Follow the markers and don’t get lost along the way…
“Have we not all one father? Hath not one God created us?” (Malachi 2:10a)
For you guys out there, have you thought about what it looks like to become a man. And if you are a father, (defined that you have a son you are responsible for and haven’t just planted a seed and walked away like many) have you thought of the journey your son will make? The journey to manhood is one that every male must take.
It is a sad commentary that in our times (2014) the jungle out there drains the manhood out of many and the survivors are few. We now live in a society where there is very little direction for men. There are no maps for our young men to follow. Sadly there are few committed fathers willing to show the way young men need to travel. Back in the day… fathers spent time with their protégé and taught them the way of the land. They helped their son’s to earn the steps to manhood and to know the day they really become men. Hikers can follow the markers on the Northville-Placid and Appalachian trails to show them each step along the way for miles. The Appalachian Trail is a rugged trip through 14 states and each marker gets you one step closer to the summit. Young men need some markers to show them to the summit of manhood. They need the trail blazed ahead of them by strong men going forth first.
Growing boys and young men need a roadmap and need to see the lay of the land. Even with seeing the lay of the land they will still need to make difficult choices along the way. A good father will provide a clear roadmap but will still allow the freedom of choice. He will allow his sons to fail and experience the knowledge that comes from the school of hard knocks. He will pick them up clean them off and lovingly but firmly set them on the trail again. A father will provide corrective measures appropriately where needed and do what is necessary to help his seed mature and blossom at the right time. “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.” (Proverbs 13:24)
Whether young or old, men need to have instruction repeated. Most men need to hear instruction five to seven times before it sets in. Repetition is good for males. Repetition is good because we are woefully forgetful. “If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?” ( Hebrews 12: 7-9)
The world we live in has changed. Oh, if we could only wake up to the world we once knew it would be so comforting. This is not to be. Our world has changed and there is no longer a worldview of fatherhood. Back in the day we had a good picture of our world with strong, loving and caring fathers. Back in the day we had men actually fully integrated into family life. We had fathers for children to go to for some guidance when they needed it. Our world had fathers that would provide protection, guidance and comfort when needed. We had fathers to model what a daddy or a husband looks like. “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; They shall not be ashamed, But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.” (Psalm 127: 3-5) If you were unfortunate and were one of the few back then that lost your father for some reason it was more likely one would come forth from your neighborhood. Oh, how we lived in different times.
If you are on the Lake Placid hiking trail and you skip one or two of the markers or check-points along the way you will get lost in the wilderness. The markers cannot be skipped and the check-points are there for security. If you miss on of those you will incur a wound. A son that misses a check-point in the journey to manhood will be lost and will have a wound. “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” ( Ephesians 6:4) If they fall too far off the path they will have a deep wound. As an example… If your father abandons your family you will need to become a man before you are ready. You must fill the shoes of the father that should be there for you. Because you need to fill his shoes you get robbed of your youth. You are put under inappropriate stress and that is a deep, deep wound. The scar will remain forever.
Have you ever noticed all the genealogical information in the Holy Bible? It tells us that so and so begat this son and so and so was the son of this guy and he was the son of that guy and on and on it goes. Father’s and sons obviously have great importance to God. “The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him.” (Proverbs 23:24) There is hope!
We have hope to carry us through this troubling time. If you are a man that became lost because you missed a marker or lost the map you can get on the right path. You can find your way back. If you are a young man and you want buck the tide and be a good father there is a way. If you want to be a good male leader there is a way. There is a roadmap that was developed ages and ages ago. It is for all to follow and it has markings every short distance traveled to show you the way. You can see the truth and the forest through the trees. It will show you the way!
There is a Father! The father figure you have missed and are looking for is there. He will show you the way and he will help you to stay on the right road. If we all take a close look we can see God as that great Father we need. When you read the scriptures it becomes clear the Bible portrays the Lord as the Great Father. God created everything and God created you. He was not presented to us in the scriptures as mother. God was positioned for us as the Father. All throughout the Bible He is the Father. Seek the Father… turn to His word, notice the markers and get on the right path. “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.” (1 John 3:1)
God Bless your day,