Three Benefits of Christian Boys’ Camps

Boys’ camps are like the crow’s nest on a four-masted schooner.

If a boy’s life could be compared to a Renaissance ship, the Church would be the rudder, giving him direction. His family would be the sails, driving him forward to success. His school and places of education would be the anchor, protecting him from drifting into moral danger. A boy doesn’t have to attend a Christian boys’ camp any more than a yacht needs crow’s nest to sail from Tahiti to the Falkland Islands. But it sure yields a beautiful and unique perspective

If parents have the opportunity, they should send their sons to a Christ-centered boys’ camp. Here are three reasons why.

1. God calls men to teach boys

Specifically, God calls men to teach boys informally. Deuteronomy 6:7 says parents should teach their children the Scriptures when they “walk by the way”. This means Dad and Mom should find way to instruct their kids at places besides the dinner table, church and bedtime prayers.

Girls are domestic by nature, meaning they gravitate to the home and kitchen. Moms train their daughters best while scooping out cake batter and hemming her finest dress. Boys are different. They are hunters, explorers, defenders. A boy learns better when there’s dirt beneath his fingernails. Moses’ phrase “in the way” is a reminder that fathers especially need to maximize the informal teaching moments they have with their sons. Continue reading

Thanks, Dad

“Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart” (Pr 29:17).

Thank you for driving our family to church each Sunday,
    for staying married to mom,
    for sending us to a Christian school,
    and for taking me with you when doing errands.
Thank you for rising before the sun each day,
    for teaching me how to throw a curve,
    for laughing with me till our sides hurt,
    and for spanking me when I did wrong.
Thank you for coming to all my games,
    for teaching me how to drive stick,
    for paying all the bills,
    and for being strong physically.
Thank you for fixing the cars late in the Wisconsin winter,
    for taking us on vacations,
    for leading our family to the church pew,
    and for taking in your mother-in-law and sister-in-law even though it was tough.
Thank you for playing to win each time you laced em up,
    for showing me the difference between a forward and a guard,
    for shoveling the snow each January morning,
    and for giving up your drinking buddies.
Thank you for showing me how to bait a hook,
    for haggling till it was practically free,
    for teaching me how to bowl a 6-7-10 split,
    and for sharing Christ in every eulogy you gave.
Thank you for teaching me what a good pizza crust tastes like,
    for not moving an inch when a tough guy tried to intimidate you,
    for dancing the jitter bug with momma on the kitchen floor,
    and for reading a good bio because I recommended it.
Thank you for wearing Gravel and smelling like a man,
    for playing flag football in your forties and anchoring left tackle,
    for rebuking me publicly for disrespecting mom,
    and for teaching me to rub some dirt on it.
Thank you for trying a soul patch in your sixties and laughing at yourself when it bombed,
    for commending my sermons when they bombed,
    for pop riveting the car floors to save some money,
    and getting Brenda braces instead of me.
Thank you for rolling your eyes at guys who praise themselves,
    for teaching AWANA with a pocket full of candy,
    for not playing the victim over what your father didn’t do,
    and for singing loudly like no one was watching.
Thank you for coaching every baseball team I played on,
    for not shaving your chest hair,
    for making me drive junkers in high school,
    and for still wearing a suit when the deacons donned polos.
Thank you for opening your home to our family of nine,
    for teaching me the Boston crab,
    for showing me how to ask questions in Sunday School,
    and for supporting me in my move to Africa.
Thank you for being a man,
    for being a Christian,
    for being a model,
    for being Pap.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad. I love you.

Who’s to Blame for Fatherless Homes?

So you want to blame the legacy of slavery for fatherless homes? You want to ascribe guilt to your coach or political party? How about wealth inequality? Your sinful uncle or the playboy athlete? Should we blame far away jobs or the poor example of our own family?

If you’re looking to blame someone for the plague of fatherless homes today, don’t accuse your father or political leaders. Go all the way back to the source.

Blame Adam.

Sin is to blame for fatherless homes and sin came from Adam. When our human father bit into the forbidden fruit, he passed sin onto every human that followed. His sin became our sin (Rm 5:12). Adam was humanity’s best chance to score the free kick. He was humanity’s best player. If he couldn’t do it, no one could.

He failed. In Adam’s fall, we sinned all. We’re born bad, despite what your mother tells you (Jn 8:44). We are not sinners because we sin. We sin because we are sinners. Not fair? We don’t want fair. We want mercy. Continue reading