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52 Godly Men : Men of Today Teaching the Men of Tomorrow » Featured, For Parents » Dad’s Reflections on 52 Godly Men

Dad’s Reflections on 52 Godly Men

A full year came and went, just like that. When I started the 52 Godly Men project with my son, all I could see was a big long list of names, phone numbers, e-mail addresses and calendar slots. Without doubt, it was a lot of work getting a full year scheduled for David. Now that it’s over, I’ve had some time to think and reflect on what this year meant for all of us.

First, I would say that this project was worth it. I have no regrets. The money, time and energy that it took to pull this off was well spent, and I would do it again. In fact, my daughter doesn’t need much prodding to remind me that I -will- do it again. (I think my wife will have a hand in her 52 Godly Women experience though.)

That’s why I have no hesitation in strongly encouraging other parents to do the same thing for their children. They don’t have to be thirteen. They don’t have to stringently meet 52 godly people once per week for a year. Just do SOMETHING along the lines of what you’ve been reading about us doing here. Yes, I scheduled a different godly man for 52 consecutive weeks. I felt it was important for me to do this and adhere to it to show that it CAN be done. Trailblazing has its own responsibilities, and it has its own rewards.

That leads me to my second observation. I was able give my son a birthday gift which was filled with a year and a whole lifetime of gifts. Some of them I saw at the outset:

  • My son would be able to observe the lifestyles of many different godly men
  • He would get to experience a little bit of what other professions are like and how they impact one’s life
  • He would hear different points of view on life, child-rearing, marriage and serving God
  • He would get to see how other people serve the people around them with their gifts and talents

Yet there were rewards I didn’t quite grasp at the time which have become apparent as the year progressed:

  • My son became incredibly at ease meeting new people, even though he has always been outgoing
  • His self-confidence seems to have grown by leaps and bounds
  • He knows some professions he does NOT want to pursue
  • His level of maturity and responsibility increased this past year
  • Our relationship has grown through the times of driving together, talking and reflecting on each meeting

I also think that my son realizes even more how much I love him.

David begins the Spring Shave ritual the kids help me with.

A third reflection echoes what I felt even before the beginning of this project:  this is a “God thing.”  All along I felt an urging of the Spirit to let as many people know about this as possible.  So I used the means at my disposal:  word of mouth, e-mail, free advertising in a client’s newsletter, newspaper interviews, and any other means to let people know about what David was doing this year.  The response has been overwhelming.  Many people have written or commented that they are inspired by the project to do something similar for their own children.  (I’d love to hear from more who ARE doing this for their children once they start.)  The 52 Godly Women project is now underway as a result of a homeschool Mom in our church hearing about David’s journey and wanting to give this gift to her 13 year old daughter.  We’ve been encouraged to write a book, make a movie and more.  Where will all of that go?  I’m not sure, but my response has always been:  “If it encourages parents to better raise and mentor their children, I’m for it!”

A fourth reflection I would offer is that I think that David meeting these men has, at times, forced some of them to think about how they are communicating their values to their own children.  That’s a good thing.  Parenting isn’t as intentional as it should be in many cases.  Children become a part of lives in such a way that we forget that their development is a primary responsibility.

If we, as parents, would even once a week take time to think about where our children are in their growth process and plan activities, personal time, and other goals based on where our children are and where we want them to head, their lives would be richer for it.  And the next generation of leaders would be better prepared for taking our countries in the direction God intends them to go.

Finally, I’ve grown as a person during this journey.  Asking 52 different men to give something to your child is its own lesson in humility.  I need the body of Christ.  I need what other people can offer to me and to my family.  I’m not self-sufficient to be able to do everything that my family ever needs.

I’ve also been challenged personally by some of the men and the lessons they taught David.  Believe me, I’ve heard more details than David has had space (or liberty) to write in his articles.  Hearing these men’s stories reminds me of the many, many areas in which I need to grow as a father and in my own relationship with God.

How about you?  Why don’t you take a moment right NOW and pray?  Tell God that you want to begin planning a journey for your own child (or children).  This could be a family venture.  Take it and tweak it.  Invite someone INTO your home once per week for a year.  Ask them to share their stories and life lessons with the whole family.  Or go to their home or business.  Make it structured enough that everyone involved knows that you are there to learn something.  Write your own blog about your experiences.  (I’m open to sharing space here or on some of the other domains for families or individuals wishing to blog about their own journeys.)

