Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Raising Boys to Become Men

I am so blessed to be "Mom" to four children...three of which are boys.  As my oldest turned ten this past July, I can't help but wonder how in the world do Michael and I help our boys become men.  In this day and age, I've learned that statistically speaking, boys are being introduced to pornography at the age of ten.  Ten. We hit that in July.  That terrifies me.  I do not want my boys to struggle with sexual sin.  Or pride.  Or selfishness.  Or doubt.  Or a whole list of struggles that consume them and consume my heart with worry for them.  

I want them to be men of God.  
I want them to be brave and strong and courageous.  
I want them to be gentlemen.  
I want them to be protectors and providers.  
I want them to live fully as the men God created them to be.   

A few weeks back we had a small group get together and began talking about our boys.  I believe I initiated the conversation because it has been on the forefront of my thinking lately.  My Drew is surrounded by friends from church and from school.  Luckily, all of the friends he hangs out with outside of school love Jesus.  Their parents love Jesus.  And their concerns are my concerns.  

In our home, Michael and I have restrictions on devices.  We limit their exposure to technology.  We try to monitor what they watch on TV, what they listen to on the radio.  We will not allow internet access on handheld devices for our children, or their friends.  But beyond all this, I don't want to have to restrict my boys.  I want them to have a heart that longs for boundaries and does what is right, what is worthy, what is noble.  I want to teach them why we restrict and protect so that they learn to restrict and protect themselves.

I want my boys to be men.  Men of God.  Men who step up and step out to fulfill their role.  
Yes, there is maleness...this is what makes my boys boys.  
Then there is masculinity.  Masculinity is behaving like a man.

After our discussion that night at small group, the group decided to read Good: The Joy of Christian Manhood and Womanhood.  It's a compilation of writings that focus on manhood and womanhood.  I'm only four chapters in, but I'm loving it.  You can download it here:

As I read this book, I love to see how biblically our boys were created to be men and our girl was created to be a woman.  I'm excited about that.  I'm excited that God created two genders for different reasons, yet to compliment each other.  And I'm so excited that I get to have both boys and a girl to teach about manhood and womanhood. 

(*taken from Good: The Joy of Christian Manhood and Womanhood
Ch. 2 Masculinity Handed Down by Joe Rigney*)

1.  I want my sons to grow up to be true men of God -- first in, last out, laughing loudest.

2. I want my sons to embrace their calling as protectors of the weak.

3.  I want my sons to gladly submit to lawful authority.

4.  I want my sons to practice self-control for the joy in it.

5.  I want my sons to celebrate the wonders of femininity.

6.  I want my sons to put to death any vestige of false masculinity.

7.  I want my sons to see Jesus Christ as the ground and goal of their masculinity.

These aren't my words, but they are my wants for my boys...

1 comment:

Amy (Goldman) Shelton said...

Ahh, Mandy! So blessed to have seen this blog post today! I downloaded the Piper book just now. :) I am back in grad school full time this year and have started doing research this summer on the "gender gap" in school performance (particularly in reading). But in the process of looking at why boys fall behind in reading, I have unearthed a whole world of literature about the lack of direction and motivation that plagues a lot of boys today: Why Boys Fail (Whitmire), Bringing Up Boys (classic Dobson :)), and Boys Adrift (Sax), to name a few. I just started reading a fascinating book given to me by a professor, called Packaging Boyhood--this has been the most insightful of all and is written for parents to help them help their boys navigate the media messages about what it means to be a man (apathetic on one extreme and ultra-tough on the other). I recommend it, at least the first chapter! :) It's not written by a Christian but is still very insightful. I am sensing that the Lord is calling me to pursue this topic in my master's thesis and to speak up about what it means to be a man and how we can help our young boys get there. I can only speak from teaching experience at this point, but my husband David and I hope the Lord blesses us with lots of boys to raise for Him. :) Thanks for posting!!