As a woman at the well, you'll be meeting women who are trying
to raise Godly men. These boys they are raising will grow up to marry your
daughters or become leaders in your community. What advice would you give to
them? If you are raising boys, what areas concern you most?
If don't have or
haven't raised boys, what is your concern for boys in today's culture?
Boys were new to me as a mom! Even though I had taught school, raising one was a bit foreign. I only have one sister, so roughhousing, war games, and legos were all new. I was used to dolls, reading in a quiet spot, dressing up....
When Andrew, our oldest was born, I was so excited. I always wanted our first-born to be a boy- a protector of any siblings to follow. But, as Andrew grew older, I was a bit concerned! I was NOT used to the jumping off furniture, the "battles" he and daddy loved, wrestling, "smooshing", and the love of toy guns and bow and arrows. My sweet husband, the middle child of 5 boys, continued to reassure me that these behaviors are all "normal," but until I read Dr. Dobson's "Bringing Up Boys," I didn't quite believe him!
Once I calmed down about the "wild" male behaviors (or at least decided to leave the room when the wrestling began), I began to enjoy my son so much! He is 12 and has been a joy. He has been my "little man." But, being the oldest, Andrew has learned how to help with household chores and take care of younger siblings. He is such a blessing to me. I have wanted him to grow in godly character with a kind, caring, and sensitive heart, aware of others and "loving" them.
My challenge has been within the last year as he has entered middle school. The pull of the "world" has become so much greater~ peer pressure, wanting to "fit it," to be "cool"... and girls! Oh, how I wish more parents of girls felt the same way I do about modesty, about boyfriend/girlfriend situations, about "pop culture." It has been a time of swimming upstream, really being a minority, which has caused battles with Andrew.
This has been the toughest part of parenting- being able to "back up" and explain to a middle schooler who is searching for answers and reasoning for reasoning and choices. I don't want to just say, "you aren't going to have a girlfriend- you are only in 6Th grade" (even though at times it has come the point of the dreaded "because I said so!"). I want him to understand that his choices in life are important. I don't want him to "awaken love before it's time" (Song of Songs). I want him to be secure in his relationship with Christ before he would even think of a relationship with the opposite sex. I want him to be secure in WHO he is Christ, otherwise, I know all too well, the temptation of searching for self-worth in the opinion of someone of the opposite sex. I want him to understand that giving away parts of his heart NOW would be giving away something that belongs to his future wife.
It is hard because in this culture, "love" and dating is pushed at our children at such a young age and it seems "normal" to have a girlfriend in 6Th grade and abnormal NOT to! In fact, an extended family member recently told Andrew, "What's the big deal? It's not like you are going to get married." Exactly. So, why even dabble? If kids are dabbling in 6Th grade, what will they being doing in 8Th? Have you seen the statistics of kids having oral sex in middle school? At school or events? At HOME???? As a culture, we are pushing kids into adulthood, not allowing them to be KIDS!
So, as a mom the first thing I need to do is pray!!!!!
Pray for protection.
Pray for wisdom for him and for us as parents.
Pray against temptation.
Pray for godly friends, teachers, mentors.
And, I for Andrew, as he battles against pop culture, I pray "that he will not conform to the patterns of the world, but that Andrew will be transformed b the renewing of his mind." (Romans 12:2)
The next thing I do is guard what the kids watch on TV, music, and movies. What ma seem innocent or "sweet," I take to God. I ask the Holy Spirit for guidance. Do we really need to watch all of the Disney and Nick shows that promote love relationships? I talk to the kids about it. They don't always like that they can't watch the shows their friends can. Andrew certainly doesn't like that he "is the only one of his friends who doesn't have a girlfriend." It is hard sometimes. I feel like a "mean mom" sometimes. Lord, I ask that You give me strength.
We are "aliens and strangers" in this world. WE are to be different than "the world." We are supposed to look and act differently. Sometimes it is hard.
Please visit the well today form more advice and wisdom!