Passing on Manhood to Your Son Part 1
By Chad Palmer
“Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)
It’s an adventure, journey and wild ride from childhood into the adolescent teen years, all for the success or lack of success of reaching manhood. I believe that levels of “success” can be measured with the qualities and values that are instilled in the male being raised up from boyhood into manhood. In subsequent posts, it will be obvious early on that I couldn’t complete a discussion on such an important subject with any significant content in only 600 words or less so you will get into my mind and heart more than once.
I realize that each journey is unique for each person. I had a loving family and, although my father was gone a lot for work in those influential adolescent years, I also had my grandfathers, uncles and a stepfather to influence me. I am forever grateful to each of them for providing me both good and bad examples (yes, bad examples too) during my journey. Honestly, I am still on that journey having recently been introduced to new spiritual responsibilities as an earthly father to my son which I’ll discuss in the final segment of this subject.
Before I begin on this subject, I will add a disclaimer: I have no certificates or college degrees in sociology, psychology or parenting. I merely want to share with you what I have learned during my journey. I want to share the key qualities that a father should instill in his son on his journey into manhood.
First and foremost, love, patience, and forgiveness are essential qualities for manhood. I’m not suggesting that we raise “soft” or “girly” sons. But even a strong and courageous warrior requires kindness in order to be moral and just. These qualities are first and foremost because of their antonyms: hate, agitation and accusation. Hate is in direct contrast to God’s first and great commandment which was well conveyed by His Son: “You shall love the Lord your God with all of your heart, with all of your soul, and with all of your mind” and the second is like it “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Mathew 22:37-39). Agitation is one of the fastest ways to stir up hate and anger. Personally, agitation and stress are areas I continue to ask the Lord to guard my heart and mind against. Our lives are so fast paced and out of our control that our reaction to events can easily lead to bad examples for our sons. Unfortunately, my son has seen me lose my temper and display anger through my words and actions. I pray he learns from me even in the moments that I display a bad example of manhood. I hope he chooses to be more patient and slower to anger than I have been. I was extremely blessed to have had a grandfather, Clarence Kindig, who was a godly man that instilled patience by example. I continue to strive today to live by that example. If you are unwilling to forgive, a son can see that resentment in your heart as well. “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Mathew 6:14-15)
I encourage you to look at your attitude and how you react emotionally each day. Have patience, challenge yourself to forgive and love your neighbor. In my next post, I will be discussing values instilled in me during my time in the United States Marine Corps and how we can share those values with our sons.