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Fathers, Love Your Sons!

June 18, 2015  0


Your job as a father is singular: Get your family to Heaven. Period. Everything else is secondary, and nothing you do can interfere with that God-given mission and command.

When it comes to fathers and sons, especially these days, there are some intense challenges. A young boy enjoys his youthful innocence. There is a purity about him that he may not recognize until he no longer has it. He can easily mourn for it as adolescence and puberty come upon him, and only then does he recognize that he was once pure, innocent, and what was once effortless now seems impossible — remaining pure.

Dad, this is where you must rise to the occasion.

Your emotional and spiritual availability to your son or sons can set them on a path of virtue, even if it is an intense struggle at times. These new feelings and drives and thoughts are just that to your boy, your developing man — new. He has never experienced anything like this before. It's almost a darn certainty he ain't gonna' talk about this stuff with Mom, and it's something of a safe bet that Mom isn't relishing the conversation, either.

And that's just it. It's not a conversation. This crucial time in a boy's life requires a safe place for him to always feel free to talk with you about his struggles. Masturbation, unchaste thoughts, just plain old physical realities of that age must be able to be discussed. There is that delicate balance of being discreet in vocabulary while at the same time direct enough to allow sufficient clarity. And your boy should not feel that it's "lecture time." It's learning time, not lecture.

Find a way to discuss things with him in a way that will awaken his intellect and embolden it so it takes mastery over the body. You want to have your father-son relationship so developed that the opportunity is always there, always present, to learn in an environment of emotional safety as well as enjoyment.

Learning to be a man, to become a man, while certainly chock full of struggle, should always also have a sense of the joy that growing to manhood inevitably involves, if developed correctly. Your son should feel free to come to you and talk about a sexual issue just as he is free to come and talk to you about sports, or hobbies, or school work, or his future.

Life has struggles. This is just one area of struggle — granted, a pretty tough one at times — but still just one. Help him see that part of becoming a man is to learn how to give up and sacrifice himself for the greater good. There are a billion examples of that he can immediately relate to. The lesson of sports is just that. If you wanto win, you gotta' sacrifice. If the team is going to win, then you must be unselfish and take one for the team.

Most young guys like weapons, and are captivated by war or combat. What an opportunity to sit with your son and watch a well-done war movie and talk about the sacrifices the soldiers made. Engage his mind. On the one rudimentary level, he is already equipped to understand all of this; he needs you to help him see it correctly. Sports, war, academics, all involve using the will to conquer the body, disciplining the will. You get to help prepare him to help his own sons one day.

He will fail, sometimes frequently, in the spiritual realm, as in the others. This is where you must encourage confession and the sacraments and a devotional life. And you need to make absolutely darned certain that the priest or priests your son is going to confession to are faithful sons of the Church themselves. You should know them and be involved with them yourselves for your own spiritual needs.

This all means of course that you must have a deep spiritual life as well. Your son will listen to you, but he will watch you more than he will listen. If you say the Rosary, he will. If he understands that you understand we are in spiritual warfare, then he will come to understand it and live it as well.

All young people, especially in this environment, are encouraged to live by their feelings. Every single thing they hear and see is blaring loudly at them: Go with your feelings. Your job is to stand guard over the mind, soul and body of your son and defend against that. It is to engage his intellect, not in a heavy-handed way, but in a way that helps him to come to these things on his own, sooner or later. He needs to be able to see the world as the most important man in his life sees the world: as a preparation for Heaven.

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