I remember when I was about 11 years old! My Mom and Dad suggested that I participate with the Boys and Girl’s club.
I survived a day!
My first day there, I had to play football with the other guys. Trust me, I didn’t have a choice! t remember getting out there on the field and feeling so awkward. The other guys were a LOT larger in girth than I was. I was responsible for blocking. It only took one hit to knock me flat on my back and make me say inside my mind “NEVER…AGAIN!”
An hour later, I arrived home and sat in a tub full of Epsom Salt with my hot water. I laid there, moaning and groaning, begging Mom to convince Dad not to make me go back out there. The puppy dog eyes worked!
Not long after such an incident, AND much begging to never have to do that again, my Dad tries again to instill in me what he thought I needed to boost my “manliness.” The final attempt was Karate! I didn’t mind the Karate stuff. I actually was an advocate for it. I thought it would be pretty cool. Unfortunately, my Dad’s wallet did not! That lasted about as long as the “football” fiasco.
I know my Mom and Dad tried to mean well! I don’t speak with malice or hatred for what they were trying to do. However, I do think back over this story and countless other ones. Over the years, we have seen a decline in boys growing up to see real men take on challenges, be innovators and be leaders of our society. My Mom and Dad did the very best they could when it came to raising me.
My Mom and Dad slowly began to realize that I was not the athletic type. I was a bookworm, a video gamer and an all-around, All-American nerd. I found science and current events fascinating. I began watching our local Dallas CBS affiliate, CBS 11 at age 11. How’s that for…well…different and ironic all at once!? They also began to realize that I was not the best at confrontation. I usually kept to myself unless I was talking to adults in the family or from church. I connected better with adults then I did with my own peers most of the time. I didn’t like fighting unless I absolutely, positively had to. I held doors open for the ladies. I tried to be a gentlemen while at the same time trying to avoid being ran over.
Not to paint me as the perfect kid growing up, don’t get me wrong. I had plenty of epic fails! Here’s the point out of all of this, I’ll go with at least three:
- Teach young men early on who they are and who created them! This WILL strengthen identity! They know God, they’ll know who they are to be as they grow from being boys to men.
- All boys are not the same! Some are artistic. Some are creative. Some are expressive. Some are athletic. Bottom line, that’s how we roll!
- Show Love…and don’t give this weird, afraid to hug and awkward feeling about it. Let your son, your brother, your brethren, know, that you care about them and that you got there back no matter what! God didn’t hold back for us, we shouldn’t hold back from Him or our fellow man!