At the Well....with boys

Welcome back to the well....
The topic today is so near and dear to me as mom of 2 boys (and 3 girls). Lori at All I Have to Give is hosting and poses these questions to us:

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!

Blessings!

10 thoughts shared....:

Laurie Ann said...

Thank you, God, that I am not alone in this. Tracy, the culture that invades our home through that dreaded tv box is one that we are going to be fighting when my grandsons start coming up in age. Right now there's not much an 11 month old is interested in, but I do know that Steve and I will strongly guard what is watched and listened to when they are there with us. Praying for you as you raise your son. Absolutely great post! I loved it.

Jill said...

Tracy, Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I too am new to the world of boys having grown up with 2 sisters, but my son does add excitement and blessings to my day. J.D. is only 5 and we've already had questions as to why he can't do something when "everybody else is", but like you say we are foreigners. Pray God blesses you as your journey continues and keep sharing your insight with all of us walking down the same path, Jill

Minister Mamie L. Pack said...

Tracy,

I am the mom of three boys (11, 3, and 1) All of them are quite active. I agree whole heartedly with what you have shared. Children are expected to know more than they should at such early ages. It is a challenge to raise your childre to have Godly standards when they are surrounded in such a sexually charged society. It takes a lot of prayer and trust in Christ to raise our children.

As an educator as well, I have seen the growing trend of girls being agressive in their approach to dating. Boys often have to do anything to gain the attention of many girls. Now, so many of the young ladies are throwing themselves at the boys in low cut shirts and bottoms. I can understand why boys have a hard time concentrating in class. I am often amazed at the clothing options for girls. So much of it is so adult looking.

Truly, we, as parents, need to just continue in prayer.

Minister Mamie L. Pack

Denise said...

This was a great post dear one.

a woman found said...

I love your post Tracy! It scares me what my boys face, but that fear drives me straight to God in prayer and I'm trusting in His power to save and praying for wisdom to carry out His will by faith in training my boys right now. I pray when they do choose to go against my instruction and choose their own way, that God would grant them eyes to see, like the Prodigal, the goodness of God that they've seen in this home, and return to Him!

I pray they'd never even leave Him, but if they do, I must trust that He will do everything in places of the heart that I can't, to allure my boys to Him.

Thanks
sheila

a woman found said...

I love your post Tracy! It scares me what my boys face, but that fear drives me straight to God in prayer and I'm trusting in His power to save and praying for wisdom to carry out His will by faith in training my boys right now. I pray when they do choose to go against my instruction and choose their own way, that God would grant them eyes to see, like the Prodigal, the goodness of God that they've seen in this home, and return to Him!

I pray they'd never even leave Him, but if they do, I must trust that He will do everything in places of the heart that I can't, to allure my boys to Him.

Thanks
sheila

lori said...

Tracy...
I SOOOO understand...this goes both ways for girls and boys...
but your words here...just hit me...
"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."

Maddie feels it now and Hayden will soon....I often feel like we are swimming upstream...that's why this is so encouraging over here...

PRAY is what it's about...and COMMUNICATE...in whatever ways work...So...."mean mom" I understand...and I'll join you in prayer...I pray that they are covered in what is good!

Praying with you girl...Andrew sounds like exactly the kind of guy that I want my girls to "hang out" with...and my son to be like...

:)

hugs,
lori

Tricia said...

Thanks so much for sharing your heart. I also am raising boys, twins who are 4 1/2, and I fear what you have just talked about, that the pull of the world will pull at them. I am already praying and trying to instill a love for God and for His Word into them, and we already do not watch shows or do things because they are not honoring to God. May God guide us all and protect our children!

Blessings!

boutcrazy said...

Tracy,
I agree with you about the world being such a strong influence on our boys. It slips in so easily. As for girlfriends...we made until this summer until Adam had one (he's 14) and then he decided it was that big of a deal. I did let him go somewhere with her family, but only because I knew them. But when I checked his text messages...I wasn't real pleased with her language. We had a talk about that and what to expect from girls who were constantly sending him pictures of themselves.
I haven't heard anybody talk about checking text messages or myspace...very eye opening and parents must be aware of what is being passed back and forth.
Thanks for your post.
Deborah

LauraLee Shaw said...

Tracy, a gynormous AMEN to this post. I love the verse at the end and the admonishment to pray. You are showing that raising boys takes putting on the full armor of God. Love that we are in the same stage together.