I recently concluded a series on edification which I hope you enjoyed. Before I jump into my next series of blogs, I want to quickly say that I appreciated the comments of Al and Meghan who followed the edification discussion closely. Al, my childhood pastor from Maine, noted that an eye to edification includes attention to how our choices affect others. I was writing from a slightly different perspective, but that’s an important point.
Now on to the next series: the value of the family. I want to take a brief look at the way in which each member of the family affects us. This discussion comes as America works through just what exactly the family is. The conclusions shape life on a public and private level. For my part, I’m going to examine what a father, mother, sibling(s), and extended family mean to a child. I’ll be approaching this from my own angle: that of a man. I’m not trying to take into account everything that a child would experience, but rather how the different members of the “nuclear” family affect a boy. I’m not attempting psychological work here, but rather to point out basic insights on this matter, some of which you’ve heard before, but perhaps not from this angle.
Before I jump into the series, let me give you an excerpt from a recent article that will get the conversation going. This is from Dr. Al Mohler’s commentary on how boys become men and what marks that manhood. Check out the whole article here.
“Personal maturity sufficient to be a responsible husband and father. Christians often speak of raising boys to be men. In the face of today’s cultural onslaught, this is an important goal. However, it is just not enough. Biblical manhood is always defined in terms of functions, roles, and responsibilities. True masculinity is not a matter of exhibiting supposedly masculine characteristics devoid of the context of responsibility. In the Bible, a man is called to fulfill his role as husband and father. Unless granted the gift of celibacy for gospel service, the Christian boy is to aim for marriage and fatherhood. This is assuredly a counter-cultural assertion, but the role of husband and father is central to manhood. Boys must be raised to see themselves as future husbands and fathers. They must be taught what to look for in a godly wife and how to fulfill all of the responsibilities that Scripture invests in a husband and father. Marriage is unparalleled in its effect on men, as it channels their energies and directs their responsibilities to the devoted covenant of marriage and the grace-filled civilization of the family. Boys must be taught what it means to be a husband, how to respect and honor marriage, and how to earn the respect and confidence of a wife. Similarly, boys must be taught about the responsibilities of fatherhood. Christians must reverse generations of inattention by speaking directly and clearly to boys about their future responsibilities, including the care, training, education, protection, and discipline of children. They must aspire to be the kind of man a Christian woman would gladly marry and children will trust, respect, and obey.”