This is such an awesome challenge! What I found most impressive in this article was you included YOURSELF. Your transparency at the beginning inspired me to read MORE! Sometimes it’s good to see that the writer is not just writing but he/she is writing from THE HEART❤️. I Enjoyed reading this. I am a 53 year old woman with a 29 year old adult son who has 3 sons. He’s a great father but I am definitely going to forward this to him . I’m delighted by your emails, I look forward to them and the golden nuggets they provide me. Have an awesome day and enjoy and take delight in your new challenge! Kudos to you DUDE!✨

     

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