Tag: son

Raising Men

I love being a dad. Especially a dad to a boy.

I don’t necessarily know what I’m doing…I’m learning every day, and I’m loving the journey.

At the mall just the other day, I heard a dad telling his son,

No. No. No. Be careful. No. Don’t jump off of that bench. It’s not safe. No. No. Be careful.

And it rubbed me the wrong way.

One thing I’ve learned is that raising a boy often goes against your natural instincts. Especially my wife’s natural instincts.

A parent’s natural instinct is to protect their child. Which, no doubt, has prevented countless tears in my house alone. Parents want to protect them from

  • falling
  • jumping off of things
  • jumping into things
  • climbing things
  • eating things
  • putting fingers in things
  • putting things in the trash
  • getting things out of the trash
  • coloring the wrong things
  • going outside
  • rolling in that
  • touching that

But if you’re going to raise a boy to grow into a man, you’ve got to fight against your natural instincts at times. Here’s a principal I’ve learned in the 3 years I’ve raised my son:

If you say ‘No’ or ‘Be careful’ more than you encourage your son to take a risk, you’re limiting your son’s potential.

Boys long to be dangerous. They want to take risks and be adventurous. They have a God-given desire to do things that could very well cause them bodily harm.

And in a flash, your God-given reaction to protect meets his God-given desire to risk.

We want our children to feel the freedom to innovate, try new things, and take risks when they get older, right? To not be held in bondage by social norms and cultural expectations. We want them to be willing to take bold and courageous steps of faith. No?

I understand that those risks need to be shepherded, but they need not be stifled. ‘Be careful’ shouldn’t be the two words that come out of your mouth more than any other. Next time you’re getting ready to say, ‘Be careful,’ try inserting the words, ‘Let’s do this!’

Instead of forbidding them from taking risks, be with them and encourage them while they take the risk. Show them that it’s okay to be dangerous sometimes. To go on an adventure. To do something that momma may not approve of. To try something they’ve never seen anyone else try. To attempt something that may not pan out.

I’ve seen young boys that are scared to death to take even a small risk. They’re afraid of falling and hurting themselves. They’re afraid of failure.

So they never try.

It’s sad, really.

Boys aren’t meant to just be caged up. Boys are testing out the ropes of manhood. Don’t cut those strings.



What keeps you up at night…

…reveals what’s important to your heart.

Here are things I’m wrestling through:

  • Is our small groups system really creating disciples?
  • Is our small groups system a great picture of Gospel community?
  • What does it look like for our whole church to be moving in the same direction?
  • What’s next?
  • Am I leading in such a way that others are growing to love God and people more?
  • Is my ministry online truly helpful?  What needs to change so that it does more good?
  • Am I leading my family well?  How can I do a better job?
  • Is my son growing towards being a man of God?

These are the things keeping me up at night.

If you’re leading an organization…what is it that is causing you to sweat, go to work early, pray more, fast more, sleep less, and work harder?

If you don’t know what that is, maybe you should stay up at night and figure it out…

One day soon afterward Jesus went up on a mountain to pray, and he prayed to God all night. At daybreak he called together all of his disciples and chose twelve of them to be apostles… – Luke 6:12-13



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