Application Not Just Information

One of the key messages that I try to convey to dads is the idea of parenting with the end in mind. We must have a strategic plan for what we want our sons to know and be when they leave us for that next season of life at eighteen. We must think and parent with college in mind. The best thing you can do as a father is take a day and walk around a college campus. This will give you a great perspective on what’s ahead for your son.

Thinking about college reminds me of a great story I heard from a parent about their son’s first few weeks at school. This particular young man was ready to go. He registered for classes and moved into his new home in the dorm. This young man was working his way through college and was on a strict budget. All he could afford for his meals were cheese and crackers. Day after day he would scrape by eating whatever he could afford. After two weeks of this misery, he decided to splurge for a meal at the cafeteria on campus. As expected, he loaded his plate as high and far as the tray would hold. When he finally made it to the cashier, he was nervous that it would be a huge blow to his limited budget. He asked the cashier what the total would be and the cashier asked for his student ID. The cashier politely told him that the cost of the meal was included in his tuition when he registered for classes.

From the first day of class, this young man had access to all the food he could eat yet he failed to understand how the meal program was applicable to him.This is parenting in a nutshell. Our job as fathers is to be the spiritual leader of our household yet we forget to think in terms of why we teach it. Our boys need to understand how the truth we are teaching applies to their life now and in the future. We are preparing them for life on their own. They must know God’s truth, why they believe it, and how that applies to their everyday life. Proactive dads  seek to be a representation of God’s truth and pass it on to their boys.

My prayer is that we take every opportunity we have to impart truth into the lives of our boys. We have a limited time with our boys. Don’t waste an opportunity to prepare them for life on their own. They need us to cast vision for what it means to be a godly man and how that applies to their life on a daily basis. Don’t let them feed on cheese and crackers when you can give them a whole meal. Take advantage of the time you have. It will be over before you know it.

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