Sunday, November 08, 2009

The Making of A Gentleman

This fall I helped run a little carnival at a local festival. My friend and I were the only workers. She had all four of her young children with her. I had some of mine. We set it all up, worked the games all morning and then cleaned up. When it was over, we were taking down tables, hauling them to the van all with kids and sleeping babies in tow. We walked by many grown men that just stood there and looked at us. Until Hank saw us. He jumped right in and started helping us carry things.

A few weeks ago I was again hauling heavy things up and down stairs and loading up my van. Again, there was an able bodied male just standing there watching me.

I know there are many women that would prefer not to be helped. Some men get yelled at for holding a door. In fact, just this morning I was helping roll big heavy tables back in place after church. I had high heels on. It feels good to do things on my own sometimes and I'm certainly capable of it. I get that.

Of all the things I love about my husband, I really love that he is quick to help. He is always ready and willing to jump in. I’ve seen him jump up on a roof to help tether down a tarp or pound shingles and offer to grab pieces of furniture in the back of trucks. He could easily continue on his own way but he notices and offers to help. I think that’s why it shocked me so much. I guess I don’t appreciate what a gem of a hubby I’ve got.

My only son is growing up. There are dreams I have for him, things I want him to be and do. Those experiences made me realize that I really want him to get this. I want my son to be the guy who jumps in to help no matter who it is that is in need. For that matter, I want my daughters to do that too. It just seems a little more important for a boy to learn it.

How do we teach that? He will never see the gallant gentleman celebrated in the Hollywood he knows. Nor will he see it very often in the world he lives in. I have always thought that we need to model it and teach good manners. And those things are true. But deeper than that is teaching him to love like Christ.

All through the gospels, Jesus sees and responds to the physical needs of those around him. He heals, befriends and feeds many needy people. Do I think it was because he had good manners and impeccable breeding? No. He literally was born in a barn after all.

His willingness to meet people’s needs came from the love in His heart. As He helped meet physical needs, He was able to show and relieve spiritual neediness as well.

It has made me rethink my approach to training my son to be like Hank or Mike. Although they are good examples, I really need to train him to be like Christ. It’s about love and having a heart for God. It’s about taking that love and putting it to work in the lives of others. It’s about pointing people to Him.

Galatians 6:9-10

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Two are better than one,

because they have a good return for their work:

If one falls down,

his friend can help him up.

But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!

Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.

But how can only one keep warm alone?

Though one may be overpowered,

two can defend themselves.

A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Romans 12:9-11

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.

That’s a lesson my son AND my daughters need to learn. And so do I.

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