The book “Killing Lions” is a conversation between John and Sam Eldredge about the trials young men face.
[John] You simply cannot neglect the heart and get away with it. The mind is a beautiful instrument, one we certainly want to develop all our lives and not only in the college years. But God gave us the mind to protect the heart, not usurp it. As Walker Percy said, “You can get all A’s and still flunk life.”
So let’s think about identity and the heart for a moment. All men, young or old, have within them a famished craving for validation. It will not be denied. We will chase validation wherever we can and we learn pretty quickly what our world rewards, what it shames, what it cares nothing about. So the athletes seek validation by being fast, strong, and winning, while the valedictorians throw themselves into papers, exams, and maintaining their GPAs. The “spiritual leader” latches on to the praise coming from their giftings, and they give their hearts and souls over to that dance, while the “cool” kids go barefoot and wear dreadlocks. We are all looking for the same thing.
When a young man doesn’t know who he is and what he’s made of, resisting those “scripts” that are being handed out is about the same as defying gravity. “Let’s see—I gotta do my laundry, move my car, and oh yeah, I think I’ll fly today.”