A long time ago, when my first daughter was born, I felt convicted to be an active presence in her life as we raised her. But in the years following I have also had 4 sons and have realized, even more so, the great importance of my involvement in their lives as they grow.
It’s not that I believe that an active role, as a father, in my daughter’s lives is less important, in comparison to raising boys, because it’s not. I don’t think I have to convince anyone of this. A father’s positive role in his daughter’s life has lasting effects and helps to shape her into a healthy, balanced young woman someday. But the same is true for boys.
I was driving with my family last week, when my wife read this quote to me from Facebook-
Boys will be boys until someone teaches them to be more.
We both agreed. My wife, who spent many years serving with an inner city church, saw the devastation first hand, caused by fatherless homes or abusive fathers.
The longer I drove, the deeper I thought about that quote, especially as it relates to my boys. My sons are active, rowdy, adventurous, imaginative, full of life, and always willing to test the limits. It’s in their nature as boys. At times, it seems the ends of their fingers can transform into little razor sharp blades that destroy anything they touch! Don’t quote me on that, but it may be true! 🙂
It also seems like each new day they are growing up…becoming older, wiser, and even more adventurous than the day before. It’s caused me to look at the clock more often. I’m taking note of how fast time moves and how little of it I have. I find myself being convicted, and in-tuned to how critical it is to teach them to be men of integrity, honesty, good character, who each bear solid moral compasses. But, teaching this is not enough. In order to successfully teach, I also have to be.
As the man of the house goes, so goes the son.
It’s a striking truth. As the man of the house goes, so goes the son (or sons). The pressure is on us fathers to model what we hope our sons will grow up to understand. All you have to do is look at the statistics on fatherless households in this country to see the trend:
- Drug abuse
- Jail time
- Pornography addiction
The list goes on and on. Much of this list is a direct result of the absence of a father-figure, or a father who is uninvolved or distant, violent or abusive. Gentlemen, the way we choose to live our lives, handle ourselves, and lead our families (or not) will play out in our son’s lives. The choices we make as men, will funnel directly into the choices our sons make. If you’re anything like me, this scares you!
We can attempt to teach our sons to be more, but if we are not more ourselves, it’s meaningless. We have to be the very human being we are teaching our sons to be.
What we model as fathers, will be lived out by our sons.
If we put work before our families, there is a great chance our sons will grow up to do the same thing someday. If we mistreat our wives, or our daughters, our sons will grow up with a lower respect of woman, even with their future wives or daughters. It’s so critical that we model integrity, character, respect and sound moral values in front of our sons.
They are watching us, studying us, and taking life cues from us. Do you realize this? There is rarely a day that goes by where I do not glance over to my sons and see them studying me. This is exponentially greater when I am dealing with a conflict or trying to solve a problem. They are watching me to see how I handle tough situations, deal with conflict, or work through stress.
And they are studying the way I treat their mother and their sisters!
Lead for someday.
We need to lead our sons today, in anticipation for tomorrow: the day when they become men, marry a girl, and begin a family. My sons are 6, 7, 8 and 11. They are still children. But it’s critical that I am leading them in a way that shapes their future. That’s the near future and the distant future. When they become teenagers and young adults, I want them to live with character and integrity as well as in the future when they are full-grown men.
I love having sons. If you’re the father of boys, I bet you love it too. But, the pressure is on us. We must be diligent in leading our sons right. Yes, boys will be boys. They will be rowdy and maybe even act out at times. But, they’ll do this only until we teach them to be something more!
Question: Do you have sons? What have you learned as a result? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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