My family is maturing. I no longer have just one man living in my house but two, and there are two more man cubs merely a year or two away from joining this growing realization. In fact, some cultures would say I already have four men living under my roof. My daughter and I are used to being outnumbered, and I have to admit that I am actually quite fond of having so much male attention each day. There is always a male escort to protect us or to take the heavier, higher tasks around the house. I was once overwhelmed by the abundance of testosterone in our home, but now I celebrate the trials my baby boys have gone through that has brought the great refinement and maturity I see multiplying in them all the time. God is so loving, merciful, and good. Just the other day my eldest son, Ben, brought home not just his first ever harvest, a ruffed grouse, from the forest, but also wise words for this mama.
Our neighbor’s eldest son who is about six years younger than Ben has been spending a lot of time with him. The two of them play a lot of football and share fish and field stories. Ben has been praying for this young man and his younger brother. He has been looking for opportunities to share the truth of Jesus Christ with them, and there have been some good opportunities, praise God! They haven’t accepted his invitations to attend youth events yet, but they have come to him with some very good questions about God and religion, and they seek out time with Ben often.
This boy’s father takes his two sons hunting and fishing quite a bit. My husband has always enjoyed fishing and shares this with our children, but if he went hunting it would be for the hike through the woods. We are not against hunting and have been supportive of Ben, who’s very self-motivated, but this young man is more experienced at hunting because of his time in the woods with his father. Ben is self-taught. He’s dreamed through all the hunting scenarios, and he’s walked the woods with his grandfather, but he hadn’t bagged anything yet.
Our neighbor boy happened to be with Ben when Ben made his first kill. He’d been visiting with him while Ben was practicing with his targets out back. Ben spotted the grouse in a tree and switched to his points before the boy registered it truly was a grouse, the boy began to coach Ben when he realized he was taking aim at the grouse, but Ben had already shot the bird. They celebrated the kill together, how it was quick, the bird didn’t even flutter after it was shot, and the shot was so clean that there was very little blood. The neighbor boy ran home and brought back his knife and a bag to put the meat in, then proceeded to take over the cleaning and meat harvesting. They were able to harvest both wings, the tail and most of the feathers for Ben to use tying fishing “flies.” He taught Ben all he knew and continued to encourage him and offer Ben his services by text throughout the rest of the night. Ben quietly took it all with grace and patience even the discouraging comments our neighbor boy related to him about his father’s comments. I will be honest, I was surprised by Ben’s reaction. He’d waited years for this moment, and the neighbor boy kind of took the lead role in the experience from Ben. When I asked Ben why he let the neighbor boy take over, and he told me, “Well, Mom, he listens to me teach him a lot of the time, sometimes you just have to let someone else do the teaching.”
I looked up the definition of meek after this in our Websters New International Dictionary from 1910: “Mild of temper; not easily provoked or irritated; patient under injuries; not vain, or haughty, or resentful; forbearing; submissive; humble; evincing, or characterized by, mildness of temper, or patience…” I have always taught my kids the definition given us in the Accelerated Christian Education handbook for the godly characteristic of meekness: “Yielding everything to God, including the results and thought for self.” But it all comes down to what we are taught in the book of James in the Bible, “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.” (3:13). My boy still has maturing to do, who doesn’t, right? But I had a moment of pure awe when he spoke those humble words to me.
God, You are doing such a wonderful job with this young man. Thank you, LORD, thank you for letting me love and raise him. So many times through the years people have given me credit for these children, but I know it’s You. Four children and all of them yours. I have sinned against you and worried over so many things I have gone through with my children, and I have had to give them back to you over again so many times. I pray our children, those You have given me and those of your readers here, will grow up in your wisdom and righteousness. LORD, add to your glory wisdom is vindicated and shown to be right by all her children [by the lifestyle, moral character, and good deeds of her followers]. (Luke 7:35) You are the source of all wisdom. Amen.