What Do a Shepherd, Bear, and Lion have to do with Becoming a Man?

God gave David smaller beasts to conquer before taking down the giant, Goliath. Janna shows us how this fits into parenting boys to be godly men.
Men at Camp Travis

 “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all you do be done in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:13 

God has given me the privilege of raising four young men.  My goal as their mother is to raise them to be good husbands and fathers but most importantly to be lovers of God.  I want them to realize true masculinity and their identity is not what the world says…their athletic ability or the amount of money they are able to make. Rather, their identity is defined by our God who is the Maker of Man. 

We have tried to model some of our parenting after the story of David.  God gave David a bear and a lion before he ever went out to defeat Goliath.  As young David faced the bear and lion his faith was increased, and he understood who His God was.  With complete faith David shouted to the giant, You come against me with sword and spear, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty…. This day the LORD will hand you over to me” 1 Sam 17:45. 

We try not to shelter our boys from facing “bears and lions” in their young lives.   We allow them opportunities to do hard things and trust the faithfulness of God in their own lives so when the giants come, they know how to face them.

  • Be a Humble Servant: David learned to be a servant by watching sheep.  In fact, it was as he was serving that he came across the bears and lions.  Our sons need opportunities to serve. It may look like doing simple chores at home and being faithful and responsible to serve your family.  It also looks like reaching out into our community and helping those around us.  Let’s teach them to look for ways they can help others.  Whether it is helping a neighbor with yard work, volunteering at a local food bank or serving the church. “…whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40 Being a servant develops character and fosters responsibility. Another great way to teach responsibility is for them to get a job!  Jobs are a great way for young men to develop character and shoulder responsibility.  (Don’t forget when they are old enough Camp is a great place to work!)
  • Be Strong and Compassionate: David was a defender.  Unlike the world, a godly man uses his strength to love others not dominate.  He defends those who cannot defend themselves. A man of God is a lover and a fighter. He will fight for his family and those he loves and not against them. His strength is for their protection.  I think this is learned a great deal by osmosis.  Fathers your boys are watching.  They are watching how you treat your wife.  They will learn how to honor and esteem women the way you do. They will watch you stand up for your morals and principles.  They are watching what you prioritize in your life.  He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8
  • Be a Worshiper of God: David was a worshiper of his God.  He knew who God was.  God called him “a man after His own heart”.  David loved God more than anything or anyone else. He followed God’s commands and hid God’s Word in his heart.  Having daily time with the Lord is the most important thing.  Maybe it starts with reading a Bible story before bedtime when they are young, but it should develop into them spending their own time with the Lord.

Camper Corner:

Here are a few valuable things to know before you leave your home and go out on your own: Change a tire, change the oil, use power tools, do laundry, shake hands, look people in the eye, share emotions, cook a meal and budget money.  Look at this list.  If there is something you don’t know how to do ask someone to teach you.

About The Author

Janna Kelsey

1. Where are you from?

New Braunfels

2. Alpha or Omega?


3. What’s your favorite local New Braunfels place to eat?

Gruene River Grill

4. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Always speak life over your children. Say what God says about them!

5. What’s the most inspiring thing about your job?

I love seeing T Bar M shirts being worn...

T Bar M Camps

T Bar M Camps is a place creating life-impacting experiences for thousands of campers every year.