Together, we can, and will, make a difference in this rising generation for the glory of God and the kingdom of Jesus Christ.

Keep reading.  We hope to continue posting our own articles as David continues to grow and experience his journey as a young adult.




Filed under: Featured, For Parents

One Response to "Dad’s Reflections on 52 Godly Men"

  1. Don Ford says:
    Troubled Bridge

    As a young dad I used to tell made up stories to my two children. Now both love to read and both write well.

    Here is a story of mine below. I hope you enjoy it and read it to others as well – all ages.


    I wish I had just stayed a tree. Why did they bother building me in the first place; just to be trampled over? I’ve really had my fill of this. If only they would wipe their muddy feet before trudging over my spine. Is this to be my full lot in life? I’m ready to be done with it!

    “Sir, may I cross over you today?”

    “And you are?”

    “I’m Sarah. I wanted to walk to the middle and look out over the waters below. The view I heard was quite spectacular.”

    “You are the first to even ask permission. Most just march over me without a thought as to my feelings.”

    “The fact that you are hearing me and answering, shows you have a heart and soul.”

    “Were you surprised when I spoke back to you?” The bridge waited for her response.

    “Not at all. You were made from a stately tree, I was told, and I happen to love trees. You are the closest thing to Heaven, being drawn up there to those clouds. He must talk to you a lot.”

    “You mean Creator?”

    “Yes! I was sent to tell you that He cares about you. He sees that many have hurt you. They just stomp across with no regards for your feelings. You have been selected for a very special purpose. You will one day be privileged to carry Creator’s Son across your planks. He will set up a place for others to join him, just on the other side.

    “The only way then for folks to reach Him will be to cross your bridge. You will be known in the annals of history as the Bridge Over Troubled Water. Life is described most times as a swift running body of water. Many have been swept away in its strong current. You will carry all across to safety, where they will join the Son of Creator.”

    “Surely there must be other stronger bridges to select from for so great a One as He.”

    “Creator never looks on the outward appearance, but always reads the heart. You have a heart like few others. You see Creator’s Son came earlier to this world, and like you, folks just trampled over Him, not seeing His full purpose to Save them.”

    Tears began to run down the side of the bridge. “You mustn’t be sad, this is a happy day and one of celebration. The hope of all the world hinges on you getting folks over to their Savior, Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of Creator. Besides, if you cry too much your boards will swell, and we just can’t have that.”

    Suddenly, at the one end of the bridge, a man of sorrows appeared. He was all dirty with cuts on him from what appeared a long journey. He was also carrying a very heavy cross.

    “What is this Sarah? The man seems all filthy and his clothes are like rags upon him.”

    “This is the one foretold, the very Son of Creator himself.”

    “Can no one help him with that heavy-looking cross?”

    “No, it is his burden to carry. The cross represents all of the world’s sin and evil doings. He will soon exchange his life for all of ours on the day he is nailed to that cruel cross.”

    “No way, he appears an innocent man. They can’t do this to him!”

    “There is no other way; it has been foretold that the Son of Creator would one day lay down his life for all of his Creation. That very day is here and now!

    “I forgot to tell you the other reason you were especially chosen. The Son of Creator will be carrying the weight of the sins of all creation on his shoulders across your planks to the other side. Your wood was selected that had no knots or imperfections in it. You too were without spot or blemish and able fully to carry the weight of the Son of Creator across your bridge.”

    History was in the making this day as a song played over the valley at this same time. Jesus moved ever so slowly to the other side to fulfill his destiny. A still small voice was gently heard, “Thank you my friend. Today you will see me in all of my Glory!”

    The bridge boards bowed ever so slightly, still holding up its end of the bargain. The Son of Creator made it safely over. Many would pledge their love and loyalty as some walked, but many ran into the arms of their Savior and Lord, just on the other side.

    The only way to the Creator was through his Son, and He was found over the bridge and across the waters of life!

    Where eagles fly,
    Don (Greywolf) Ford
    Native American Storyteller
    Author of “Royal Ferdinand” at Amazon

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