Future Men - Part I

This morning we were awakened by the whirr of the vacuum cleaner. Who was up, and what was he doing so early in the morning? Investigation revealed that Jonathan,12, had thoughtfully decided to empty the woodstove of ash, and being a resourceful young man, he had tried to save himself a few steps (plus an excursion in the predawn cold.) Instead of carting the ash pan outside, he decided to use the vacuum cleaner to suck out the ashes. The only trouble was that this new method ended up blowing an amazing amount of ash into the living room, not to mention the fact that he belatedly realized there were likely live coals in the stove left after last night’s fire, and they might ignite the vacuum cleaner bag. (He then drenched the bag with water.)

By the time everyone was down for breakfast, the ash had settled enough so that you could no longer see it in the air, but the choking aroma remained with us all day.

I’ve just started reading Future Men, by Doug Wilson. With our family nearly evenly split between sons (five) and daughters (four), I’m fairly aware of the differences between the two sexes, but as a woman I need help in interpreting and knowing how best to relate to my growing sons. And I’ve long realized that as a homeschooling mom special care must be taken as one approaches the adolescent years with boys. Relationships change, and at this point dad becomes more important than ever.

Well, I was glad I had started Wilson’s book, because right there in the introduction he talks about looking at our sons with the eyes of faith and not unbelief. People don’t usually have a hard time thinking about their daughters being future wives, mothers, women in the church, but try thinking of the middle school boys in your church as future elders and deacons. Hah!

Wilson says, “The faith exhibited by wise parents of boys is the faith of a farmer, or a sculptor, or anyone else engage in the work of shaping unfolding possibilities. It is not the faith of someone waiting around for lightning to strike; it is the faith of someone who looks at the present and sees what it will become – through grace and good works.”

This helped me to look at (and smell!) the situation I was awakened with with the eyes of faith. Jonathan was trying to be a man, and take care of the woodstove. Already he is most often the one who builds and tends the fires each day. Today he wanted to get the stove cleaned out and start a fire before anyone else woke up. The fact that he took a poorly chosen short cut was a lesson for him, but he was to be encouraged for his initiative. As he continues to grow, he’ll make more mistakes which his dad and I will need to help him learn from, but we must also applaud him as he takes on more manly responsibilities, seeing in him the future man that by God’s grace he is becoming.


mrsd said…
Already he is most often the one who builds and tends the fires each day.

^Very cool, Jonathan! (Or would that be hot? :)) It's awesome that you do that for your family.
Rebecca Nugent said…
What a sweet story!

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