So, I am entering a new phase in life. No, it isn't middle age, although it isn't far off. It is that stage when I watch my oldest son throw my youngest son up in the air and am finally learning not to panic. It is the stage when I honestly can't believe my son will soon start to shave. Yes, it is the stage of being a newly christened father of a teen, or as I prefer to say, a new adult man!
This stage is a whole new world that other parents have been prepping me to dread for years. "Enjoy them when they are little" I was told over and over again. "It goes by fast!" I was reminded throughout the past 14 years. Of course the pessimists always added, "It all goes downhill from here!!!" I always took this to mean that teenagers were horrible, wretched beasts that tormented even the best Christian home. They were vile, smelly, selfish goblins sent to punish the sins of my own youth...right?
Well, now I am here, watching my son become a man. He has not had to go through many of the horrible experiences I went through that formed me into a rebellious teen. We are not having to go through the fights over hair, clothing, music, and friends that tore my relationship with my own parents asunder. In fact, so far, so good, as the cliche goes.
As this blog is about manhood, I would be remiss to not include some thoughts on fathering a young man. They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I already see so much of myself in my son. What else will he imitate? Am I providing a good model for him to imitate? Am I myself imitating Christ, so as to model true Christian Manhood for all of my children? Let's face it, at some point we realize that we are soooo much like our own fathers, for good or ill. It is tied to the way we learn. Sure we can choose to live differently, especially if we were raised in a less than ideal family. But most of us, will at some point come to the conclusion that much of what we do as a knee-jerk reaction is based on what we learned from our own parents.
So, will my son learn to be a coffee fanatic? Will he enjoy homemade guacamole as much as I do? Will he be struck by motorcycle flu every spring, and yet fight his way through until the weather finally gives up the ghost? Will he love jazz? Will he love to paint? Will he love his spouse more than life itself? Will he pray ardently for his children? Will he love to read and learn something new everyday? Will he pray? Will he learn to love?
The biggest question on my mind these days is: Do I give him enough to imitate to truly live a life given over to Christ and to love God with his whole heart, soul, and strength?