Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Boys will be boys?

What does that even mean?  I recently read a book that got me thinking about the challenge of raising boys and girls- each so different with unique gifts and needs. As a mom, how do I raise Eva to be a woman of God who embraces herself as a female and all that means- to have good expectations of others and standards for herself, to be strong and compassionate and nurturing? And, how do I raise Sam to be a man of God, a protector and a warrior, but gentle and mindful of others? How do I protect him, yet still allow him to take risks and be adventurous as God so designed the heart of men?

As a female, I find that the task of raising a boy seems a bit more daunting because I can't fall back on my thinking as a woman. I have to remember he's a boy and embrace that he is different than Eva. I so desire to raise him to be a warrior, but to be a protector. I want him to know that his strength is a gift from God, but one that MUST be used for good- to heal and protect and help, and NEVER to hurt, destroy, or discourage.  So often, I see boys who use their strength to prove something- that they are bigger, stronger, smarter, faster. It's more than just a competitive spirit, which is not wrong. There often seems to be a deep desire to be "better than someone else". They will crush anyone in their path, pushing them out of the way, because they can. Our boys' hearts have to be nurtured into servants' hearts that desire to please God first or else I fear it will turn into one that seeks to pull others down so they can be lifted up.

Sam is just 1 year old, but I find that I have to be thinking in this way even now. When he takes a toy from someone or pushes his sister, it's not that my expectations are different than they are with Eva, but I find it's helpful to come at it from a different angle. I'm believing God every day to give me the wisdom to raise my kids for His purpose, and under the lordship of His design for them as male and female. I'm humbled at just the thought of this. Only by His grace will I have kids who, when grown, are confident yet humble in who God created them to be, but this is my heart's desire and I will fight in prayer until I am dead to see it come to fruition.

I'm thankful for women in my life who are doing this with their older boys because I have such wonderful examples to watch for guidance when it comes to my son. I watched a mom just last week get on her knees when her 2 year old pushed Sam aside. She said something like, "Do we use our strength to push and hurt? No, we use our strength to help and protect!" He repeated it after her and a few minutes later when he saw Sam trip and fall, he was the first one to come over and help him up, and then gave him a hug. She is sewing this into his heart as a two year old and he is hearing her! God is blessing this mom's desire to raise her son in this way. I have another friend who regularly reminds her son to let the girls go first, and to hold the door for them. I know many other boys who push their way past the girls because they are faster. The do not view girls as the "crown of creation", which is God's intent. We must be so careful not to excuse bad behavior because, "He's just being a boy" or "he's such a boy!" Boy behavior might be jumping off the counter and launching themselves headfirst off the bed and playing endlessly with mud and worms and bugs, but it is NOT aggression. I'm asking God to give me the heart to address Sam's behavior in a way that is open to who he is as a boy, but always shepherding him towards Jesus, no exceptions, no excuses.

Moms of boys, we have a big job to do, let's pray for one another that our boys will be warriors and protectors!

Moms of girls, our task is equally as challenging. Let's embrace our own strengths and weaknesses so that we pass on confidence to our girls, that they might delight in being women who are strong and nurturing, compassionate and beautiful.

1 comment:

Renae said...

I love that you posted this! That has basically been my prayer for Logan over the few short days of his life so far that!


We're the Wells family. We currently consist of Michael (husband and daddy), Lauren (wife and mama), Evangeline (daughter and princess), and Samuel (son and prince). We live a pretty simple life loving the many blessings that God grants us each and every day.
Mike is a genius carpenter/contractor and works throughout neighboring counties. Lauren stays at home with Eva and Sam most of the time, but works a few days a week as a therapist.
More than anything else, we love being together as a family- trips to the gardens, swimming at Grammie and Papa's house, and bike rides & walks are probably our most frequent activities. We're surrounded by our family (siblings and parents); they all live within 30 minutes of us!
That's us in a nut shell.
We're thankful you dropped by our site!