[M]en are an endangered species. I really believe that.
Over the past 15 years, I have been working directly and indirectly with college students. Almost 10 years ago I noticed a trend that — at the time — was alarming. That alarm has now been going off non-stop since, and I’m finally seeing it come to fruition.
What became obvious 10 years ago to me was that boys were growing up only to become older boys; never maturing to a place of living as Godly men. Because of this, we started a new ministry for boys finishing high school, and called it "Young Guns." The point of the program was to teach boys what it looked like to "live a life worthy of the calling [they] have received" (Ephesians 4:1).
Fast forward 10 years, and what we have now are boys who have no clue what it means to be a man. Our college staff regularly ask me if they can just come by my house, and watch me interact with my family. To me, there is nothing magical happening at my house, but for them, they are thirsty for an example of living as a Godly men. (Last year, I bought these smaller gloves for each of my boys. They were probably their favorite present they got last year. I bought them here.)
And now I look down and have 2 boys of my own; a 5-year-old and 3-year-old. As I interact with them, all the conversations I’ve had with young college students over the years flood through my mind. What has God instructed me as their father to teach them and — in light of the culture we live in — what are some practical areas that I need to build into them as well? Here are a few I am focusing on, and how I am doing it:
1. Teach them about God. (Deuteronomy 6:4-9)
I thought this wouldn’t be that difficult until they started asking me those questions that only a small child can formulate: "Dad, if you just prayed for my hiccups to go away, why am I still hiccupping?" Good question. I want my boys to begin to learn about God by showing them who He is with easy, concrete examples. God is a warrior, a strong tower, a rock, a strong foundation, a dad, etc. Easy to understand concepts that help build a picture in their minds about who He is.