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When Does a Boy Become a Man?

Posted By Chris Giovagnoni On November 15, 2011 @ 1:40 am In Country Trips | 21 Comments

when does a boy become a man When does a boy become a man?

when does a boy become a man

He becomes a man when he needs to.

When Ann introduced you to Jonathan [3] on Saturday she called him a child. I call him a man.

Even though Jonathan is just 15 years old, he is a man. He has to be.

Jonathan’s mother abandoned the family when he was 4. And his father walked out of Jonathan’s daily life not long after.

Jonathan lived in the jungle with his grandparents when his father moved to the city to find work. But last year when death took his grandparents, Jonathan’s father didn’t return. He stayed in the city — with his favorite son — and left Jonathan alone to care for himself.

Living in the jungle is isolating, which is why most people in Jonathan’s community are quiet and reserved. However, Jonathan is quiet for another reason as well; he’s hurting deeply.

And this is why I say he is a man. Jonathan refuses to succumb to the temptation of silence and isolation.

When we visited him on Friday, he allowed us into his home and shared his story with us. He embraced vulnerability, trusted us, and rose above the lies poverty is trying to convince him are real.

In the midst of poverty, from a life of loneliness, Jonathan demonstrates a rare nobility. He stands tall.

Although his life is incredibly difficult, Jonathan is maturing personally, spiritually and morally in the Body of Christ.

When a boy needs comfort he turns to his mother, or he turns to things in this world. When a man needs comfort, he turns to the Lord.

Jonathan told us that sometimes when he’s lonely he rests in his hammock and sings to God.

Jonathan isn’t a man because of his wisdom and behavior in desperate circumstances, although those are characteristics of manhood. He’s a man because he knows that God’s grace is sufficient for him, that God’s power is made perfect in human weakness.

When does a boy become a man?

He becomes a man when he needs to, regardless of age. For some, manhood comes at 15. For others, it may come at 50. And for a few, it may never come at all.

Being an adult male and being a man are not the same thing. A boy becomes a man when he understands and consistently demonstrates through humble surrender to God that the Lord’s strength abounds in human frailty.

From what I saw in Jonathan, I think I can learn a thing or two about being a man.


Sponsor a child in Ecuador [4].

Sponsor a child in Jonathan’s child development center (EC-273) or a center near him. [5]


Article printed from Poverty | Compassion International Blog: http://blog.compassion.com

URL to article: http://blog.compassion.com/when-does-a-boy-become-a-man/

URLs in this post:

[1] subscribe to our blog: http://feeds.feedburner.com/CompassionBlogPosts

[2] Chris Giovagnoni: https://plus.google.com/100695515199994853053/

[3] Ann introduced you to Jonathan: http://blog.compassion.com/when-compassion-becomes-a-gold-rush/

[4] Sponsor a child in Ecuador: http://www.compassion.com/sponsor_a_child/default.htm?referer=102535

[5] Sponsor a child in Jonathan’s child development center (EC-273) or a center near him.: http://www.compassion.com/sponsor_a_child/default.htm?referer=121673

[6] Image: http://blog.compassion.com/what-does-poverty-mean/

[7] Image: http://blog.compassion.com/and-the-church-grows/

[8] Image: http://blog.compassion.com/what-is-poverty-poverty-is/

[9] Image: http://blog.compassion.com/ecuador-blog-the-compassion-bloggers-are-going-to-ecuador/

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