Apply, in Order to Grow

Ayokunu Oduniyi

Ayokunu Oduniyi is the husband to Susan Deborahs, a faithful friend and brother to many. He is the founder & senior leader of A NEW THING London and Four12Men, a Christian men’s organisation based in London Bridge.
Welcome to the 4:12 MEN BLOG. Here you will find thought-provoking, soul searching content on all things manhood.

My name is Ayokunu Oduniyi and I would like to start off by saying thank you for being here and reading, I take it not for granted and I know it’s not by mistake.

I tell my men every week, on a Monday, you will never grow beyond what you don’t apply. Growth is intentional, growth is a choice. We will never see trees without first it being sowed into the ground, not any ground, good soil. Furthermore, it must be consistently watered and receive adequate sunlight in order for it to grow.

So, growth requires action, we all have potential (seed) but potential will remain potential if never actually act on it. You owe it yourself, a being born a male, to grow in accordance with your age and stature. You may ‘grow’ in age, but not actually grow in self (your being), you may ‘grow’ in stature, get bigger bones, shoe sizes go up, but the quality of your thought process doesn’t grow accordingly. We all go through changes in life, but few people grow in life.

There is a process to manhood and Paul clearly states.

1 Corinthians 13:11

 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.

Recognise the becoming of a man is acknowledging you have changed, you have grown you, therefore, possess the ability to address what childish about you and put it behind you. Manhood is a continual process of putting away childish things, of putting the ways of childhood behind you.

We see this through the process he wrote before this statement. Children talk before thinking, think without reasoning. Men reason when thinking, think before they talk. The reverse of this process is manhood, but once again acknowledge there is a process, you must learn and study in order to prove and show yourself a man.

A man possesses the self-control to not respond in feelings but acknowledges the feelings and reasons before responding. Wise judgement, prudence, self-awareness are in his arsenal and aide the process of him maintaining his position as a man. This ability comes through the application of (learning what a man is) and embracing the process, the journey into manhood. This can only come from other men (you should have a mentor, be part of a community of men, a father figure must be present in your life, seek and find one – that’s your responsibility if you’re willing to take the first step of being a man; being responsible to make up what is lacking, not blaming others for what’s not present).

Don’t lament over what’s not “manly” about you (this produces passivity – the curse killing manhood, started with Adam in the garden) instead ferociously attack by intentionally finding out ways to become a man (hint: being around other men). Accept it’s a process that doesn’t result in one day I’m now a man, but that you are a man (belief/affirmation), becoming a man (become/process) and that you’re acknowledging everything childish in your life & actively putting them away (your action match your words).

You will never grow beyond what you don’t apply.

Remember, applied knowledge is power, knowledge alone is information. Allow what you hear to sink deep into your heart, which the bible says should be of good soil, so that it may bear fruit. In order words, let it rattle you, convict you, encourage you, reprove you and stir you on. When you apply (do something) you will grow (James 1:25). Manhood is revealed in what childish ways you’re willing to push aside.


Keep that system going, and watch the seed become a tree, that finds its fruit so that there are more seeds that can follow its example.

With Love,

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