We are called to raise Our boys to be strong in character, faith, And DISCIPLINE.
By Keith Wilmot, PERIMETER SCHOOL FATHER OF FOUR
This is a call to all Perimeter School parents of boys. Our boys are designed to be strong in character, faith, and discipline, and God has given us the responsibility to raise them.
Trevor lawrence - a clemson tiger who is also a lion
I have been following the story of Trevor Lawrence, the quarterback of the Clemson Tigers, after his incredible game against Alabama for the National Championship. Diving into Trevor’s story, I can see that he is so much more than just a football player. Behind Trevor Lawrence are strong parents who raised their son as God created him - to be a lion (who became a Clemson Tiger). There are many are lessons we can learn from the Lawrences about “building lions” - men of authentic faith combined with toughness, character, and discipline.
The Lawrences instilled in Trevor the idea of who and whose he is - child of God, rather than just an athlete or student. His father molded him into a man of character who first authentically loves Jesus and then applies that foundation in every aspect of his life. Trevor is a lion - grounded by authentic faith and love of Jesus and forged with grit, skill, discipline, and balance.
how god designed our boys
King David also believed in "building lions.” He charged his son to “be strong, show yourself a man, and observe what the Lord your God requires. Walk in His ways, and keep His decrees and commands, His laws and requirements, as written in the Law of Moses, so that you may prosper all you do." 1 Kings 2:2-3.
Here's the reality: the evil one is at the door, and our boys are at serious risk. He is attacking them using trappings like technology, social media, and misguided views relating to sex as weapons to destroy. God designed our future lions to be dangerous, strong, wild, and masculine, at the same time as kind, gentle, and self-controlled. Though society may tell them that they cannot be all these things at once, we have seen it modeled for us in our Savior.
I believe raising strong sons who become strong, faithful men can reduce the trends of depression, obesity, and suicide that our boys face today. I also believe these characteristics will promote more disciple-making (as Trevor is doing on the Clemson football team) as our lions attract others to themselves.
how do we build lions?
So, as parents, how are we to begin “building lions?” It's rather simple, yet it takes prayer, focus, and intention. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Make Jesus first. Model a life that is grounded in faith and ties everything (because it is) back to God: your marriage, your finances, your profession, your hobbies, their education, their sports, their talents, their interests. Memorize Colossians 1:16, "For in Him all things were created; things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through Him and for Him." Ask the Lord to help your life reflect this truth.
Build an ethos statement. This is a simple, one-page summary that defines who you are, why you exist, what you value, and how you plan to lead. This document details loyalty, faithfulness, priorities, service areas, leadership, and discipline. The final sentences should be your life verses. It is never too late to build this for yourself or your boys. If you need help, email me. I will send you my ethos statement as a reference.
Build skills. Get your boys outside. Be intentional. Give them experiences beyond playing Fortnite. Teach them how to tie different knots, change flat tires, use an ax, build a fire, and navigate using a real map. Get them out on the water, and teach them how to tread water, sail a boat, and secure a bowline. Get them in the woods, and teach them simple land navigation, how to read the stars, how to use different ballistics, and proper firearm safety. Teach them to shoot a bow and arrow. I can tell you that I've personally done these things with my boys and their friends, and each time, they all walked away from these experiences with awe and wonder. It is part of how God designed boys - to be dangerous.
Be disciplined. I would encourage you to instill this in your boys across three core areas of their lives: spiritual, physical, and intellectual. I also would encourage you as parents to model this for them: send them a text with Scripture, let them see you have a daily quiet time, build rituals and traditions in your home, build time for exercise into your weekly schedule. Our boys are watching.
The risk of inaction is overwhelming. Just read some of the trends in this article. It is heartbreaking. Yet, I truly believe that with Jesus all things are possible. I truly believe Jesus is calling us to build lions of our sons. I truly believe that a society of boys who become lions will give God the ultimate glory in all things. Trevor Lawrence is leading the way. Let's do it!
Keith Wilmot, John Porambo, and Chris Schueler have donated a "Building Lions Day" (dads only) to this year’s Perimeter School Auction – A Night to Soar. “Building Lions Day” will be a Saturday - Sunday expedition and intense training at Keith’s hunting property in Crawfordville, GA. Be sure to get your tickets for A Night to Soar and register to bid on items/experiences like this.