Every teenager cries out for it, most Christian men have anything but it, every “Bad Boy” shows it, no one can truly fully grasp it. Independence. It’s the ability to function apart from others and rely on yourself. “Bad Boys” just portray this. Think of how many of them are loners, wanderers, and rogues. These guys don’t need anyone else, but the girls fall for them left and right. Why?

As I’ve pointed out before, the “Bad Boy” shows a glimmer of something she is looking for. It’s the go it alone attitude. Too many of the guys she has dated have smothered her, clinging to her and refusing to leave her alone for a minute. She wants to be able to take a breath without you crowding her. She wants to know that you can survive without her. She wants a chance to make some decisions on her own. He gives her that chance. While he’s running around causing trouble, she is able to take a breath without being at the center of his attention.

I’ve talked a lot about guys, but lets take a moment to talk about girls. They want to be at the center of your attention, but they want you to be able to focus on other things as well. They want you to spoil them, but they want to have moments of normal life too. While women are very confusing, they are quite easy to understand as well. They want you to love them, but they also want you to love yourself. This is the independence they want in a man, and the independence that they see a flash of in the “Bad Boy.”

Independence is not the resistant to authority, stand apart from it all attitude of the “Bad Boy.” Independence as Jesus calls for, is the ability to stand apart from society and do what He directs. It is not separation from community, but a reliance on a community of Godly men, Hardcore Christian Men if you will. It is the ability to do what needs to be done, while knowing that they have your back. Most of all, it is not being the “Momma’s Boy” that so many men of today are. It is being able to succeed in what you are doing without the guidance of a mother figure, and without making your girlfriend or wife fill that role.

I remember a poem that I heard as a Boy Scout being inducted into the Order of the Arrow. The Medicine Man tells this poem to the scouts who are hoping to be selected. The poem is “Good Timber” by Douglas Malloch:

The tree that never had to fight
For sun and sky and air and light,
But stood out in the open plain
And always got its share of rain,
Never became a forest king
But lived and died a scrubby thing.

The man who never had to toil
To gain and farm his patch of soil,
Who never had to win his share
Of sun and sky and light and air,
Never became a manly man
But lived and died as he began.

Good timber does not grow with ease:
The stronger wind, the stronger trees;
The further sky, the greater length;
The more the storm, the more the strength.
By sun and cold, by rain and snow,

In trees and men good timbers grow.

Being an independent man among a forest of boys is what God calls for, and what she looks for. Independence is not going at it “alone,” so much as relying on yourself and God in whatever it is you are doing. She wants to have a man who can handle himself without her, but wants you to want her to be with you. She wants you to spend time away from her doing things you love without her, and she wants you to have an opinion. Too many Christian men act like fawning fans, not independent adults. In fawning over her, they fail to speak up when they disagree, they are passive, and they don’t inspire her confidence. Are you this type of Christian man?

If you are, you are part of the reason that she goes after the “Bad Boys.” That can change though. Stand up for yourself. Show her that you are able to be a man apart from her and the crowd. Show her that you are independent. The old saying “Stand up and take it like a man,” is talking about this very thing. Be independent in what you do, and you will find she wants to spend more time doing things with you.

Until the Whole World Knows,


  1. Gary Taylor says:

    Paul, saving this one for further reflection because it’s a theme that is a cornerstone to Generational Fathering.

    “It is not separation from community, but a reliance on a community of Godly men, Hardcore Christian Men if you will.”

    ‘Tis this interdependence as a counterpoint to the American way as taught by The Duke and Clint Eastwood…and Frank Sinatra, “My Way”. We still have the wild west mantra of “I can do it myself” in our fathering. But, we can’t. So, we don’t. Do good fathering, that is. We need our own dads (talk about a relational challenge) and our comrades in fellowship to fill the saddlebag with the tools needed to raise this generation of Millennial critters

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