Feb 6, 2012

Raising a Stand Up Man

Our son lost his second tooth last night, and for some reason, it initiated a strand of thinking for me. I look at our son, who is 5, and how "beyond his years" he seems to me. I was talking to my husband on his way to work this morning about how blessed we are to have a humble, loving, and caring little boy. He is so young to me in his innocence, yet so grown up in how he conducts his every day life.

Of course he has his typical 5-year old boy qualities, but looking at his heart, I can see a world of contentment, responsibility, love, respect for elders, and so much more. It is so important to me to raise our son for the Lord, and to help him understand godly qualities, using his own gifts to glorify God.

The past few months our family has experienced some changes; one in particular that has been very hurtful and I won't go into detail. I look around at an event that occurred last year in our family that has done a number on us, and really tests me as a mother, because I so want my son to know what is right and wrong. What happened was very wrong, not of God and is the exact depiction of who I do not want my son to be.

I've been blessed beyond measure with a husband who is authoritative when it comes to seeking justice, yet humble before God. I'm also blessed that my husband is not perfect (although in my eyes he is close to), has made many mistakes and uses them as a testimony for others AND for our son. My husband is very honest, and has a way of speaking to our son gently yet firmly. In my eyes, and to many around him, my husband is a stand up man. He is the leadership God has placed in our family, and I trust in his leadership and role as a father.

Raising a stand up man begins at home. I know many boys are without fathers/father figures or have fathers that are not fulfilling their duty God has called them to do. I really believe God provides us a way to raise our sons for Him, whether through a Bible believing church family, a God-fearing grandparent, a neighbor, etc. If you do have a man at home who fills those shoes, you are blessed.

I know it is easy to get frustrated with the rowdiness of boys and their other qualities, but that is how God created them and I am learning to embrace that about our son. My husband is very different from me, even in his parenting, and I am learning to embrace that as well. I am glad we parent differently because our son can see that, and it makes the relationship special and unique.

If you haven't read "Boy Wanted" from the The Children's Book of Virtues, Musings of a Ministers Wife reads it aloud in this video. Just a warning for moms - it will bring you to tears. I think every son needs to hear this. If you can't watch the video, but would like to read "Boy Wanted" click here from Raising Mighty Arrows.

Proverbs 3 is another read aloud straight from God's Word that our sons need to hear often, and trained how to apply. I am learning that training is more successful when an example is given. Surround your son with adults who are passionate about serving the Lord, who encourage them to grow and overcome mistakes, who have made mistakes themselves and are not afraid to share that with them.

Surround your son with men who are respectful of women, who love their wives and show it. Surround them with women who love their husbands and show it. Surround your son with men who work hard to provide for their families, and will teach them to work with their hands. Our sons need men who are humble, yet firm in their discipline. And when I say discipline, I don't just mean physical discipline. Although our sons need correction when needed. But they need to be part of a discipleship where they are continuously challenged in thought, faith, work, play, etc. We don't need to raise cookie cutter sons or robots either. Allow your son to make mistakes, but explain to him right and wrong, so that he can grow. Allow him to be loud and laugh, to be rambunctious and play with toy rifles and roll around in dirt. Allow him to also hug you and be held when he isn't feeling so rambunctious either and just needs Mom. Encourage him to use the unique gifts God has given him so that other can see Christ in Him. So that others, just being in the presence of your son, will know right away "Wow, there is something different and good about _______ (insert son's name)."

I'll close with, I'm challenged daily at being a mom raising a son. I fail almost daily too, but that is when I rely on my own strength. We really can't face a day of motherhood without God's strength and His grace. The most important thing is to understand who God is by spending regular time in His council. If you're not sure where to begin, start by reading Proverbs 3 with your son. Find a time that is quiet, where its just you and him. Speak to his heart, approaching him without judgement and allow the Lord to use you in that moment. And pray, daily, that God will provide you with the way and strength to raise a stand up man.

Linking to: Growing Home, Far Above Rubies, Deep Roots at Home, Raising Homemakers, Raising Mighty Arrows, Our Simple Country Life, Women Living Well, Time Warp Wife, Homestead Revival