Mark was one of my soldiers when I commanded D Company 3/502ndInfantry in the 101stAirborne (Air Assault) Division. How encouraging it is over 30 years later to hear his story and vision for manhood! It is a story about choosing the right path and may it bless you.
“I grew up in a Midwestern town to a middleclass family. My parents had trouble conceiving children in the early years of their marriage. After 12 years of no success, my parents adopted my older brother when he was an infant. When they brought him home, my mother became pregnant with me 7 months later—a miracle baby according to the doctors. My brother and I did everything with our dad. He taught us baseball, football, how to use the proper tools. And like all young boys I wanted to be just like my hero, my father. I could remember at an early age saying to myself I can’t wait to have my own family so I can be a dad just like him. But that all came crashing down.
When I was 11 years-old my mother had an extramarital affair and their marriage never recovered. They divorced two years later. My life was torn apart. Though my father moved only 15 minutes away from us he completely changed. He was obviously bitter for what had happened to him and it was taken out on us. What I mean by this is that he started a new life. Oh there were the weekend outings for dinner and the casual phone calls. However, he got remarried two years later and there was no father-son interaction anymore. I was devastated.
My vision now of becoming a father was blinded. I had no one to mentor me. So, at 15 years old, I did what most young men do, search for someone to teach me how to be a man. I looked to my brother and older boys in the neighborhood to emulate. That led me down the road of womanizing, drinking, and doing poorly in school. After barely graduating high school I joined the Army in hopes to escape my broken home and to grow into the man I had once dreamed to be prior to my parent’s divorce.
The military structure taught me how to be a disciplined man but there was still something missing. It wasn’t until years later after my military service that my eyes were opened to the true vision I was seeking. At a low point in my life I surrendered to Jesus Christ through the influence of my girlfriend. For so many years my vision of being a man was blurred by what I thought was the way to manhood, but after seeking guidance from the Lord and godly individuals, my eyes were opened to the righteous path of true manhood. Although it has never been an easy path, having the foundation of Christianity has given me 20/20 vision. You see, when you have a vision problem you go to an optometrist to correct your sight. I now look to God and positive influences to be my optometrist.
To date, I have been happily married 28 years to the woman who led me to the Lord and we have three awesome children (two girls-25 and 22, and one boy 17). Every day I try to be a positive male influence to my children and others. If you are struggling with your vision, remember that only God has the ability to open your eyes to a clear path.”
Proverbs 4:26—Carefully consider the path for your feet, and all your ways will be established.
©2016 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)