When a Boy Becomes a Man…

When does a boy become a man in these modern times?  Before in society, fathers would take their young sons into their world and their trade and the young boys began the slow transformation into the man he was to become.  However, in today's backward society when and where do our sons start this growth?  Where it doesn't happen is sitting in front of a television or playing video games for hours on end.

Today our son is turning 16.  I can't believe my baby boy is already getting so big.  He started measuring over 6' at age 12 and after working with farm chores on our little 'micro' hobby farm, he's a strong as an ox.  He may be be so thin he almost disappears when he turns sideways but it is all muscle.

It was gratifying to see that at 16, he was still looking forward to his time alone with his Dad for their traditional Birthday Breakfast.  They spent the morning and into the afternoon today spending time together, doing some shopping for accessories to the PSP he got for his birthday and trying to locate a good driving school.  It was a fun morning for both of them and the stuff memories are made.

As all our children have done, Ben has helped greatly during this difficult time with my illness.  We believed from the beginning that we needed to pull our children into the process and get them involved in helping with my recovery.  In turn, they have all handled the difficult times, even my surgery, very well.  They have been taught to pray, put their trust in God and then do what they can to help.  We really believe that using this approach has helped them avoid the anger we see in some children dealing with parents who have chronic illnesses.

We were still highly concerned about their well being and Josh worked doubly hard to make sure they had time to do things with their friends and time where they didn't have deal head-on with the situation.  I can say as of now, due to Josh's diligence and the Lord's help, the children have weathered it all well and have become more compassionate people because of it all.

When I look at Benjamin I can see a young man who is moving into manhood.  Honestly, I think the trials our family has endured over the last four years has given him a more mature outlook in life.  As he evaluates situations and talks it over with us, he is beginning to look more at the heart of a situation and not just the physical or financial or whatever benefit might befall him.  To me, that is the mark of a child becoming a man.  

As he moves into that area of life where he is considering his future and the responsibilities a family will bring one day, he's sees it very realistically, even at 16.  I would have to say, more so than many of the older young men that have come a courtin' our daughter.  Again, to me, that is the mark of a child becoming a man.

When he contemplates his failings and what he needs to become the best man he can become, he is starting to realize he is nothing without Christ.  That, only with Christ will he be able to tackle all the responsibilities that lay wait for him as he looks to become a husband, father and provider for his own family one day. To me, that is the mark of a child becoming a man.

So, as I survey our eldest son, I couldn't be prouder.  I can see so much of his Dad in him.  Ben could have no better role model than Josh.  Josh has been the best father and husband anyone could ask for in life.  He has stood by my slide when many men wouldn't have been able to handle the pain and despair of the situation, all the while, directing me to turn my eyes on Christ and off the situation.  If our son can become the man my husband is, I would be a content mother.  Ben's strides to becoming a good man must be attributed to all the time and training Josh has put into his son.  

Today Ben is 16 and is a very special young man.  Our time together is always in the mornings.  He is the first to get up and comes in my room making sure I have my morning juice and anything else I might need to start my day.  Those morning times are the times that I am going to hold special, the times we spent alone for I am realizing…he is a man, making plans for his future and I won't have our mornings much longer.

So, I thank God today for giving our family Ben and for allowing us to be guardian's of his soul while God has taken the time to shape him into the man he is today and the man he is to become.

May God Bless and Keep You in His Grace,