In this episode of the Manlihood Mancast, Josh Hatcher talks about what it means to be a Gatekeeper.
Men have a special role in their families that they often neglect. There are outside forces that influence your families – and what comes into your home needs to go through you. You are the keeper of the gate – the man who determines what influences are allowed to pass through.
The truth is – our culture has a number of voices shouting a number of messages – many of them are contrary to the values that we have established in our homes. I know our values are different from home to home – but I often wonder why if we have ever thought about just what those values are – and if we have thought about what an impact opposing voices can have on our values.
For example – if you have daughters, you may want them to keep their sexuality reserved for later in life. We want them to be valued for their minds, and not their bodies. We want them to see their natural beauty, and know that they aren’t supposed to be measured by what society determines is beautiful – And yet – we allow them to listen to music that is encouraging a different attitude about sexuality, and we allow them to watch movies that demean women, and we let them read magazines that reinforce false ideas about real beauty.
We raise our sons to exercise self-control – and yet we allow them to watch television shows that portray a lack of self-control as a noble thing.
Let me encourage you to be the gatekeeper in your home. Identify what truths and values you want to uphold – and limit media that contradicts this. It doesn’t mean you have to shut all media out – and some media can be countered with lots of good conversation about your values – but some things just don’t have business in your homes! Your family may HATE you for enforcing family “censorship” – but if you are careful, and if you communicate clearly, and compassionately – I think you’ll be able to smooth that out.
Mindsets are like fortresses. The way a person thinks will determine the life he lives.
As a gatekeeper – it’s your job to understand the way your family thinks – and to correct the attitudes that you see that are contrary to the truth, and to your values.
If your daughter says, “I am so ugly.” It’s up to you to correct that, and tell her the truth.
If your son displays a negative attitude about doing his chores – you need to correct that.
If YOU have a bad attitude – you need to correct that.
You can try to correct behavior – but long before behavior happens, a mindset happens. You can not only correct bad mindsets, but you can build good mindsets, by speaking the truth at every opportunity!
Mindsets are not only revealed by speech and behaviors – but they are sometimes established because of them.
It’s up to you to determine which words you allow to be spoken in your home. Don’t allow your family to insult each other – or to denigrate themselves or others.
Many families have made “Shutup” or “Stupid” bad words. You might find yourself correcting your kids when they insult each other – or your spouse when she says “I can’t”….
Regardless – you need to take your role seriously as a gatekeeper – so that your home is a haven for the kind of speech that builds each other up.
I’ll be honest – I’m not the greatest at numbers or managing money – but my wife and I have a system that works – and she handles most of the financial duties. We discuss it together, and we make decisions together – but we work according to our strengths to get things done.
What are your financial values? How will you spend your money? Do you have a budget? The way you manage your money will influence the way your children manage theirs. So setting an example now will make a difference later.
I’d encourage you to check out Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University, or some other similar program so that you can learn some financial management principles.
But the basic principles you should understand:
- You will never have “enough” money. If you make more, you spend more. So use what you have wisely.
- Live within your means. If you aren’t, you have to spend less, or make more.
- Debt is expensive. It costs a LOT to borrow.
- Charity reminds us to treasure what we have
- Nothing is an emergency if you plan for it.
Media / Mindsets /.Mouths / Math – As the Gatekeeper in your home – all of these things have to get by you. It’s up to you to draw lines, keep the riff raff out, and to protect your family from harmful influences on the outside, and from harmful attitudes and behaviours on the inside.
Want to weigh in? Comment here, or log in to our private facebook group – The Manlihood Mancave to discuss this with other men!
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