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.