Alright, it’s Part 3, gonna finally wrap this up. Again, this is an awesome program, make sure to check it out…
Aside from being based on the Word of God, one major theme throughout the program is “What will you do”. This is a call to action for your pre-teen to make decisions about how they will handle certain situations as they grow up. There is great wisdom in this, “Make your decision now, so that you can carry it out when the situation arises, emotions are high, and your body is telling you something else”.
I love this.
Intentional living is crucial to walking with the Lord and committing yourself to him, so our pre-teens need to start now with these topics which are so pivotal to their young lives. How many times do we make poor decisions because we do not resolve in our heart how we’ll handle situations. I’m sure many porn, drug, and alcohol addictions could have been avoided if a decision had been made beforehand. Many marriages could have been saved, and many people would be drawn closer to the Lord if they had resolved in their heart to take action. These are not only decisions to avoid these things, but decisions of WHY we would not partake in these things!
This is one strong point that makes this program so powerful, and hopefully you continue these conversations with your pre-teen after the weekend is over, continuing to guide them in making intentional choices about how they will handle themselves.
Now, you are encouraged to give your pre-teen a gift at the end of the program to commemorate the weekend and the lessons they learned. I wanted him to have something that he can keep forever, something that he would be proud to put in his room as a college student or married man.
So we decided to get him a small sword, yep that’s right, a real, steel, sword. We had Psalm 51:10 engraved on the blade, along with his name, the month and year. To display the sword we mounted it in a shadow box with a background made up of every verse that was referenced in the program. It turned out awesome, and he was beyond excited to get this gift.
Such a vivid representation of the Word of God, surrounded by the Word of God.
My hope is that every time he looks at this gift he will remember the commitments he made to the Lord and in those times when he’s pressured to compromise, he will stand firm in the Armor of God.
In the end, this weekend made a MAJOR impact in our Son. He says that it’s the best weekend of his life, and even now, several weeks later he tells my wife he wishes we were still going through the program from that weekend.
Now, how many pre-teens say THAT about the time they had “the talk” with their parent?!
In the end, He and I are closer now than ever before and he has big plans for how he’s going to handle these situations and topics as they arise in life. I’m stoked because he was able to learn this from me (with the help of Family Life) instead of learning from other kids at school, the internet, or movies. He knows what God’s plan is for him as a man and I truly believe that he matured more in that one weekend than he has in his entire life. I know he’s going to make mistakes, he’ll stumble, and the road is not always going to be smooth, but he has a great foundation to build upon.
All of that said, I would HIGHLY suggest everyone take their pre-teen through this program. I 100% believe that if every pre-teen boy went through this program with a role model that they trust and look up to, there would be less teen pregnancy, less sexual assault, more respectful young men, and a whole lot more men standing up to the calling that has been put on their lives…and that doesn’t even speak to what could happen if every pre-teen girl went through the program as well (yes, this program is for Boys and Girls!)
To close, I want to leave you with a couple of observations from this experience that I will always remember:
- The word is Mature…the “proper” way to say it may be Mah-Tuer…but seriously neither of us can stand that (sorry Dennis)…We’re gonna be ‘Mericans…it’s Muh-Chur to us!
- Our son is very good at figuring out the punch line to activities before you even do the activity…did he sneak the book ahead of time?
- Fitting 7 people (5 adults, 1 pre-teen, and 1 young child) in a miners cage is not a good situation…there is no way they fit 9 grown men in that cage!
- My son is INCREDIBLY mature in the Lord
- You CAN get car sick while driving
- I think Deer intentionally don’t move out of the road
- Those long green grass looking things are actually a type of Cactus…and they HURT
- God is so good! (ok, I already knew that, but this was further proof)
If you haven’t already, check out the program below, I hope these three posts have encouraged you to take this step. Put down your fears and your insecurities, your pre-teen is worth the time, effort, and discomfort that can come with going through this program. In the end your pre-teen and you will both grow, and they will be strengthened in the Lord!
God Bless you as you lead your pre-teens into the next, amazing adventure in their lives. If you have any questions or thoughts, please comment, I’d love to hear from you!