Future Men (Chapter 3)

Future Men – Chapter Three: A Call to Fathers

The problem which fathers face in the rearing of boys can be divided up into two categories. …Boys are threatened from two directions. (p. 27)

1.) They of course, like all sinners, will be tempted from within. …Boys will frequently not assume the responsibility assigned to them for the same reason we prefer riding a bicycle down the hill rather than up it. (p. 27)

2.) At the same time, boys are confronted with a culture which is hostile to the very idea of masculinity and which is industriously doing whatever it can to exterminate it. …Boys must be protected from this onslaught while they are being trained to protect and defend themselves. (p. 27)

In order to counter both threats, a wise father disciplines (Proverbs 3:12 and Hebrews 12:5-6). (pp. 27-28)

The father here disciplines the son in whom he delights. Refusal to discipline amounts to hatred and is simply a slow, cruel way for a man to disown his son, clearly marking him out as illegitimate. True discipline is the foundation of respect – respect that will last a lifetime.

Related to this, a wise father rejoices in the fruit of his discipline. (p. 28)

…strength in discipline by itself is not sufficient. A father must also be wise in how he uses his strength. (p. 28)

Discipline without wisdom is destructive. (p. 28)

This means that a wise father is one who is capable of praising his son and showing joy in his accomplishments. …A wise father teaches – a lot. …the word must always accompany the discipline. Fathers must teach their sons – the point of discipline is not to retaliate against a boy. The justice involved in familial discipline is not retributive – there is no question of “getting back.” The point of discipline is to gain an audience, and there is no sense in gaining an audience if you then do not say anything. (pp. 28-29)

Godly discipline in general has to have a focus. Fathers are especially called to discipline their sons to be lords… In particular, sons must learn to fulfill the cultural mandate in a masculine manner. (p. 29)

Your son’s vocation is therefore his calling under God. He is to be prepared for that vocation, and the preparation will not go well when parents do not understand the point of it. (p. 29)

…a son is part of this [cultural] mandate – God’s call to him includes his vocation. …When a son is trained rightly, he understands that Christ is Lord and has been given a name above every name. He is the Lord of all – and we cannot think He is somehow not Lord of our occupations. (p. 31)

We must recognize that this mandate is to a masculine vocation in the world. A son’s wife, of course, is essential to this process – he cannot do without her help (Gen. 2:18). Being a good husband is the most important aspect of fulfilling the cultural mandate, though other aspects will show up through this book. (p. 31)

Knowledge of what a godly husband is should surround him from the time he is a small boy. (p. 32)

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