TODAY YOU ARE A MAN
Grandson number 3, Nathanael, turned 13 years old yesterday and we continued our family tradition taken from the biblical tradition of a boy or girl being considered a young adult at that age. The Jewish people celebrate it with a Bar-Mitzvah.
We just have a birthday party but take a period of time to speak of now some new expectations and the way he will be treated. In a culture right now that men in their late 20’s and even 30’s are acting like adolescents, the biblical mandate for men and women is to act like one. The Scriptures have no designation for teenager or adolescent but goes from child to young men or women to men and women then to older men and women. There are expectations at all phases and none look like what we have embraced in our culture.
What we did with my grandson Nathanael yesterday was this: His grandma and I gave him a journal so he can begin or continue the discipline of journaling his spiritual walk. In the front of the journal I wrote the following from Howard Guinness called “Sacrifice.”
“Where are all the young men … who will hold their lives cheap and be fruitful unto death? Where are those who will lose their lives for Christ’s sake – flinging them away for love of him? Where are those who will live dangerously and be reckless in his service? Where are his lovers – those who love him and the souls of men more than their own reputations or comfort or very life? Where are the men who will say ‘no’ to self, who take up Christ’s cross to bear it after him … willing, if need be, to bleed, to suffer and to die on it? … Where are the adventurers, the explorers, the buccaneers for God who count one human soul of far greater value than the rise or fall of an empire? … Where are God’s men in this day of God’s power?”
After a short exhortation by his dad and grandfather, I close the time with a prayer of blessing taken from Psalm 112 exhorting him to look to be this kind of man:
Praise the Lord!
Blessed is the man who fears the Lord,
who greatly delights in his commandments!
His offspring will be mighty in the land;
the generation of the upright will be blessed.
Wealth and riches are in his house,
and his righteousness endures forever.
Light dawns in the darkness for the upright;
he is gracious, merciful, and righteous.
It is well with the man who deals generously and lends;
who conducts his affairs with justice.
For the righteous will never be moved;
he will be remembered forever.
He is not afraid of bad news;
his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.
His heart is steady; he will not be afraid,
until he looks in triumph on his adversaries.
He has distributed freely; he has given to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever;
his horn is exalted in honor. (Psalm 112:1-9, ESV)
Are you inhibiting your teen from a biblical view of manhood or womanhood? Nathanael will continue to step into a world where this is not the norm but will understand when his parents address things with him and talk about manhood, he knows that expectations have changed starting yesterday.