Kenny:  No one wants to expose their struggles.  Men, in particular, since we're so competitive we don't want to appear weak.  It's masculine culture.  There's spiritual warfare around a young man.  The devil loves for a young man to keep a secret about a struggle.  Secrets keep this young man isolated and unknown.  He becomes worse in his character – not better -- the longer he keeps a secret.  A sick character leads to sick conduct and sin which leads to broken relationships with God and people. 

Confession is not taught.  We have to confess to God and to other people.  If you want emotional healing, that has to be in there.  That's difficult for men because we're not wired that way.  So we have to discipline ourselves to do it.  Anytime you have to discipline yourself to be honest with other people, it's a huge risk culturally, personally because there's shame involved in confession.  Especially on the sexual issue – there's huge shame for a young man to say, "You know what?  I'm really struggling with masturbation.  They'll think I'm a freak, think I'm weird."  But the reality is … 100 percent of the room is struggling with that.

Probably most of these young men have never experienced supportive community which is what they should be experiencing in their band of brothers.  So that's why ["Every Young Man, God's Man"] is a movement book.  You're going to get tons of youth groups with boys dealing with this stuff.


Laura:  You talk about "baptizing your brain" and "you are what you think."  What do you mean?

Kenny:  When you are responding to God in fear – and the message in fear is "I know my needs better" – then you have the wrong view of fear in God.  It all starts with the right view of God.  If [young men] know Him and if they realize how committed Jesus is to them … when they see how great He is and that He also loves you and has your best interests in mind … well, when you get those two things in your mind, you get a lot softer. 

If I can't rescue a kid, his heart is hard or he's so wounded that he has to go after indulging himself, impressing others and chasing toys or making money, then I'm praying for that young man that his world will be rocked early.  The fact of the matter is that most men, particularly in their thirties and forties are in this groove of "I'm a Christian, but functionally I'm a materialist" or "I'm a Christian, but functionally I'm a hedonist" or "functionally I'm a narcissist 'cause I'm insecure and wounded and I don't even understand myself and why I do what I do."  Their fear is this:  "If I give myself fully to God, then my needs won't be met.  I won't be having sex or I won't experience intimacy or I won't get the nice car or I won't get the promotion, etc."

But then when they chase those things and it gobbles them up and it "pimps" them – and the world and the devil and their own flesh use and abuse them – then they're like, "Man, this program that I thought was all that hasn't got me anywhere."

And so you confront the self-trickery and lies and you give them a right view of God while confronting some of the deeper issues of wearing masks, the need for love and intimacy and then share with them the truth of who God is, how awesome He is, how great a plan He has for them, etc.  Then, you illustrate how that plan works out in the lives of people for the good. 


Laura:  The concepts and principles in your book are great.  But after reading through it, I couldn't help but wonder, "Shouldn't these things be taught in the home by dads?"

Kenny:  No doubt!  This book should be about a father and a son.  It's not about going back to retrofit a relationship between a dad and his son.  However, that's the optimal situation.  When a dad is owning his spiritual life (and modeling it), marriage, family life, spending time with his kid, talking, etc., then it's just like Deuteronomy 6.  If you read Deut. 6, it's aimed at a dad.  It says to pass on the spiritual part to your children and when your son asks you what are the meanings of these decrees, the dad is supposed to give a testimony of his relationship with God and how God delivered him from Egypt and so forth.