June 28

Call to Arms

Valiant men, men who bore shield and sword and shot with bow and were skillful in battle. 1 CHRONICLES 5:18

It's hard starting out in marriage. Money is usually tight. You're getting used to new responsibilities. Even though your love is young and energetic, you find yourself dealing with disagreements and expectations you didn't really see coming.

As Barbara and I watched our children marry, we wondered what we should do to help. At the same time, we didn't want to meddle.

As an older man, I wanted to encourage my sons and sons-in-law as they began to shoulder a husband's responsibility. I decided to bless them and give them a man-to-man charge.

Before their weddings, I've given my sons and sons-in-law a copy of a poem that I titled "Be the Man." I personalized each one, framed it and then read it to him as a verbal challenge and charge for him to step up to his responsibilities. I want each young man to know I believe in him and am standing alongside him as he sacrificially leads his family.

But there's something else I've chosen to give these young men: a sword.

Not a toy sword or cheap imitation. These swords are sharp as razors, crafted of finely honed steel. Their weight and presence convey not just the gravity of the gift, but the significance I place on their calling to protect their wives and family.

Each of these men now have a sword hanging in his home as a statement of passage, a clear declaration that each has been charged with duty, service and purpose—to "Be the Man." My prayer for each is that each time he looks at it, he remembers not only that he's locked in battle, charged with the commission of protecting his wife and family, but also that he's equipped with everything required to carry out his orders.

And that we believe in him.

DISCUSS

Think of something significant you could do to bless and encourage your children as they move through key passages in life.

PRAY

Ask God for wisdom to raise young men who will "Be the Man."

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