Man of the House

Is 3 years of age “old enough” to be considered the “Man of the House”?

This is the question I asked myself a few weeks ago as I prepared for a trip away from home.  I added the final items to my already stuffed overnight bag as my son, complete as always with a Hot Wheels car in each hand, watched from across the room. Once I zipped the flap closed on my suitcase, I turned and knelt to face Colt.  The conversation went something like this:

“Colt, Daddy is going on a quick trip.  I won’t be gone long. In fact, I’ll be back in two days,  in time to say goodnight to you! But, son, while I’m gone, what do you think I need you to do?”

Colt responds with his well-rehearsed answer. “To obey Mommy and take care of Emmy…”

“That’s right, son.  And even more than that, I need you to be the Man of the House.”

His eyes get wide, and he grabs my arm. “No, Daddy! I’m only 3. I’m a big boy, I’m not a man!”

His comment made me pause for a moment.  Was I pushing this on him too soon? Can he handle the call of manhood at such an early age?  Am I being completely ridiculous in my parenting?

In this moment I realized something that I never fully realized before: No one else can ever speak truth into my son like I can.  I’m his Daddy.  He hangs on my every word.  He runs and jumps in my arms when I come home each day. In his eyes I can do no wrong. Now, I recognize that a season will come when he will be less attached to me and perhaps even prefer to not hug me in front of people, which in that same moment brought me to the next point: His journey to manhood starts now.

Men, the legacy you instill in your son does not start at age 18.  It is a process of speaking truth into him from an early age and helping them see the potential God has placed inside of him.  He will see his role clearly and chase after it passionately when it is intentionally modeled for him from birth.

So, is 3 too young to be the “Man of the House”? Maybe. But Colt can’t afford for me to wait until he’s 18 to talk about it.  His future is dependent on my leading him to where he needs to be.  Even when it’s tough, or possibly awkward, that’s what our job as Daddy is all about.