Yesterday afternoon, Aiden and I began a journey together. It is a journey that will go on beyond my lifetime. It is the journey of manhood.
This journey is as individual as the people walking it. In our case, because of our faith, we are turning to the Bible for guidance. There are many books that would be good to use, but given Aiden’s interest in the Bible, and that it is the source book for all those others, we chose it as the final authority.
I knew this journey was coming…but I wanted Aiden to tell me that he was ready to take it. He started this journey after church yesterday as we sat in our kitchen. He said, “Dad, I wish I had a gun.” I asked why, and it came out that his vision of masculinity was of a man who has a wife and children and the means and ability to defend them. I pointed out that many people who do not act in a “manly” fashion have a gun and or a wife and children. I told him that in the context of masculinity these were signs of the acceptance of responsibility. I told him that what really mattered was following God and taking our example of masculinity from his perfect example, Jesus Christ.
I asked Kirsten to describe manliness and she basically said the same thing as I did, although it might be good for her to write a post about that sometime. At that point I asked Aiden if he wanted to do a Bible study with me about what it means to be a man.
Not only did he want to, but he was excited to. He ran into his room and set up an area for us to study. We sat down together and over the next hour we went over a chapter of Psalms and several other scriptures that laid out a Godly vision of masculinity. At the end we prayed and agreed to set up a time to study every week. He was so excited that he didn’t want it to end. One thing that came out while he was praying was how much he enjoyed spending time with me.
Tonight when I came home from work Aiden ran out to meet me. Today he took a commentary, two Bibles, a translation text, and a bunch of other Bible paraphernalia and put them in our “study” area. He had even written a rather intense agenda for us for tonight.
For you dads out there, you are vital to the understanding your boys will have of what it means to be a man. As Aiden and I have already discussed, we are also the visible representation of God to our families. We are His boys and He expects us to act like it. Our authority in our children’s lives comes from Him and carries with it the responsibility for how we exercise it.