Monthly Archives: July 2012
This weekend our family will celebrate the 13th birthday of my second oldest grandson Thaddeus. As with his older brother, Simon, part of the celebration we will make a declaration of manhood upon Thadd much like the Jewish tradition of a Bar Mitzvah.
We live in a culture where manhood is delayed as long as possible. Even many men in their 20’s seem not to understand the concept. You do not read of the term “teenager” until the 20th century and adolescent is not found in the Bible. Instead you read of children and then they transition to a young man or woman. In the Jewish tradition, this was at 13.
We decided in our family that we would follow this pattern where at 13 expectations and responsibilities begin to change and focused on what it means to be a man. What we will do this Saturday is that Thaddeus’ father will read to him about the changes and what is expected now that he is 13. I will then gather the men of the family there (including his 14 year old brother) and we will lay hands on Thadd as I recite a blessing from Psalm 112.
Doing this short ceremony certainly does not make Thadd a man, but it does initiate for him what is ahead. Perhaps your family should consider abandoning many of our culture’s excuses for teens and start treating them more like young men and women. Titus 2 speaks that young women need to learn how to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be dishonored. Likewise, urge the young men to be sensible.
Though there is only one item for the young men, you can see what a daunting task this is for today’s young men to just be sensible!
Are your teens learning this?
There are many positives and some negatives living in a rural area and having land and animals. One of the biggest negatives is that it requires hard work to maintain. One of the biggest positives is that it requires work. Work is a gift from God that was given to Adam before the fall of man and to be a good worker is to reflect the image of God.
Probably every generation has worried about the next in terms of how hard of workers they were perceived to be and I am no exception. Over the past decade watching the tidal wave of video and computer devices and games seems to have produced few young men willing to work hard physically.
Proverbs 6:6-11 warns the sluggard that they need to look to the ant. Raymond Ortlund Jr. in his book, “Proverbs: Wisdom that Works” (Crossway, 2012) describes the sluggard like cold syrup that oozes slowly out of the bottle. They are lazy, constantly making the soft choice, losing one opportunity after another until they have wasted time and eventually their life.
Having my grandsons work for a few days in what was a very hot sun this year throwing hay bales will not make them ants. Hard workers come from a conviction in their own hearts to be motivated to go beyond comfort without complaint. However for our family, we are helping our children teach their children what it means to work hard. They all may not end up hard workers, but they all will know what hard work is. How about your kids?
There is the story of the very rich farmer who could afford the latest equipment and to hire workers but made his sons work long and hard on the farm. When asked why he works his sons so hard rather than hire, he answered, “because I am raising men, not corn.”
Sorry for not posting anything the last few weeks but I took a vacation from work and concentrated on the farmstead. We had hay to put up in the barn (low crop this year due to the weather) and I will write an article in the next few days about this. Also the horses needed some wet blanket riding to get them back in shape plus the barn needed painting. Will be back to writing as soon as I catch up with church chores.