Take the journey of strength. This journey leads men who have already submitted themselves to God to resume the pursuit of manliness, but at a higher level than before they began the first journey. During the journey of strength, men discern, execute, and complete the mission to which God has called them. Too many men remain stuck in the first journey, sitting in churches as nice guys who never take the risks necessary for God's kingdom to forcefully advance through their lives. In order to move on to the journey of strength, you must realize that Christianity is much more than just a moral code to help you avoid sin, order your world, and keep your family safe. God wants you to move on beyond comfort into wild adventure through the journey of strength. The first trail marker on this journey is miraculous power, because when you ask God to use your life in powerful ways, His power will flow through you to create everyday miracles. The second trail marker is leaving the Mr. Nice Guy persona behind and not hesitating to be demanding and even unpleasant with others with situations warrant forcefulness for a righteous cause. The third trail marker is to embrace biblical teachings that you may not personally agree with - choosing to trust in God's wisdom rather than the culture's opinions of difficult teachings. The fourth trail marker is to discern the mission God has given you in life, and to put aside distractions by constantly examining and adjusting your schedule in light of whether or not your activities are helping you fulfill that mission well. The fifth trail marker is to elevate your relationship with God above your relationship with your family members, giving yourself permission to do things like missing one of your son's soccer games so you can attend your church's men's retreat. The sixth trail marker is to invite conflict as the way to peace, by engaging in tough conversations and boldly telling the truth in them to work through issues and find resolutions.

Take the journey of sacrifice. This journey leads men to complete their love for Jesus by laying down their lives for the next generation to carry His mission forward in the world. During the journey of sacrifice, men who are getting older and closer to death can extend their lives and influence beyond their time on earth by relinquishing their power and entrusting it to others. The first trail marker is looking beyond suffering and pain to focus on what has eternal value. The second trail marker is expecting betrayal from some people and not letting it bother you. The third trail marker is allowing God to act on your behalf, even when you have the ability to take matters into your own hands. The fourth trail marker is to choose to invest your time and energy into discipling younger men rather than simply relaxing when you get older. The fifth trail marker is to move into a deeper love relationship with God through Jesus. The sixth trail marker is to entrust your work to the next generation of men who can carry on with after you're gone. The seventh and final trail marker is to surrender to whatever life brings your way, choosing God's will over your own will.

Adapted from The Map: The Way of All Great Men, copyright 2009 by David Murrow. Published by Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, Tn., www.thomasnelson.com
David Murrow is an award-winning television producer and writer based in Alaska, most recently working for Alaska's most notable resident, Sarah Palin. He is also director of Church for Men, an organization that helps congregations reconnect with men and boys. His first book, Why Men Hate Going to Church, was an instant Christian bestseller. His efforts have spawned articles in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and the Chicago Tribune, to name a few. You may have seen him on PBS, the NBC Nightly News, or the FOX News Channel talking about the gender gap. He and his wife, Gina, have three children and a dachshund named Pepper.

Publication date: August 27, 2010