I have wanted to put this out there since this past weekend, but scheduling just did not allow it. Two events took place involving my son that turned out to be huge—at least in my eyes—opportunities for instructing him on how to be a man. The first event went down this way. The family had gathered on the sofa for some family devotion time, which involves a lot of questions surrounded by probing discussion. This particular morning my oldest son—the one I am on the journey with—had a very visible attitude. Instead of sitting on the sofa with everyone else, he positioned himself on the floor. A question was asked about who could describe King David’s life before he became the king. Our other two children chimed in with their understanding of David’s life. My wife asked our oldest son for his thoughts. His response was dead silence! Part of me wanted to snatch a knot in his head and tell him to straighten up! Thankfully discretion was the better part of valor and I left it alone as we continued our devotion. The family opened up participating with excitement—except for our oldest son. I always make a point of asking how this can apply to our daily lives, which sometimes brings very interesting answers— coming from a 12, 10 & 8 year old mind. Our oldest son slowly moved from the floor to the sofa and volunteered his insights on how our story would apply to his daily life. It was a victory to be sure. Without prodding, probing or threatening (not literally of course), he began to listen and had insight to offer. However, that wasn’t the most exciting part. Shortly after the family dispersed he and I were alone. I said to him, “Do you realize that happened today?” He looked at me shaking his head with the deer- caught-in-the-headlights look. I said, “On your journey today, you were attacked by the enemy and he was kicking your behind”—I paused—“for a good while”, I continued. He asked what I meant. I began to explain. “If you can see what happened this morning as an enemy attacking you, instead of them being thoughts or feelings or emotions, then perhaps you will handle it differently.” I asked him, “Does that make sense?” “Well, yeah, I guess so,” came the reply. I continued, “Did whatever you were dealing with cause you to participate or not participate in what the family was doing,” I asked? “I guess not participate,” came the reply. “Precisely,” I said. “That was the enemy attacking you, preventing you from being part of the family. Let me ask you this, how would Thorin in The Hobbit have handled this if it were an enemy coming against him?” I could see the lights coming on. “He would have drawn his sword and begun fighting him,” he said. “Right,” came my reply. “In like manner, you draw your sword—the Word of God that you have been memorizing—and fight the enemy. The more you do, the quicker you will defeat him. Eventually you got better—Know why,” I asked? “I felt better,” he said sheeplishly. “Yep, and here’s why. I was there praying for you and you were listening to what was being discussed. The combination of my praying—fighting for you—and your listening to positive faith-filled words—brought the victory to you,” I said. “You see son, you are not in this alone. Like Frodo, there are things you will have to carry yourself. But you will never have to do alone.” “Oh I see,” he said as he gave me a hug.

That my friends, is the first thing that excited me this past weekend.