Raising Our Boys to be Men

The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit. (Proverbs 15:4)

“Oak trees don’t happen over night. Growing in grace and wisdom and stature isn’t an immediate download — it happens the way a tree grows up: over decades,” writes Ann Voskamp, author of One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are.*

Keep that visual of oak trees. Our husbands can be oak trees… when we let them. Our sons will grow into strong, sturdy, yet graceful oak trees… hopefully. The two are connected, and we (as girlfriends first, then wives and mothers) hold the key.

Yet, we swim against the tide. Today’s culture chops men down — telling them they’re neither strong, nor mighty, not even needed. Piling on, we get frustrated because we don’t have patience for them to get messy or time to try again. Why can’t they be better, learn faster, or just know?

It’s sad to watch our men (read husbands and sons) caught in this tug of war — confused and not knowing what they have to offer. If we’re raising boys to be men shouldn’t we make them proud of their natural abilities, delight in them, encourage them, and give them time to discover?

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; (2 Corinthians 4:8)

The secret to raising boys is to show (not just teach) what it means to be a man. In their blog, Adena and Amy tell us, “In a world that constantly says men and women need to be equal, we often feel that means that as women, we need to act like men… Not so. Being a woman, which in and of itself is powerful and noble and awesome, inspires men — all the best parts of being a man: being protective; hard-working; a pillar of support; a provider who takes pride in his ability to care for his family; an example of strength, morality, right and wrong, ethics and proper behavior. These are the noble parts of being a man. If we supplant that role, deny it to our spouses, they are left as mere placeholders in the family structure.” It’s not the best example for our sons to emulate.

Let’s step back from our need to “do”. Many times each day we’re faced with the option to let him (sons and husbands) fill the shoes that are waiting for him. We are empowered to carefully select the time to accept and respect versus criticize. We have the power to choose to embrace his differences instead of rejecting and supplanting them. We have the responsibility to nourish, prune, and ultimately to love.

He is like a tree planted by flowing streams; it yields its fruit at the proper time, and its leaves never fall off. He succeeds in everything he attempts. (Psalm 1:3)

As we model this in our homes our children will grow up less confused. They’ll actually grow into strong oak trees, or a beautiful and equally needed wild flower. BONUS! http://icons.iconarchive.com/icons/rokey/the-blacy/128/red-heart-icon.png

Thanks to Lisa LaFortune at Families! Change the World blog.

*Bent Creek Baptist Church is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. By clicking the book cover shown above your purchase of this book on Amazon will earn BCBC a fee from Amazon.com. Thank you for your support.