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October 19, 2023

Giving Up Childish Ways (Part 3)

When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways (1 Corinthians 13:11).

Last weekend was our annual Father + Son Adventure Camp at Twin Rocks Camp in Rockaway.  It’s designed for dads with sons who are in first-fifth grade.  We shot arrows, climbed a 30′ rock wall, canoed, kayaked, fished, and caught newts.  We played dodgeball and competed in relays using hula-hoops, balloons, and bedsheets.  We made s’mores, slept poorly, but ate well.  We drank root beer and ate roast beef and mashed potatoes with our fingers.

The dads played like boys, engaging their inner child as they played with their sons.  It is a beautiful thing to witness, and the Twin Rocks Camp staff tells me that this and our Father + Daughter Camp are some of their favorite camps to host.

But the weekend is more than just fun and games.  We also expect the dads to lead like men and engage their sons in spiritual discussions.  Our goal last weekend?  To grow into “Unshakable Men.”  Men who choose to do the right thing, speak truthfully, honor their word, and keep a promise even if it hurts.  We looked to Jesus as the ultimate example of “unshakability.”  Our theme passage was Psalm 15.

Dads were given time to talk about these things with their sons one-on-one.  Only a man who has given up his childish ways can successfully navigate such a weighty conversation with a child.  Only a man who trusts in Jesus can point his son to Jesus.

Of course, with this much activity, there were a few accidents and injuries.  There were scrapes, bruises, and tears.  When a boy got hurt, he didn’t turn to another boy for help. Whether it was a bloody finger or a bruised ego, he went to his dad, who instinctively knew what to do.  That wasn’t the time to speak, think or reason like a child.  It was time to be the dad.

I hadn’t planned to write about the Father + Son Adventure Camp, but I witnessed something powerful.  I saw 1 Corinthians 13:11 being lived out in real time for a weekend.

The best dads are men who know how to have fun like a child while giving up their childish ways. 

I’ll share my final thoughts on this verse next week.

Thanks for reading!


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