When I was in the elementary grades at school my dad was around. I got to experience his hands working on things. Building things, fixing things, tinkering. I was also the beneficiary of his gift giving. Not only did we get Red Ryder BB guns but we got pocket knives and screw drivers and even hammers. Gold to a boy. I love the ole saying, “Give a boy a hammer and everything looks like a nail.” Beautiful.
Alas, as you may know, boys are not getting those lessons today. There are some remnants of bikes and outdoor games. Just look at these numbers. The video games market is expected to be worth over 90 billion U.S. dollars by 2020, from nearly 78.61 billion in 2017. There are more than 2.5 billion video gamers from all over the world. 80% of the total video game industry’s 36 billion U.S dollars revenue in 2017 belongs to software sales.
Those are all numbers that start with a B. Now, I am not a totally against a kid playing a video game, I am against a kid who plays too much. I am against a boy who never learns about tools.
The reason most boys say they don’t want to do outdoor things is pretty simple. The number one reason is they don’t know how and there is no one to show them. So they choose no. Hammers, nails, paint brushes, screw drivers, no. It includes shooting sports, archery, hiking, climbing, camping, no.
We know, it is a fact, that boys want to know about the man things in life. Put a boy in the woods and it’s only a few minutes before he has a sword, gun or spear. You know this. Society today is pounding on our boys. They are claiming it best to emasculate them to a touchy, feely, sensitive blob of goo. So far from the heart of a male. So devastating.
Add the lack of a father in the home, no mentor who will teach them the ancient ways of the boys heart and manhood, they end up lost in a world they were designed lead. Painful.
The month of February in KOZ we are teaching boys about gear. This time we veer off the pure outdoor theme and open it up to all kinds of things. Tires and post hole diggers, cleaning firearms to fixing lawnmowers. Put tools in their hands. Name the tools, define the tools, lay out 100 of them and let them explore. This can be a month you teach them something they will never forget.
Ah then think of the biblical similarities. What are the tool Jesus gave us, gives us, that we can use every day? We dig in on some cool scripture with them.
I loved exploring my dad’s tools. I gave my kids all kinds of tool belts and sockets, screw driver sets and gloves every year. I am convinced the best tool gift for any kid is a flashlight.
What if you got to share how Jesus loves us while teaching a boy how to use a hammer. What if you got to share the gospel over a lawn mower engine. Do you think boy will listen better after you showed him how to use a welding machine or in a classroom on Sunday? We pick after welding. We pick his heart. Deep down, real, masculine, God made heart.
God bless, TJ Greaney
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