This evening my husband will be giving a short talk to the men's group he belongs to about raising our boys to become men of character and strength. Once again it seems as if this topic is all over the place. Just yesterday we spent a lovely day with some friends and I got into a discussion with one of the dads about this very thing. He said that one of the reasons he and his family moved out of suburbia and into the country was because he saw that a lot of the boys in the subdivision were becoming soft. Due to space constraints, there weren't a lot of projects and activities that the boys could get into to use up some of that young, male energy. I loved the example conversation he gave me:
Son: "Dad, I finished mowing the yard, should I go fold the laundry?"
Dad: "NOOO! Go dig a hole somewhere or go fall out of something, anything!"
As I said before in my other post about this topic, we have seen how easy it would be to turn our oldest son into a "girlie boy", just by virtue of the fact that he is around so many girls all day. We need to actively engage our sons in hard, manly work (I mean both physically and mentally hard) that allows them to gain the virtues of perseverance and fortitude.
While gathering his information for the talk tonight, my husband and I were discussing the Knights of Lepanto, a group started and run for a time by Thom Girard. You might remember that Thom and his son Marc both died about one month ago in a swimming accident. I was saying that I found it hard to understand why God would take two men that were doing so much good to further the formation of boys as they turned into confident, chivalrous young men. It was at that point that my husband made a wonderful observation. He asked me whether or not we would have known anything about this great work if Thom and Marc had not died? Maybe that is one reason why they had to die so young, so that their work and message could be spread far and wide to encourage other dads to do the same for their sons.