He accepted my invitation and we had a total blast! He also committed himself to purity (and stuck with it!). That would have met all my expectations, but more happened. On the trip, we experienced some “unexpected things”, and those unexpected things we stumbled upon were
the “somethings” I’d sensed I needed to do for my son all along! Those serendipities were game changers in our relationship, and once home, my next son picked up on them. Two years later, he and I took the same trip, except this time I was planning to do more than ask him to commit to sexual purity. At that point, I thought I had the boy-to-man thing all worked out, but learned otherwise.
Like I said, Dad didn’t teach me much (anything) about boating and the first afternoon on the water I proved it. About 5 miles from the launching dock, we flipped our canoe! Hypothermia was a real risk, and if not for some quick thinking and a nearby island, we’d have faced a serious medical emergency. But this drew Caleb and me closer, and I learned an important lesson on how to lead boys into manhood. (Besides, that I should avoid killing or maiming them or myself!)
Those days were challenging, but now, my sons and I are giving dads what we wish we’d known back there 20 years ago, and these men are telling us that their results are as powerful and deep as our own. Most men don’t have a 20-year learning curve to work with; they’d rather hear from someone who did the trial and error (especially the error!), and get from them how to lead their boys. Most men want to be good fathers, and they are looking for the GREAT stuff for their kids. Until recently, we didn’t realize what we’d discovered and how badly it is needed.
But, just to be sure that what we’d learned was as effective for other dads and it had been for us, we tested it. Here is what one father and his boys had to say about the manabout we guided them on.