Lately, I have been doing a lot of thinking about my boys and what I hope for their growing up years to be. Ben is about to turn 9-years-old. There's no turning back. We're about to get in the thick of it. Ben will remember everything from here on out. Amanda is reading a book that my mom sent entitled Boys Should Be Boys by Meg Meeker. I pulled the following from Amazon which said it was on the back cover.
* Why the most important factor in shaping your son's behavior isn't "peer pressure" (it's you)
* How to preserve your son's innocence (and why it's essential to help him grow up)
* Why boys need less, not more--whether it's computer games, organized sports, or lessons
* How to talk to your son--the pitfalls that moms and dads face
* Why it's not normal for teenage boys to be moody and rebellious
* Why teaching your son about virtue isn't an option, it's a necessity
Pretty much the gist of it is (from what Amanda has told me) that what boys need most is their fathers and to be pushed to be adventurous and given the time and freedom to take those risks.
I was talking with a good friend last week about this topic and about how when I was younger I had many fun and memorable experiences. Many of them were us getting into trouble. For instance, we used to drive around town with one of us on the roof of my parents Olds 88. They would lay across the roof and hold on. Anyone of us could have fallen off there and died. Probably not the best idea, but it was a great story to tell afterwards. I told my friend last week that I hoped that my boys would live lives that would lead to great stories that would also honor and glorify God.
I think one thing that has happened in the last four or so decades is a shift from fathers being the primary early influences on boys to mothers be that influence. Mothers naturally are more worried about the personal safety of the boys. How many of us have heard mothers (and even fathers now) say to their kids at a playground, "Johnny, careful or you're going to get hurt."? I want my boys to be put into situations where the worst thing that could happen to them is that they might get hurt or die. I think that boys are put and putting themselves into situation where the worst thing that could happen is for them to lose their souls.
For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?
Mark 8:36If your boy is downstairs on his computer all day, he's probably not going to get hurt. But there's a good chance he could lose his soul.
One of my new favorite artists is Andrew Peterson. The song below talks about boys living lives where there is a tale to tell. This is the kind of life I hope for my boys. This is why we moved to the farm. This is why I push them to work. This is why I push them to read amazing stories. This is why I pray for them. "The joy in the journey is enough to make a grown man cry." Ben, Caleb, Matthew, I look forward to your telling the tales.