Raising Godly Sons in an Ungodly World
While watching my precious little boys play amongst the trees and thistles in our backyard, I find myself wanting to immediately step in, scoop up my cherubs, and tell them, “No! No! You might get a thorn in your foot or your hand. Come, play over here where the lilacs are.” However, before I have the chance to intrude on their world of make believe I find myself allowing them the freedom to explore and find out for themselves where they ought not to tread. After all, the yard itself is safe, there is no immediate danger, and mommy is here should they need a thorn removed and a kiss on the cheek.
Today’s society is much like the thorny thistle. As mothers we would like to hover over our little men--wipe their brow from sweat, lace their shoes, and remove stones over which they might stumble. But, we know this is not possible. We are not able to protect our little sons from every crack and crevice, nor should we try, lest we raise insecure, incompetent little boys who we should be training to become men.
Society today suggests that men are incapable pea brains that must be led around by the nose by their wives. It would also have us believe that little boys should be hovered over and pampered so we don't damage their fragile spirit and self-esteem. However, the Bible tells us something different.
The Bible states that Josiah was only eight years when he began his reign in Jerusalem. 2 Chronicles 34:1-3 NIV says, “Josiah was eight years old when he became king,and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years. He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and followed the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left. In the eighth year of his reign, while he was still young, he began to seek the God of his father David. In his twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of high places, Asherah poles and idols."
It doesn’t say Josiah struggled with his responsibilities because he was such a tender young age. It says he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, ruled fairly, and while still a young boy sought God!
The Bible tells us exactly what we can expect from a man and uses words like "firm" and "strong." 1 Corinthians 16:13 ESV says, “Be watchful, STAND FIRM in the faith, ACT LIKE MEN, BE STRONG.” In today’s world, young boys are encouraged to forsake their manliness under the guile of being "metro-sexual." Biblical manhood is under attack. It is being attacked by the devil, the world, and the flesh. But biblical manhood is also being attacked in an even more covert way, by falsifying what should be expected of our sons.
Cowardly boys will become cowardly men!
The enemy knows that in order to pervert God’s plan he must strike while the iron is hot! Proverbs 22:6 KJV says, “Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Satan is a liar and a manipulator but he is also clever. What better way than to plant the seeds of deception in our little boys from the very start? Fearful cowardly boys will become fearful cowardly men.
We must let our boys be boys. Let our sons tinker. Let our sons explore. Let our sons play without mother hovering and watching their every step. Let our little boys help daddy whenever they can. Teach them to stay diligent and disciplined to the end. Teach them that they are men in training! “.
Our sons must learn the value of hard work, the stamina and patience required of a godly man, and the discipline to obey authority as the Bible calls us to do. We see this commandment given to our children in Ephesians 6:1, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right." Lastly, we must allow our sons the freedom to make mistakes as well as to succeed.
I remember in the fall one year my husband saying he thought our oldest son was ready to start helping him stack wood and prepare for winter. Being his mother I wanted to protect him from the hard work, but held back from protesting. Later on I heard my son tell daddy he was tired and didn’t want to help bring in the fire wood. I was about to interject and ask him to come join me for some hot chocolate and get warmed by the wood stove when I heard my husband’s voice.
I watched my loving husband put down his hatchet for a father/son talk. He explained that it was okay to be tired, and there are many times he is tired. But, this is why God gave men bigger shoulders then women. He then continued, "When you are done with the wood, then you may rest. You must learn to stay diligent in your responsibilities now, because some day you will be the daddy and won’t be able to stop until whatever you are doing is completed."
Teach them not to quit!
At the time I thought our son was too young to understand it--he was barely six. However, some time later he was raking leaves with one of his brothers (who at the time was five) when I heard his brother ask, “Can’t we stop? I am tired." It was then that I heard my oldest son reply, “We don’t quit. We persevere." They finished the raking that day just as they finished the wood some weeks before.
Our sons are ready and willing to step up to the plate. They are looking for guidance and reassurance as to what is expected of them. The real question is not whether our sons are ready to handle becoming men in training. Rather, are we capable of teaching them all God wants them to be?
Concord, New Hampshire, USA