I’m the father of 4 boys. My youngest is 5 and my oldest is almost 11. To say that our house is lively would be an understatement. If we had a sound meter I’m sure it would red line on most days.
I love being a father to boys. As many of you who have both boys and girls know, boys are way different than girls. I love both but boys are way easier. My boys are filled with adventure, imagination, and wonder, and it’s amazing to watch that play out day after day.
I’ve learned so much from them. In my busy, hectic life, I’m reminded by my boys that a world exists around me that is amazing. Out of the numerous things I’ve learned from them, here are 5 big things:
1- Everything’s a weapon.
And I mean EVERYTHING! The other day, as I did some spring cleaning in my garage, I looked out to the driveway and saw my 5-year old son, Sam, holding a ice scraper like a gun. He was sneaking up beside the van and pointing it at his mom. She reminded him to only shoot the bad guys. Classic!
2- There’s always an adventure to go on.
If my boys have taught me one thing, it’s that life is filled with adventure. They can take an ordinary, rather boring day, and turn it into a quest to Middle-Earth or a mission to build a fort in the dining room. There’s really not a day that goes that I don’t see their adventurous spirits on full display!
3- There’s a battle to be won and a damsel in distress to rescue.
Boys love a fight. My boys sure do. Our backyard has been the scene of epic wars, castle raids, mud-bomb airstrikes, and sword fights to the oomph degree. The neighbor girl who often joins them is one of the boys right now, but I have a feeling that fights will break out over who’s taking her to prom in about 10 years!
4- Life needs imagination.
Life can become so stagnant at times. We stall out and we forget our younger days when imagination led the way. I’m reminded of this everyday when I look at my boys. Imagination is their guide. Their view of the world around them is filled with it, as opposed to the harsh reality that permeates nearly every area of life. We adults could learn some lessons from our boys. This is not to say that we should not live in reality, but a little imagination mixed in might do us some good!
5- Chivalry is not dead.
My boys are servants. Of course, they are learning how to do this more and more, but I see such men of integrity in their little lives. They love to love other people. They love to be helpful. Anytime my wife is doing household chores, my sons spring into action. They love to participate and serve her. My prayer is that they will carry this into their adults lives, and choose to serve their wives the same way they serve their mother.
What I’m convicted with every single day, is the great need for me, as their father, and an adult male, to cultivate all of these things in their young lives. It’s so easy to become that cold, over-productive adult who demands too much and stifles imagination and creativity. Sure, I need to teach them about real life, but what good is that if I don’t deepen their adventurous spirits in the process?
The challenge for all of us fathers, or mothers, who have boys, is to cultivate, cultivate, cultivate! Celebrate their imaginations, cheer on their adventures, praise their chivalrous acts when you see them. Heck, take off your adult hat and participate every once in a while! You need it more than you know.
Question: Are you the parent of boys? What lessons have you learned from them? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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