Monday, November 26, 2012

Dear Teenage Boys

Having a lovely 16-year-old girl in my home has resulted in my being exposed to an interesting array of goofy teenage boys.  Okay, so the goofiness isn’t always a primary quality of their characters, but they definitely have their goofy ways.  I so often find myself wanting to sit these boys down and fill them in on things.  Particularly on the ways of women. 
Of course, I resist the temptation.  I don’t want to be THAT mom.  Both of my girls would probably be mortified.  But I have a blog and can write what I want here, so here goes my lecture:
Boys, you stress about the wrong things.  Looks just aren’t that big of a deal.  Yes, get a decent haircut, take care of your skin, pick your clothes with a bit of care, and bathe regularly.  But the girls who refuse to date anyone who is not drop-dead gorgeous are not the kind of girls you want a relationship with anyway -- they will constantly be looking around for a better-looking guy.
Being fit and active is attractive, but wash-board abs are pointless.  Scrap the stupid photos of yourself shirtless in front of the bathroom mirror.  Nobody cares – and again, the girls who do care are not girls you want.
Money – meh.  It comes and goes.  Same with all the material things – cars and such.  Athletic ability is admirable, but no more so than any other ability.  No, I'm not kidding about that.  I know it seems like the jocks get all the attention, but that's just because their ability is out there for display more.
You want to know the number one quality that makes a guy attractive to a girl?  Here it is – the magic formula:  CONFIDENCE.  Not arrogance – that’s something else entirely (don't miss that crucial point).  When a guy is confident . . . when he knows who he is, what he can do and can’t do, what he values, what he believes, where he intends to go in life . . . when he can stand up to criticism without wilting, when he can accept challenge as a welcome opportunity to grow . . . I'm telling you, this is almost irresistible.  I have seen some really homely-looking men fighting off beautiful woman after beautiful woman because of the air of confidence they have around them.  To a woman, they feel solid.  Reliable.  Strong.  Safe.  A rock.  Don’t under-estimate the strong female need for security.
Now, I'm not going to lie to you and tell you that girls your age are mature enough to pick the average-looking confident boy over the arrogant, popular jock.  They are still in high school.  They are still immature.  But I will tell you that they will respect you more, and they will come to you when their arrogant jock boyfriends let them down -- which they always will.  AND, I can almost assure you: once you get to the later college years and beyond, you will have it all over the shallow pretty-boys. 
Confidence is key.  Start building that confidence now -- not by acting confident when you have no reason to be so (that's arrogance), but by doing the legitimate work to become a man whom a woman would want someday.  Get an education.  Figure out what you're good at and get better at it.  Find your weaknesses and work on them.  Have a vision for your future that is realistic and exciting.  Be passionate about something that matters.  Do hard things.  Find an identity that has nothing to do with who's crushing on you.  Know thyself, as Socrates says.  Get to know the God who made you so he can fill you in about what you were made for.
And be patient.  You'll thank me someday.


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