Intimacy in Marriage

Encouraging Christian Women toward Healthy Sexual Intimacy

“Dad, Will You Teach Me What It Means to be A Man?”

Asian babyIf newborn boys could write a letter to their dad (or another father figure in their life), this is what I think that letter would say...

Dear Dad,

I am so small and new. But someday I want to be strong.

Will you teach me what it means to be a man?

Right now when I'm a baby, will you hold me and tell me you love me -- and never stop doing that even as I grow up?

When I am about 3, start to show me how to open a door for a woman.  A car door.  A restaurant door.  Any door, really.  I'll have been watching you do this for awhile, but I still need you to show me and give me many opportunities to practice.

Will you teach me what it means to be a man?

I'm going to fall down and get hurt. Most of the time, it won't be that serious. You'd do me a world of good if you stood me up, brushed me off and sent me on my way. Or just ignored it.

Will you teach me what it means to be a man?

When I am about 5, start taking me along with you on errands.  Take me to the hardware store, the bank, the gas station. Let me see you interact with other men.  I know I'm small and I slow you down, but I'm taking it all in, Dad.

I'm looking around. I'm looking up to you.

Will you teach me what it means to be a man?

Let me see what a difference it makes when you say "thank you" to the waitress at the coffee shop... and "have a good day" to the cashier at the grocery store.

When we are around the house, let me be like you.  If you're working with wood, let me have a piece to hammer on, too.  If you're tinkering with tools, give me some of my own tools, too.  And if you take me to your office, give me my own paper and pencils.

Will you teach me what it means to be a man?

When I am about 7 or 8, start giving me some jobs.  Even if I grumble about taking the trash cans up to the curb, I need to know how to work.

The day's coming when I'll need solid work ethic, whether I work at a construction site, fire station, restaurant, office or hospital... or in a classroom... or in an art studio... or on a professional sports field.

Will you teach me what it means to be a man?

When I am about 11, will you show me how to mow the yard, change a tire and fill the car with gas.

And please give me grace when I need second, third and fourth chances to master it.  I'm still learning.  You've been filling the car with gas for years.  I'm just getting started, Dad.

Will you teach me what it means to be a man?

I don't understand girls, Dad.  I'm guessing you don't completely have them figured out either, but you are one of my best shots at getting this right.

Make it easy for me to come to you to ask questions and talk about girls.  I know it may seem like I don't want to talk about these things, but keep bringing the conversation up with me, okay?

Will you teach me what it means to be a man?

When I'm feeling awkward about my body... my acne, my growth spurts, my facial hair... please tell me this is all normal. Tell me it's not a race to grow up and that every young man's body matures at different rates.

Show me how to shave. Remind me to wear deodorant.  Make me take a shower, even when I don't want to.

Will you teach me what it means to be a man?

Encourage me to embrace adventure and to take calculated risks.  Believe in me and my dreams and my God-given abilities.  Your belief in me is more powerful than you realize.

And when I occasionally fail, you'd do me a world of good if you stood me up, brushed me off and sent me on my way.

Remind me that my identity will always be in Christ.

Will you teach me what it means to be a man?

I need practical skills, Dad.  Show me how to manage money, time and commitments.   Teach me how to give a firm handshake. How to look someone in the eye. How to be confident without being cocky.

Will you teach me what it means to be a man?

Just about everything in society says it's okay to disrespect women.  But I don't want to be that guy.  I want to be the man who is humble, kind and generous... the man who would protect women with his very life. Please equip me to be that man.

If you and my mom are together as I grow up, be affectionate with her in front of me. Speak highly of her and tell her often that you love her.

Protect and honor her.

Will you teach me what it means to be a man?

Don't wait too long to start talking to me about sex.  I need a lifetime of age-appropriate conversations, okay?  That "one-time" awkward talk isn't going to cut it.

Will you set an expectation for me that I never put a young lady in a position that compromises her integrity or mine?  Help me believe that purity isn't a lost ideal, but rather a realistic healthy choice for me.

Tell me to set the standard.

Help me be masculine, yet not obnoxious. Romantic, yet not clingy.

Will you teach me what it means to be a man?

And some day down the road, Dad, when I fall in love and find the girl who is the one, remind me what is at stake.

Teach me that the little things really are the big things.  And that she, our marriage and any kids we may have deserve a true man to lead them and love them.

Please teach me, Dad, to be that man.

Love, Your Son

Please share this post.  I cried when I wrote it because I think so much is at stake with the way we bring up future generations. And stay tuned for future posts coming in this series on how dads and moms impact their sons and daughters.

Copyright 2013, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.

May 1st, 2013 by