I don’t often write about current events, politics, or this week’s headlines, but this week I have a burden to share.
I have only to mention names such as Brett Kavanaugh, Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose, Garrison Keillor, or Bill Hybels (among many others) to address something very significant happening in culture right now.
If one thing is apparent these days, it’s that the world needs more godly men. And I don’t just mean “godly men” in name only, but in character and action. A quick look at the headlines and social media provides all the evidence you need. Whether you look at our government, sports, or even in the church, you’ll see a shortage of godly men. It’s a mess out there.
I contributed to it. I started looking at porn when I was 7 or 8 years old, and quickly became addicted to it. And I did all I could to find and watch it and then did everything I could to act it out. I didn’t do anything illegal, but I was a million miles from the type of godly man our world needs.
Fortunately, God wrecked my life in all good ways when I became a follower of Christ. God began to mold and shape my life and my heart. I’m not fully there, but I desire to be a godly man. And in His kindness, God has given me an opportunity to be a part of the solution to the mess we live in.
An Opportunity to Change the World
If you’re a parent to a son, then you have an opportunity to change the world.
Sometimes I look around and wonder what I can do. How can I possibly be an agent of change in our messed-up world. How can I be a part of the solution?
I can’t change the past, but I can help shape the future.
God gave Kristen and me the privilege and opportunity of raising four young men. Right now, they’re 14, 14, almost 12, and almost 10.
Unfortunately, I spend a lot of time complaining about them. I talk about how much time they take, how much money they cost, and how much food they eat. I tell others about the sometimes-idiotic decisions they make, and wonder aloud if we’ll ever have Saturdays when we’re not running around in 10 different directions to soccer games, choir, cross country meets, and social activities.
But at the end of the day, God has given us the unique opportunity of making disciples in these four young men. I hope I’m taking nothing away from raising girls. I wish I had one of my own! But it seems to be a sacred calling right now to raise boys in today’s cultural climate.
When I realize the opportunity in front of me, it changes the way I spend time with my sons. It makes everything more intentional:
- Every night you tuck them into bed.
- Every car ride to school.
- Each errand you run with your sons.
- Every game of ping-pong you play.
- Every camping trip and fishing excursion.
- Each weekend and family vacation.
- Every geometry assignment and book report.
It changes the ways I pray and the decisions we make as a family.
- Five years ago, I prayed daily for one whole year that one of my sons would become a godly young man. To my wonder and awe, I watched God answer that prayer. Today I love seeing the Lord continually mold and shape this very son into a godly young man. I’m not sure I’ve ever been more convinced of the power of prayer. Even reflecting upon this one year convicts me to pray the same prayers for my other three sons.
- This past weekend, my twins went to their first high school homecoming. I couldn’t be more encouraged by the ways they treat their friends and the ways they honor the girls they hang out with. They are a far cry from the young man I was many moons ago.
I only have four boys, but I believe they, along with their other godly friends and the parents who raise them, can be a part of the Lord changing this world. Someday soon I hope and pray the headlines will be different than what we see daily in 2018.
What Can You and I Do?
Today, I want to ask you to do two things:
- If you’re a parent to a boy/young man, take a moment to pray that he will grow up to be a godly young man. Pray he’ll be different than the pattern of the world (Romans 12:2) and that he can be a part of the solution to the world’s problems not a contributor to them. What if you prayed this prayer daily? See #5 in this post for a challenge you can take.
- Or, if you’re not a parent to a young man, then pray for one who’s in your life. Pray the Lord would use him to change the world for God’s glory and our good. If you’re raising daughters, pray they’d marry a godly young man and never compromise.
In Part 2, I’m going to share how you can raise these godly men. But in the meantime, I simply want to infuse #boyparents with more energy. I want to challenge you to see the privilege you have to raise a godly young man. In the process, you can play a part in changing the world.
That’s enough for now. I’m going to go spend some time with my sons.
- What are you doing to raise a godly young man?
- Do you have a son I can pray for?