Monday, May 25, 2009

A Call To Manhood

Our son turned 20 yesterday.  It is amazing...no longer a teenager.  He has been a legal adult for several years, now and yet in many ways he and his friends reflect the common attitude of our culture these days - one that is self oriented and wanting to hold off on responsibilities as long as possible.  

Tim read a book called "Raising A Modern Day Knight" by Robert Lewis.  It's purpose is to encourage men in guiding their sons into authentic manhood.  Let's face it so many fathers never prepared their sons for manhood.  Those dads were not prepared themselves....We recently heard statistics that the average dad spends 6 minutes a day in conversation with their children. 6 minutes!  That is astonishing.

The author of the book encourages men to cast a vision of manhood for their sons,  to layout principles of manhood (the author does this by contrasting Adam and Jesus; Adam represents a life separated from God and Jesus represents a life in union with God) and to layout a code of conduct.

The principles are: 

1. A real man Rejects Passivity.

2. A real man Accepts Responsibility.

3. A real man Leads Courageously.

4. A real man Expects the Greater Reward.

As Tim read the book, he so wished that he had received this vision from his father.  He said that he feels like he did not take manhood seriously until he was 40 years old.  He recognized that he was a man and he had better start acting like it!

Tim also saw that he had not prepared Nate for manhood and wanted to do something special for his 20th birthday.  He talked it over with me and this is what happened.

Tim called 2 of Nate's closest friends, guys that he has been friends with the longest.  He asked them to come to a dinner in Nate's honor.  He also asked them to prepare something to share; something that would be affirming to Nate.  He also called several men who have been special in Nate's life.  2 could not be there but are sending a written message to him.  One of them came who shared Biblical principles with Nate - this man is in his 70's.  My dad was in attendance as well, and shared some of what he has been learning recently.  (He is 70 and just finished "Quest for Authentic Manhood" through Men's Fraternity) Tim then shared the principles of manhood and shared some personal thoughts.  He also then presented Nate with a special memento of this evening.  Tim mounted an antique black powder pistol, that had belonged to his dad. It is in a "shadow box" and Tim asked Emily to do a Fractur and include the 4 principles of manhood.  This is in the box with the pistol. 

My part in this was to provide a special atmosphere for all this to take place.  So we used my parents beautiful dining room, and china that my dad brought back from Japan when he was in the Navy.  It is 50 years old!  I set the table to be elegant like a fine restaurant, but not "feminine."  I prepared a 3 course meal, Lindsay and Emily helped me.  Then we had them stay to serve the meal.  When they were done serving - they left.  A neat thing about my parents dining room is that it has a pocket door that can be closed between the dining room and kitchen.

The first course of the meal was salad and homemade sweet french bread.  This was already on the table along with the salad dressings and butter for bread.  When they had eaten for a bit, Lindsay and Emily came in a cleared the table for them and brought out their main course which was roast beef, mashed potatoes, gravy and Normandy blend of mixed vegetables with cheese sauce.  When this was done, they cleared and then served English Trifle for dessert.
(what a blessing to have daughters who want to help to carry out their dad's vision)

I was not there, nor were the little children or my mom.  As soon as Tim and Nate arrived - it was a surprise for Nate - the food was ready and we left.

It was a night for men.  It was special.  Their hearts were full - Nate was affirmed, he was encouraged and he was called.  Tim, Nate and my Dad all came back to our house together.  They were happy and pleased.

What a joy it was to help Tim to carry this out, to watch him fulfill the "vision" God placed in his heart to do this for our son. 

It was an evening of blessing.

11 comments:

Becky K. said...

I am so sure that Nate had to appreciate all of your efforts.

How special!

Donna said...

What a beautiful thing to do for your son! I bet it made a huge impression on him and will dwell in his heart for the rest of his life!

A Joyful Chaos said...

Thanks for sharing.

Karen said...

Clarence was just talking about that stat, too, and is trying to make a more concerted effort to really engage with the girls each day.

It's hard for dads to fit it in, but I know it blesses the kids as well as the dads when they can make it happen.

It sounds like it was a wonderful evening for your guys. Good for Tim for making the effort and not just shrugging and thinking it's too late. Praying God will bless your efforts mightily.

Phyllis said...

We could not ask for a finer son-in-law. I have seen him grow as a man and father. His relationship with the Lord is reflected in his relationship with his children and theirs with him. I saw how pleased Nate was and I am praying for his heart to be restored.

Sarah said...

Thank you for the book referral!

I just stumbled across your blog today, linked from another blog, and was intrigued by your blog title! Sounds like such a special event for your son . . .

With our second son just one month old (the oldest is two!) I know that I will be picking up this book for my husband for Father's Day! He did not have a strong father figure and I know he'll be inspired by this book!

Best,
Sarah

~~Deby said...

WOW...what a great evening...and to have it so planned, that truly it was a GUY thing...oh what a memory for your son and all who attended..
deby

Lisa's Blessed A Latte said...

What a Wonderful memory....he will Cherish this forever..

((Hugs))

jennifer said...

Deanna, this is so awesome. I'm sure Nate appreciates all of the family's efforts more than you'll ever know. He is a nice young man, and he will be okay.
I need to get that book for Don!
What a pretty blog.

jAne said...

My heart is full. :o)

jAne
http://tickleberryfarm.blogspot.com

Kelly said...

Your family is such a blessing and inspiration. I am thankful for the Godly example you are, not just to your family, but to those of us who are in your church family and in your circle of friends.

I'm sure Nate was greatly touched by this dinner and will reflect on it for years to come. We will be praying for Nate.