My son John and I have a chance to talk about some of the issues that are just around the corner for him and to help lift his vision for what makes a man a man.
by Bob Lepine
A couple of mornings each month, I take my 11-year-old son John out for a bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit and for some manhood training (it’s obviously not nutrition training!). John and I have a chance to talk about some of the issues that are just around the corner for him and to help lift his vision for what makes a man a man.
We’ve been doing this for several months now, and the process will continue indefinitely. It began with me taking a trip to the office supply store and buying John a $12 deluxe notebook holder and a $3 gel ink pen. Those two items have remained exclusively set aside for our training times. You can see his chin lifted up a little bit and his shoulders bowed back when he carries his training notebook out to the car.
We’ve covered a variety of topics: how a man handles disappointment and discouragement, how a man accepts responsibility for his actions, cultivating courage as a man, how a man treats a woman. (You should have seen the sly grin John had when we started talking about that!)
We’re not using a set curriculum. I’ve pulled bits and pieces from many of the interviews on manhood that Dennis and I have done over the years for FamilyLife Today. I’ve borrowed from many of the best on the subject—Stu Weber, Robert Lewis, Crawford Lorrits, Ron Jensen, and others. There are so many themes to tackle and not a lot of time. John is about to reach the age where he’ll be a little less receptive to input from Dad on any subject.
How about you? If you’re a mom or a dad with kids still at home—no matter what their ages—you need to be building into their lives purposefully, intentionally, and one on one. And if any of your children are about to move into their adolescent years, you’re in a critical window of time to help them get ready for what lies ahead.
Dennis and I recently spent two hours interviewing the legendary former basketball coach from UCLA John Wooden. We probed to find out about how his father had marked his life when he was living on the farm in Indiana. I came away from that interview with some fresh ideas about things I want to communicate to my son about leadership and focus. I had a fresh sense of just how important it is for moms and dads to teach and to model the character that we want to see our children develop as they grow older.
Is there someone in your house who is ready for manhood (or womanhood) training? Get some resources, and then get busy! Your legacy is at stake.