Every moment of every day is a chance for me to build my little boys into little men. I don't aspire for them to be passable...just fine...ordinary...self-aware (but selfish)...positively affirmed but not internally confident...male adults but not...men.
I aspire for them to be bridge-builders...mountain climbers...inventors of new technology...bold...confident...reaching for goals and not-being-content-with-just-O.K. kind of men. They can be this kind of man whether they are mopping a floor, leading a field expedition through uncharted jungle territory or being just an extraordinary, present father to their someday-kids.
Right now, I am on a journey of trying to raise two little men the way I feel like God is leading me to. One of mine doesn't have a considerate bone in his natural body...but we're working on it. We've started talking about what it means to be a gentleman. He can stand by while another child is bawling his or her eyes out and he is completely unaware. It takes us alerting him to the situation and leading him to hug, talk to, pray for and encourage his hurt friends or siblings. He would rather climb a tree than worry about how he's going to get hurt if he falls. He is loud, confident (ahem...very confident) and thinks David the Goliath killer is his long-lost brother.
The other little man is more soft-spoken, loves playing his kitchen set and always looks before he leaps. He listens well but is constantly telling me that he can't do things because he is too small to succeed. On some days, that looks like humility and other days it looks like insecurity. They aren't exactly on opposite ends of the extreme-spectrum, but they're close to it. God is stretching them each in ways that the other is lacking in or needing encouragement in. I love how He built that kind of "opportunity for refinement" right into our family by pairing these two together. But, hey, I don't love it so much when they clash or disagree to the point of declaring that "I'll never play with you again if you don't do what I want to do!" I could do without that drama.
Along with their interactions with each other every day, Treavor and I have a great opportunity to encourage them in the areas they are strong in, while bring up the weaker points of their character or bad habits in order to pour into their future selves as men.
Like a building's physical foundation, we are inspecting the "foundations" of their actions and heart attitudes now so that we can prevent cracks and distortions in them later. If you have ever had a bad or faulty foundation in your house, you can feel the regret of "why didn't I or someone else get this inspected more carefully before the house was built?" Praise God for His help with faulty foundations...he is a great Adjuster! I have had to have complete adjustments made in my own life's foundational thoughts and habits. Actually, I need an adjustment just about every day!
Obviously, people are not house foundations. There is no perfect method for how to make sure that major problems won't pop up later...or that the earth won't just quake from underneath them. But, God's word says this about a man who sets himself up on solid ground:
"As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.” Luke 6:47-49
I am not the perfect builder of men, but I know a Man who is! If my boys will let Jesus and His Word be their life's foundation, then I know that they won't fall! That makes me motivated to pray like nothing else.
Do you have any suggestions on how to build my little men? In your own life, where have you seen cracks in the foundation that could have been attended to before? I would love to hear your thoughts! Feel free to comment below: