We begin our journey into sonship by looking backward, to what our lives as boys were like, and, more important, what they were meant to be. For so much of the way we now approach life as men was set in motion in our youth—some of it for good, and some not so good. We want to recover what was good, and find healing for all that was not.
Boyhood is a time of exploration and wonder, and to be a boy is to be an explorer, from the time when the little guy figures out how to crawl up the stairs (he is gone in a flash), to the time he discovers that if he jumps over the back fence he can get down to Jimmy's house, where they have a secret fort. When God set Adam in the Garden of Eden, he set his son in a world that was, at the very same moment, safe and secure yet full of mystery and adventure. There was no reason whatsoever to be afraid, and every reason to dare. As Mark Twain said, "There comes a time in every rightly constructed boy's life when he has a raging desire to go somewhere and dig for hidden treasure." (How many of you, when you were a boy, thought there was treasure buried somewhere in the yard, or stowed away in your grandparents' attic?) Evil is—for now—held at bay. Such is the world God intended for the boy. And that world is created under the sheltering strength of a father who makes you feel safe. For this is the time in life when we were meant to come into the knowledge that we are the Beloved Son, the apple of our father's eye.