That Nagging Question All Men Have

The wounds we’ve received in life affect some people more than others. Or, what I have found, some guys just hide them better than others. We might call this posing. I’m a lousy poser, so what you see is what you get!

I have a good buddy, I know his wound, but he doesn’t want to talk about it.

On the outside, he seems like a healthy well balanced guy. He has a great job, a great family, leads things well. But, I know deep down, there is this question he has. “Do I have what it takes?”

The wound was delivered by his fathers lack of involvement in his life. His dad was just too busy. One of a fathers roles is to help his son answer the nagging question, dad, do I have what it takes?

Some fathers help answer this question for their sons well, but some don’t. Whether it’s from their lack of knowing how to help, or just plain ignorance around the concept. The result is some men are left with a huge question mark in their hearts.

Consequently, there are grown men acting like children, or chasing this question through validation, or worse, they take their question to someone who has no business answering it for them.

Again, when we allow others to answer this important question, we also allow them the power to answer it this way, “No, you don’t have what it takes.”

And, we then lose heart, and don’t allow God to help us live in the story He has written for us, or we don’t play the role we were designed to play in life.

We have three children, two girls and a boy. When my wife was pregnant with our third child, we didn’t know if he was a boy or a girl, and when we discovered the gift of a boy, I was pretty fired up! But…I was also a little nervous!

I knew there would be this little guy running around watching my every move. I knew he was going to bring his question to me! And I was nervous about my ability to help him answer it.

So, I bought a motorcycle! I can see my wife’s eyes rolling. After buying this machine, I learned how to trail ride, and jump a little. My son, growing up, loved my motorcycle. He would go out into the garage and sit on it, and pretend he was riding it and jumping it.

So, of course, when he got older, I warmed my wife up to the idea of buying him one! Another eye roll.

And we did. It’s proven to be one of my best purchases ever! I have this picture of him flying through the air over this dirt jump! Love that picture!

Through this motorcycle, I have helped Ben begin the journey of proving to himself that he can do it! All you have to do is give it a shot! Just go for it! You have what it takes.

Over the years we have taken weekend dirt bike trips. One year we went to Finger Lakes in Columbia, MO. It’s a park with close to 90 miles of trails. I wasn’t sure how he would do, because the trails could be rough and technical. But, he faced them head on! Of course we would crash, or “dump” the bike or just wipe out, but he did it! There were hills so steep, I was even scared to tackle them, but he wasn’t. He just gunned it and sped up the hills! Ben made me proud. Today, he likes to go faster than I like to go, but riding our dirt bikes is something fun we get to enjoy together.

I’d like to think by simply buying my son a dirt bike I have helped him in a small way know deep down in his young heart, that yes, son, dad believes you have what it takes. And I trust your heart to do this!

My hope and desire is that he takes this validation in his heart with him for the rest of his life.

My wife and I watched Ben navigate “his question” again this last fall. He wanted to play football. Mind you, he is not the tallest kid on the team and doesn’t weigh much, but he’s athletic and fast. So we agreed to let him play. He ended up being a slot receiver and would run the ball mostly on jet sweep plays. And I happened to be on the sidelines taking stats. So, I got a front row seat watching him get pounded by guys twice his size. After some of those brutal hits, he would jump up, and run back to the huddle.

He actually broke a bone during the last game and got cuts and bruises, but he did it. His theme was, dad I just wanted to try football to see if I could do it! Or, dad, I wanted to confirm the question you have helped me answer, do I have what it takes. I’m so glad he had the guts to play. I never did. But I wanted to.

All this makes me think of the roles we could have played in our lives, if just, our fathers would have helped answer our question.

Do I have what it takes? I hope your dad did.

So, what is it you have always wanted to do in your life? Are the wounds of your past holding you back? If so, allow God the honor of initiating your heart. Allow God to answer that nagging question we all have. Allow God to strengthen your heart.

But, before you buy a dirt bike, you better run that by your wife!