April 13, 2007

A Lesson in Manhood for My Son

There's some pretty funny material on Christian humor sites, such as http://www.catholicsites.com/jokes/contents.html. One of the jokes from catholicsites.com goes like this...

After the christening of his baby brother in church, Jason sobbed all the way
home in the car. His father asked him three times what was wrong. Finally,
the boy replied, "That preacher said he wanted us brought up in a Christian
home, and I wanted to stay with you guys."

I find it pretty funny and, as an expectant father, at the same time I'm praying its not going to be true in my case. It has me thinking, between chuckles, about what it means to raise a child in a Christian home. Part of the answer, I think, is in where focus lies. What is important to a Christian family that isn't important to others?

One of the unique elements of Christianity that I've been thinking on more and more lately is the multifaceted personality of Christ. He's is giving, compassionate, and gentle, but at the same time honest, direct, and passionate about the truth. What a wonderful model for my son!

"Aslan", as C. S. Lewis writes about his Christ-figure, "is not a tame lion." Jesus wept, yes, but He also got angry. I want my son to know it's all right to cry, all right to be angry, and, of course, all right to be joyous as well. What matters is what you do with those feelings.

Jesus rebuked Peter sternly at times, yet He called Peter the rock of the Church and shepherd to the flock. He knew that there is a difference between "nice" and "good", between "gentle" and "pushover".

I want my son to know that - that he can, and should, get angry. But get angry at ignorance and injustice. Get angry at the evils that Satan causes in the world. Love and forgive the people that foolishly, wrongly cause those ignorances and injustices.

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