To My Sons: Lessons on Manhood I Learned From Your Father

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Dear Boys,

BE A STUD — Eat and breathe whatever you are involved in. Study it. Practice it. Focus.

BE A MAN’S MAN—Have a real friend, not an occasional drinking buddy. Cultivate a colleague and confidante.

DON’T SHY AWAY FROM WOMANLY MATTERS—Sometimes your wife or girlfriend might need you to pick up a box of tampons. Don’t freak out. Menstruation is not contagious.

START A FOOD FIGHT—Embrace the silly side of life.

DANCE—Nothing is more romantic.

MARRIAGE ISN’T ALWAYS 50/50—Like a see-saw, the amount of give-and-take fluctuates.

GET INVOLVED—You have no right to criticize if you don’t contribute.

NO WHINING ALLOWED—Don’t let your troubles be your definition.

MODESTY IS OVERRATED—Some of our best conversations were during your father’s “morning constitutional.”

BE A HERO—Allow someone to look up to you. Earn that adoration.

BE COMMITTED—Buckle up and tough it out. There’s joy in the roller coaster and pride at the finish.

APPRECIATE IMPERFECTIONS—Don’t let someone’s faults (or your own) become a catalyst for conceit.

BE A LEADER—Establish your own character. Don’t follow indiscriminately.

BE HUMBLE—Boasting is not masculine. Save your hot air for balloons.

PAY IT FORWARD—Blessings are communal.

FAMILY FIRST—Never, ever let them doubt who is most important.

HAVE FAITH—God rules.

EMBRACE ALL GENERATIONS—Nine-years-old or Ninety-years-old, everyone has wisdom.

ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE VULNERABLE—You won’t always know the answers. It’s OK.

HAVE INTEGRITY—A man is his reputation.

LOOSEN UP—Not everything will go as planned.

BE COURAGEOUS—Your family and friends will draw strength from you.

LAUGH—Even in the direst of situations, there is humor to be found.

LOVE—Let it be your compass.

LIVE—It’s the finest way to honor your dad.


Originally published on

5 thoughts on “To My Sons: Lessons on Manhood I Learned From Your Father

  1. Hi Lisa. Nice photo. With your permission, I’d like to post your article “To My Sons: Lessons on Manhood I Learned From Your Father” and image on our external website: We can provide author byline and a link to your website. You’ll also be entered into our quarterly writing contests. No entry fee. My email is Would this be okay? Thank-you for your consideration! Mary


  2. Hi Lisa. Thank-you for sharing. Your blog will go live on this Monday morning.

    Aside note: I think you gorgeous for someone who’s 50! Your beauty glows from within. I will pray that things will turn out the way they need to for you, your health and your sons. If I may be of support in anyway, please let me know.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mary, for some odd reason I didn’t see your “aside” until now. Thank you so much! I also wanted to express my appreciation for your continual encouragement. It is a true blessing. ❤️


  4. Pingback: Lessons on Manhood Part Three: To my Younger Son on His 21st Birthday | Big Girl Panties

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