Say a boy breaks a chair because he was jumping on it from the bunk bed. Unbelief sees the cost of replacing the chair. Faith sees aggressiveness and courage, both of which obviously need to be directed and disciplined. Suppose a boy gets into a fight protecting his sister. Unbelief sees the lack of wisdom that created a situation that could have been easily avoided; faith sees an immature masculinity that is starting to assume the burden of manhood.
Unbelief squashes; faith teaches while it directs. Faith takes a boy aside, and tells him that this part of what he did was good, while that other part of what he did got in the way. “And this is how to do it better next time.” This issue of fighting provides a good example of how necessary such distinctions are. Of course parents do not want to encourage their sons to pick fights with other boys. But this is not the only item on the menu. Neither do they want to encourage abdication and cowardice. There are times when men have to fight. It follows that there will be times when boys have to learn how to fight, how to walk away, how to turn the other cheek, when to turn the other cheek, and when to put up their dukes. If boys don’t learn, men won’t know. And boys will not learn unless their fathers teach.
As we look to the Scriptures for the pattern of masculinity that we are to set before our sons, we will find them manifested perfectly in the life of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the incarnate Word, the One who embodies perfectly all that Scripture teaches in words. As we look at the teaching of Scripture throughout this study on what it means to be a man (and therefore, what it means to be a future man), we will come back again and again to the example of Jesus Christ. He is the one who set for us the ultimate pattern for friendship, for courage, for faithfulness, and integrity.