A raccoon in my boxers would have been easier!

From holes in the walls to broken tools and things I care deeply about, raising two boys has been a ride I will never forget!

I know I am not done yet. They are only 15 and 16 now. I still have driving lessons, graduation, college? Military? Marriage? Grand kids? And who knows what else lies ahead.

I do know what lies behind us and I know what lies within them. We have clashed horns both verbally and physically over the last decade and a half. We have cried together, prayed together, laughed together and played together. We have tormented each other and their sisters and mother just doing what guys do and sometimes just cause its worth a laugh.

We have built things and broken them again. We have jogged in the freezing rain and gone to the gym at midnight. We have scarfed on junk food and fasted together too.

We have buried pets, moved away from friends, cried over break-ups and argued over the details. But the key word in all of those experiences, the good the bad and the ugly is TOGETHER.

I believe young men need a father figure, often more than they need a buddy or a friend. They need a real man, someone who has their head on straight, who has a backbone to help get theirs on straight too.

Young men need the power of a strong hand and a stern voice. They also need a heart that has been broken and will that knows the honor that belongs to authority. Young men long for a strong leader. They crave broad shoulders, listening ears, a big heart, trusting eyes and forgiving words.

Young men are tough to raise. When I think of what we have been through together, it might have been easier to have a raccoon in my boxers, but I thank God, we did it together.

If you have young men in your life with no father figure, no strong influence, no intentional path of guidance, please find someone soon.

Personal development is not going to happen on its own. You must encourage it intentionally.

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