What Is It That Every Son Wants and Needs From His Father?

Posted on 10/08/2008 by Rich Shipe

I’ve enjoyed being a part of the Wednesday morning men’s small group at Jon Tigges’s home where we are going through “The Quest for Authentic Manhood” by Robert Lewis. The format is watching a presentation by Lewis on DVD and then discussing the material among the men present.

Side note: “The Quest for Authentic Manhood” and getting together with other men has been a fantastic time and if you can work it into your schedule I encourage you to make a commitment to it. I hope to see you there!

Something that struck me this morning that I wanted to share are five things Lewis listed as being what every son wants and needs from his father. This aspect is just part of his larger point which I won’t share here but the points on fathering sons was excellent.

Got a son? Read on …

1. Time Together – Lewis said that “Memories are the markers of life.” Every boy wants that time where it is “just me and dad.” He wants to go out and throw the ball and pretend they are in the Super Bowl together or put together that model or just hang out and laugh. Proverbs 17:6 in part says that “the glory of sons is their fathers.”

2. Life SkillsProverbs 22:6 says, “Train a child in the way that he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” Robert Lewis described “life skills” as the stuff we need to know to get by in life. It might be practical skills like how to change a flat tire, or the oil in your car, or how to tie a tie. Popular Mechanics pubished 100 Skills Every Man Should Know that might be a starting point for the practical stuff. But there are also emotional and spiritual life skills that need to be taught. For example we men generally have a hard time understanding our emotions and how to share from our heart. Sharing from your heart and understanding your emotions is an important life skill that fathers can help train and teach to their sons. Other life skills… How do I treat a woman? When is it appropriate to laugh and goof around or to be serious?

3. Direction with Solid “Why” Answers – Lewis described this as the philosophical stuff of life. “What is really important in life?” “What is life about?” “What is my ultimate purpose in life?” It could be described also as our convictions about higher truths. Deuteronomy 6:6-7 says “These words I am commanding you today must be kept in mind, and you must teach them to your children and speak of them as you sit in your house, as you walk along the road, as you lie down, and as you get up.”

4. Convictions Through Modeling – This is the influence of your words plus your convictions lived out in what you model in life. This point in equation form: Your Convictions + What you Say + Your Model in Action = Your Integrity. It is showing him through the model of how you actually live your life. The son knows the real father and not just the veneer or what he says. 1 Thessalonians 2:10-11 makes this point very well, “You are witnesses, and so is God, as to how holy and righteous and blameless our conduct was toward you who believe. As you know, we treated each one of you as a father treats his own children”

5. Dad’s Heart – Lewis said this is what sons need most of all from dad. It means that the son is loved and affirmed by his dad. He said there are three things every son wants to grow up and leave home with confidence having heard from dad: 1) I love you, 2) I’m proud of you, and 3) You are good at _____ [fill in the blank]. Lewis said even today as a grown man “I wish my dad would come out of the grave and tell me these things.” Jesus the Son recieved these things from God the Father. Check out Matthew 17:5 how God says all these things about Jesus: “While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, ‘This is my one dear Son [I love you, son!], in whom I take great delight [I’m proud of you, son!]. Listen to him!’ [hey everyone, my son has something good to say!]”