Take a good look at the photo here. Can you tell what it is? It’s a clothes basket filled with John Deere tractors. Actually, it’s filled with toys. We recently had a clutter busting day at the Young house and everyone was challenged get rid of some stuff.
Surprisingly, Zach took aim at his collection of toy tractors. He brought them downstairs and said, “I don’t play with these anymore. We can have them available when young kids come over or give them away.”
I love what’s happening here. When Zach was 8, all he could think about was John Deere tractors. On a family vacation we even worked in a trip to John Deere headquarters in Moline, IL so Zach could sit on big tractors… But those days are gone. I love the fact that Zach is doing exactly what Paul talks about in 1 Corinthians 13:11.
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 ESV
Now Paul surely isn’t talking about putting down toys… he talks of giving up childish ways. Zach is realizing that he’s no longer a child. In many ways, he’s already a man. I’m thankful for the fact that he’s setting aside the things of childhood in the physical realm. But I also see him thinking and acting differently. I see him taking on responsibility, talking about his future, putting others before himself and stepping up spiritually.
It’s one thing to put away the Legos and toy tractors, but it’s quite a different issue to set aside the emotions, behaviors and attitudes of childhood.
It is my pleasure and still part of my responsibility to help him do this well. And, quite honestly continue to be introspective in my own life to make sure that I’m stepping up to manhood and not drifting back to the self-centered and irresponsible days and ways of boyhood. Men, this may be a good reminder for all of us. Are you still holding on to some of the childish ways of boyhood? What should you lay down? If you’re asking yourself what true manhood really is, read the Gospels in your Bible and take note of the actions and attitudes of Jesus Christ. He is our model for manhood.