What Advice Do Today’s Teen Guys Really Need?

Posted on: 09/5/18 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

I’m neck deep writing my newest book to young men… and I’d love your advice?

And here’s what I want to know:

What advice do you think today’s young men need more than anything else?

Every time I speak at leadership event for today’s young people I notice something overwhelmingly obvious: the ratio of guys to girls.

Can you guess what it is?

I’ll put it this way. If there were 100 student leaders in a room, then 80 of them would be girls.

As thrilled as I am for girls (and for my two daughters), I mourn for today’s young men. Why is it that young men aren’t rising up to the challenge? What’s distracting them?

Many of you have seen my first Guy’s Guide book, a book with 101 real world tips for today’s teenage guys- The Guy’s Guide to God, Girls, and the Phone in Your Pocket.  For some reason this particular book has struck a chord with readers– it’s by far my best seller. Maybe because it’s hitting such a huge need.

That’s why we decided to do a second book in the series to guys (and yes, I have one for girls AND guys HERE). In this one, we’re going to specifically target some of the biggest pressures, temptations and distractions young men face today. The working title is:

The Guy’s Guide to Four Battles Every Young Man Must Fight

We’re going to address these four areas: self image, substances, sex, and screens.

With that in mind… what would you like to see in this book? Use the comments below, and if you like, start with these words:

“I’d like to see you address…”

9 Replies to “What Advice Do Today’s Teen Guys Really Need?”

  1. The obvious topic is how the Bible defines masculinity. The need for real men (young and old) to accept the responsibility of living a life of passion for those God has placed in their lives. The importance of faithfulness and commitment, even if no one notices. Show up, be on time, respect others as being in the image of God, seek to serve, turn off the phone, the tv, the internet, and make sure the person across from you knows they are important. Treat ladies like ladies, not like you treat your buddies, they are different, fragile and precious and looking for affirmation from you.

  2. The helplessness and hopelessness that many teen boys feel. It transcends age, race, economic status, etc… Seems to have a LOT to do with the status of their dad. Is he around? Is he engaged in what his son is doing, thinking, feeling. In the absence of a strong male role model, boys do not know how to cope with the complexities of life’s daily challenges. The loneliness is debilitating, and instead of turning to youth leaders, relatives, mentors, or other trusted adults, they do life on their own…. and that’s a bad idea for anyone.

  3. I’d like to see you address peer pressure regarding sex (every body is doing – loser if you don’t) and bragging (gossiping) about what certain girls have done or are willing to do.

  4. Many young men are floundering, bluffing through life. Could you answer “how am I supposed to learn how to be a man, when my own dad is absent or won’t talk, and I don’t know how—or whom—to ask?” “How am I supposed to make sense of the attitudes around me, ‘boys will be boys’ ‘looking isn’t a crime’ ‘you such a GUY (read: simple, stupid, one thing on your mind)’? Girls are built up with “girls rule, girls can do anything” but guys are put down constantly. How am I supposed to figure out what I’m here for, and what to do with hormones, when everyone acts like I (should) have it all figured out? Why do girls dress showing so much of themselves, and guys are supposed to ignore it and respect them? If we say anything, they say shut up—we’re sexist, sick, pathetic. That’s wrong.

  5. I’ve just started discipling 2 young men in our church. Each week, we look at a different characteristic of a godly young man with Scripture to back it up. Our culture today can be very confusing for young men, sending mixed signals of what they should be like. We need young men to be men and be the leaders God wants them to be – taking responsibility for their actions and loving others in a Godly way. Young men of conviction and courage. Our culture is not teaching this at all.

  6. My personal opinion, I feel like young men need to be challenged to be the MEN they need to be. To become spiritual warriors for the kingdom. Maybe it is just me, but I think God placed in us an innate desire to be great…to be conquerors. The world emasculates our young men by giving them mixed signals on how to be a man, and by trying to root out the things that make them different from our counterparts…no less AT ALL, but decidedly different. They want the lines to blur. I think God called men to be leaders (women too) in our world. I think there are defined roles in the kingdom, but that one is not greater..they compliment each other. And young men should be leaders to those around them. My favorite line in the speech about the space race, was from President Kennedy…it is something our culture runs from, seemingly, these days. “We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard…” its a famous line because we are challenged to step up and be great! Let us as Christians do the hard things so we can do great things for the kingdom of God! BE LIKE JESUS…once I was told, you think you know what it is to be a man…to look a certain way, to be able to get laid, to be able to party, etc….a REAL man was Jesus Christ…I DARE you to live like HIM, that will be the hardest, most MANLY thing you will ever do! I accepted that challenge and have been striving to live like Him every day since!

  7. My own 17 year old son stopped going to youth group about 2 years ago. He states that most of the teenagers who attend now are the kids who are at risk. Which is good but there is no draw for the kids who for the most part are not having trouble at home or at school. Per my son and his male friends, they just don’t want to go and hang around with kids who aren’t part of their peer group. I know that sounds bad but it is what is happening.

    Forcing my son to go to youth group won’t work. Having him take more of a leadership role might . . . ?

    1. Thanks for the comment… I appreciate your honesty. This is a common frustration, obviously not in all youth groups, but in some. I think it’s important to find connection for our kids- other kids of faith who will build into him, not drag him down. A small group Bible Study can sometimes meet a need like that- a place where kids can come, share, interact with each other, be noticed, be heard, and hear truth. If you can’t find something like that, maybe there is a young mentor in your church willing to start one of those. Food for thought.

  8. All great comments. Thank you!
    I would like to see you address the areA of service. Serving others and not expecting any return is some of the greatest joy in life.

    I’d like to see you address the on going need to be accountable to a group of men. For example, create a round table of men that have had or are influencing him.

    I’d like to see you address that failure is part of the process of success in life.

    I’d like to see you address the need to study (reading, listening& associating with other successful men) soft skills, relationships, temperaments.

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