While on vacation recently, I read a great book titled, Wild Things – the art of nurturing boys, by Stephen James & David Thomas (Tyndale House Publishers). Leading men’s ministries here at First Baptist, I read a lot of books and articles on this subject. After all, our little guys will be men someday and we big guys better know, or at least remember, all there is to know about boys becoming men.
Anyway, among the many statements made by the authors, the one I remember most is that the number one thing parents need in raising boys is mercy. That was brought home to me when my son, Kyle, told me on this trip (and while we were discussing his work with at-risk boys) that he was glad I never grounded him. I guess that was one of the ways I showed mercy to him as he grew from a formable boy to a formidable man.
Oh, my wife and I disciplined him in other ways, doing things that we thought were unmerciful! Kyle is now extending mercy to some boys who need it, and need it in big ways from big men.
The Bible says, Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy (Matthew 5:7 NKJV). And, when we model it as Jesus did, we pass it along and show others how to be merciful as well.