A few years ago, there was a craze for “Preppers”. They built bunkers and massive amounts of food and learned wilderness survival skills. Most people just thought it was a bit overboard, but we also learned a bit in the process.
As a father, your role is provide and protect your family. And while I'm not suggesting we live daily in fear or worry for the zombie invasion, I’d like to challenge dads to prepare and teach their sons to be physically, mentally and spiritually as prepared as possible. Mostly because it might just be a great time of connection with your son.
We have become a society that relies on others to do mundane tasks we used to have to ourselves. “Many auto insurance policies come with free roadside assistance, so why do you need to know how to change a tire?“ “If you are in a medical emergency you simply dial 9-1-1, you don’t need to know first aid or CPR.”
I want to encourage you, as a godly father, to learn so that you can teach your sons. Don’t you want your son to know how to tend to basic injuries, change a tire, check the oil, basic safety and some cool wilderness stuff (knife skills, shelter building, fire building…)?
This is not a commercial for a book or a program that will teach you every “manly” skill a guy should know. It’s simply this: let’s raise the bar for our sons. Let’s equip them first with the knowledge of God’s word and the application of it, but let’s also teach our sons how to provide and protect their families when they get older. I’m not saying you should have year supply powdered cheese in your basement, but maybe it’s worth it to take some precautions for your environment and teach those precautions to your sons.
I currently live just outside of Houston. We have to prepare for hurricane season. It's wise for us to have generators, fresh water, non-perishable food, first-aid kits and an evacuation plan in place during hurricane season. One of my friends who recently got bombarded with snow lost power for only short a time, but it was long enough for him to realize he should have had a generator on standby. He has propane ready to use his grill if he needs to and has plenty of cold weather gear. Where he lives hurricanes are not a problem. Houston has no fear of blizzards.
So, I hope I've laid the ground work for two things: 1) you need to be prepared to take care of your family in the event of an emergency. 2) You need to teach your children the same. Let me also add that there is a huge difference between prepared and paranoid. Your spouse will tell you when you’ve diverged.
- What are the possible emergencies you could face in your environment?
- What are the supplies you might need in case of said emergency?
- Do you have a plan, and have you talked through it with your spouse?
Things to consider:
- Take a First-Aid/CPR class, they’re not expensive and you will learn a ton.
- Prioritize the supplies you need and budget for them. One of my friends has a very thorough plan for his family and he buys a few supplies every month to get them closer to being ready.
- Consider talking with your neighbors and your church so in the case of a natural disaster your efforts afterward are a community effort and not just your family.
- Learn some new skills. REI teaches classes every month that could be very useful and YouTube has a ton of very helpful ‘How to’ videos that you can practice and teach to your kids.
- Make sure your first-aid kit is fully stocked
- Check the first-aid kits in your vehicles
- Buy extra cans of food at the grocery store with a long shelf life. If you get too many over time, donate some to a local food drive.
- Take the time to think through how you would handle certain situations.
- This could be the difference between being caught in indecision and responding well in a crisis.
You can reassure your family you are prepared if something were to happen. You can teach your kids some great habits about being prepared that will serve them well as adults. This isn’t about being fearful or paranoid about all the things that could possibly go wrong. This is about being prepared so that if something does go wrong you can deal with it and be an asset to those around you.
Finally, prepare spiritually!
All the investment you've hopefully made in Manhood Journey blog posts, Field Guides, 1 on 1 Guides and Group Guides, have been preparing you to equip your sons for a life of godliness. In moments of crisis our faith in God will shine brightly and our dependence upon Him will speak volumes to unbelievers, if we have prepared spiritually. Let’s honor God and set the example for our kids by being prepared physically, mentally and spiritually. Proverbs 6:6-8 says:
Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest.
Question: What’s one thing you might do this evening to become more prepared physically, mentally or spiritually? Think on it. Then, spend a few minutes this evening doing that thing or having that conversation with your family. Tell us how it goes in the comments section below, tweet us @manhoodjourney or you can always email.
Will is a doctoral student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary studying leadership. He is the associate pastor of students and men’s ministry at Memorial Baptist Church in Baytown, TX. Married to Lucinda for 13 years, they have four wonderful kids. Learn more about Will here. Grab his Field Guide Common Ground.
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