Since we celebrated my husband and son’s birthdays this week, it made me think about the kind of father my husband is. I would love to give this glimpse into our family. So, I’m going to share part of my Facebook post from last spring when we were celebrating Russ’s 14th Birthday.
“Derek is such a unique and thoughtful dad. For years, he has been trying to prepare these boys to be the men God intends for them to be. As they turn 14, each boy is initiated into manhood with a right of passage ceremony. Derek invites men who have had an influence in his life, our son’s life, or the life of our family. He invites them to attend, to write a letter, or in some other symbolic way – encourage our sons as they enter this stage of life. Obviously, we are not telling our sons that they are now “MEN”. They are learning that manhood begins now. They are learning that the decisions they make will be a foundation for the men, husbands, and fathers they will be down the road. They realize that their decisions are their responsibility. We are here to pray, guide, and counsel, but the decisions – the ones that only they can make, that are made when no one is looking, that are made when everyone is looking, that are made between God and themselves, are ultimately theirs! Honestly, I always feel a little awkward when this process begins and we start inviting and asking. Sometimes, I think people will think we are strange. That our son will think it’s strange and feel uncomfortable. Both times, though. I am so excited when the day arrives. I see men so willing to share their heart with my son. To be vulnerable enough to give advice or share their own story, to be real and to be honest, to simply go out of their way to be a part of this day for our son.”
Those days have been such special times in the life of our boys. It is something they talk about frequently and will remember forever. They had many special symbolic gifts, and even more letters that encouraged him and gave him some advice for the future.
I’m so thankful that Derek has a heart for these boys and actively attempts to shape them in to good men.
In this house, we give Derek a really hard time. Let me assure you, though, he GIVES. IT. RIGHT. BACK. So, this is my disclaimer in future blogs. No matter what my stories may sound like, Derek can hold his own, and we all love him to the moon and back.