Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Discipling Boys: Looking At God's Design

Barna Research Groups, back in 2009, found that only 9% of Americans have a biblical worldview. I've seen a more recent quote of 4%, but I can't find a Barna survey to back the lower number.

In any case, be forewarned; my worldview is "radically" Christian. Only about 4% of Americans are going to agree with me, and you might not be one of them.

But.....please read my series on discipling boys anyway? Everything I write on the subject is covered in prayer, meaning, you can safely assume God's voice will prevail.

In regard to every life issue, I ask: What does God want? If the Bible doesn't specifically address a life issue, I then ask: What can be assumed from God's design of our bodies....or of the earth? Our Father is omniscient--all knowing. Everything He created, down to the last detail, was intentional.

Boys today enter puberty between the ages of 9 and 14 years old (girls between 8 and 13 yrs. old), with the entire process taking 3 to 4 years. Researchers believe that improved nutrition, fewer diseases, and increased body fat, contributed to earlier puberty rates over time for both boys and girls. My own son, quite lean but with stellar nutrition, developed adult perspiration odor two months before he turned 9. Now, at nearly 10 years old, he has no other puberty signs, save for a new consciousness around girls. He will either have an earlier than average puberty, or one that is unusually drawn out.

To say I'm shocked by these developments is an understatement. What was God thinking? My son can't get married for years! How is a Christian boy to remain pure until marriage, while waiting at least ten years to "express" himself?

With God, all things are possible. I fully expect my sons to enter their marriage beds pure and undefiled. It will happen through the power of the Holy Spirit, bolstered by intentional discipleship from home. I will never allow my boys, nor my girls, to be alone in their fight for righteousness--especially while they're still under my roof. Once they're gone, my prayers will strengthen them.

Make no mistake, the quest for righteousness is a fight! Less than 1 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 - 23 have a biblical worldview.

I'd call that a fight.

Looking at how God designed our bodies, we can see He wanted physical tension there early...before the age of marriage opportunity. Why? Isn't this setting young people up for moral failure?

No. I believe the tension encourages young men to work hard preparing to support a wife, as the Bible commands. It focuses boys on the future, rather than on today. Indeed, the harder they work, the earlier they can marry and enjoy the cord of three strands (God, man, wife).

We know God's design for a man's life; the Bible clearly states what is required. 

1. A man must marry and have one wife.

1 Corinthians 7:2
But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.

2. A cord of three strands--God, man, wife--will withstand the Enemy. God must be present in the union.

Ecclesiastes 4:11-12
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.

3. A man must leave his parents and properly cleave to his wife--not relying on his parents for physical or emotional support.

Genesis 2:24
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

4. A man must physically provide for his wife and children (food, shelter, clothing).

1 Timothy 5:8
But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

5. A man must be the spiritual head of his wife.

Ephesians 5:25-27
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

6. A man must disciple his children--not leaving this duty solely to his wife.

Ephesians 6:4
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

In light of these Biblical mandates, we see why God needed to give boys early physical passions. Much is required of them, and they must be wholly focused on becoming the man God designed them to be. The physical passions are incentive--they are God-designed, part of being fearfully and wonderfully made

But certain conditions aggravate them, enabling the Enemy to invade. I'm speaking about the constant presence of the opposite sex, such as in institutional settings. In contrast, when young men spend the majority of their time with their families, with cable TV and other visual media absent or strictly monitored, and they see girls only in the group context of family or church hospitality, the tension tempers. It fuels the work ethic, but doesn't overwhelm a young man. 

Time spent away from the prize (a potential wife) allows a boy to study, learn trade skills, and soak up spiritual lessons from the Bible and from his parents. He can also practice living sacrificially, as he dwells with his mother and sisters, learning to interpret their hearts

You might be thinking, "But my own husband doesn't even do all these things!"

Yes. True. Many of our own husbands are still learning these things. Media and popular culture, moral relativism, the obsessive aspect of electronics, and the mere act of leaving young people alone, have all created a crisis in our culture. Young boys and men are lost, and it started the minute we departed from God's design for the family.

When we look at God's design for our bodies, along with Scriptural mandates, it becomes clear what God desires for our young boys and girls.

The question is, as a parent, what is your worldview? Are you with the 4%, or the 96%? The answer to this question will determine the spiritual health of your boy, his marriage, his children, and his future relationship with you.

What worldly ideas and things have invaded your heart and your home, stealing you away from your first love...your Heavenly Father? We must "clean house" first, before we can spiritually guide our children. 

Trust His design. Be fearless in your pursuit of it.

photo credit

1 comment:

Terri H said...

4% here. Thanks for the encouragement. My boys are still so little...but it goes so fast. You have hit upon one of my biggest temptations to worry and fear!