With our company’s departure, we have been able to settle back into our routine. I thought it important to review being flexible verses being rigid. Our review led to a very important question that may be of importance to any father/son discussion. What is the difference between being flexible and just making an excuse? We talked about the importance of being flexible over being rigid—for the most part. This can be a fine line. There are times that completing a task cannot be put off. For instance meeting a deadline would lend itself to being rigid over being flexible. But this issue of making excuses is something that—as a father—I do not want my son to be sucked into. To be sure there is a value in being flexible. However, there is also a danger in using “excuses” in the guise of being flexible. Here are the main points we touched on concerning making excuses. Making excuses means:
1—you are looking for ways to get out of your commitment
2—you are being lazy
3—you were not committed to fulfilling or honoring your word
We touched on yet another element of being flexible. We only touched on it because it is connected with the third part of the spiritual rite of passage—building a relationship with God. We did not get into this in any in-depth discussion—only to say that there are times when the Holly Spirit will direct us to be flexible.
This discussion led us to another topic. What is behind the saying, “If you’re man enough”? Basically this saying is used as a dare, implying that the one being spoken too is too afraid or too wimpy to accept whatever the offer is. This can be a devastating moment for a young man. What is the right thing to do? How can you save-face without ending up hurt or in trouble…or worse? As you can imagine, there are no easy answers. These are character-building moments that require an inner resolve far more than a pat- answer. So instead of spending time there, I choose to view the saying from a more positive perspective. What does it mean to be man enough?
Here is what we came up with.
Being man enough means:
1—having courage (to say yes as well as say no)
2—having skill (to address the issue at hand)
3—having determination (to tackle the difficult tasks)
What would the bible say about being a man?
1—walking with God
2—providing for your family
3—taking care of God’s creation
For me—as a father—being able to instill these six traits into my son will serve him well when faced with the “are you man enough,” dare.
The last thing we spent some time on is this.
What really defines a man?
1—being helpful
5—capable under pressure

As I sat back and reviewed this entry, I realized two interesting things about our time together.
First of all the number six (3 things about being a man plus 3 things the bible says about manhood) represents the number of man, the number eight represents new beginning. For whatever the thought is worth, the six things it means to be a man—as we have viewed them—may well represent the man my son is to become.
Secondly, the eight things—again as we have viewed them—it means to define a man may represent the necessary tools my son will need in this new beginning—what we are calling an unexpected journey—of his life.