Wisdom’s instruction is to fear the Lord, and humility comes before honor. -Prov 15:33
The Trail Life USA oath begins with the words, “On my Honor.” Mentoring sons to be men of honor is complicated by a culture where the concept of honor has been seemingly forgotten. Instead, daily we are bombarded with stories of celebrities’ bad behavior. Worldly heroes are often expected to behave badly, they are held to a different standard and rarely are held accountable for their poor choices. The heroes of scripture are painted with a different brush. In scripture honor and biblical manhood are synonymous. Biblical heroes aligned their lives with the standard of scripture. While it is true at times they failed dramatically, their failures were not celebrated, they were not excused, and they did not define them.
The Trail Life USA oath, motto, and values provide a biblical standard for mentoring boys and the patrol structure gives a boy an opportunity to develop an honorable reputation and attain leadership. In Trail Life, boys strive to live according to clear standards. To have honor does not mean boys never fail; rather, honor is measured by response to failure. Boys learn to put their own desires aside to care for others in the Troop, and they prove themselves by handling failure with integrity and taking corrective action. As they earn honor among their peers, they are given leadership opportunities
As boys witness character in their leaders, they begin to understand the meaning of the phrase “on my honor.” It is lived out by the rest of the Trailman Oath, “I will do my best to serve God and my country; To respect authority; To be a good steward of creation; And to treat others as I want to be treated.” As these Truths are lived out, the notion of honor is understood, “on my honor” takes on meaning, and boys grow to become honorable men.
Just as the oath, motto, and values provide a standard for Trailmen, a family mission statement and a clear memorable set of family values provide a biblical standard for mentoring your son in the home and are a helpful tool to provide sons with a biblical definition of manhood. Consider spending time this week developing a written standard for your family. Make it a concise, memorable, and relevant training tool that can be used on a daily basis. Refer to it often to encourage and direct your son as you mentor him to become a man of honor.