Boys will be men–if we do it right

“‘Dad…did you really think I was a wild man up there?’ John Eldredge’s son asked him. The writer said:

“Miss that moment and you’ll miss a boy’s heart forever. It’s not a question—it’s the question, the one every boy and man is longing to ask. Do I have what it takes? Am I powerful? Until a man knows he’s a man he will forever be trying to prove he is one, while at the same time shrink from anything that might reveal he is not. Most men live their lives haunted by the question, or crippled by the answer they’ve been given.”

I’m reading Wild at Heart (John Eldredge, Thomas Nelson 2001) for the 3rd or 4th time.

“Adam’s story…the outcome is always the same: a wound in the soul…. Every boy, in his journey to become a man, takes an arrow in the center of his heart, in the place of his strength. Because the wound is rarely discussed and even more rarely healed, every man carries a wound. And the wound is nearly always given by his father.” (page 60)

After reading the above, I listened to one of my regular podcasts as two men described scheduling an evening for their 10-12 year old sons to meet with the men’s best friends. Half a dozen men who celebrated the boy, giving him gifts and their telephone numbers and email addresses. The ceremony is based on the idea of “uncle” as an older man (older than the boy—not necessarily “old”) who is available to the boy, interacts with the boy and becomes a life-long coach-mentor.

One of the podcast guys asked, “Can you imagine what it would have been like to have had a couple of older men you knew had your back? Talk to?” It seems that kind of relationship must not be common. That is what Paul wrote to Timothy about—older men for the younger and mature women who would mentor their younger sisters to talk about important stuff and interact. The podcast guys refused to let the chance get by without providing that resource for their own kids. What surprised me was that those two men in their 40s each had a dozen close men friends to introduce their sons to—“I want you to meet my close friend….”

The Quest House envisions a weekly gathering for conversation, engagement and mission. The theme of my book “Caught in the Tail Lights” is the difference such relationships make.

I tried to tell my wife the perfect excuse for being late for work—“I had a road rage incident with an alien space craft and….” She didn’t get it—even after I explained it. Some things women don’t get. Guys might if they know your heart and care. O.K. maybe not the road rage–alien thing.

Be in touch with me.  We can have coffee–I’ll explain the alien space craft.

©2015 D. Dean Benton

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