So now that I have your attention, I should probably tell you that my boys are five and six years old. They’re nowhere near ready to be married but I personally think the training of a Godly man starts well before the ages of five and six. It’s really never too early to start, no?
There’s this thing we do around here after we’ve gone to the grocery store (which, might I add, I recommend you go alone whenever you possibly can but if you can’t, well, then . . . Peace, sister. Take a bath when you get home). It goes something like this:
“Boys, go grab some groceries from the trunk, please,” I instruct.
Moaning. Groaning. A few “Do I really have to’s?” thrown-in for good measure.
“Yes,” I reply. “And why do I ask you to do this?”
“Because you’re helping us become really good husbands,” they either exclaim or lament. Depends on the day.
And while I know my boys might not understand the full-scope of this plan right now, somewhere there’s a little girl singing the “Frozen” soundtrack in her bedroom who will grow-up to be thankful I’ve been preparing her husband since birth.
Of course, the best way to prepare our boys to become Godly men is to teach them about Jesus.
But what else can we do to steer our boys down the path of becoming Godly husbands?
1. Teach him about forgiveness. A few years ago, I read an article somewhere that said we should allow our children to apologize when they truly feel like they’re sorry about what they did. We lived by that for a while until one day, I realized this wasn’t at all in alignment with what we believe. So often in my own journey through forgiveness, the act of forgiving has had to proceed my emotion. Forgiveness is now mandatory in our house because we are told a myriad of times throughout scripture that we are to forgive just as Jesus forgave us. 7 x 70. Even past that. The ability to forgive one another in marriage is critical and to be honest, I’ve apologized several times to Jason well before I felt ready to apologize. It’s humility and without it, a marriage will die on the vine.
2. Make him listen to you when you are talking or you tell him to do something. Oh, how I was once so guilty of telling my boys to do something only to eventually end up doing it myself because they didn’t listen to me and it was easier anyway. Yet eventually, I realized I was doing my boys a disservice in the long run by giving them permission to listen to me just now and then. There’s a certain respect we as mothers need to have from our sons because this is how he will develop his ideas of how to treat women. You’re welcome, little girl singing “Let It Go.”
3. Encourage him to be vulnerable and give him the message that tears are nothing to be ashamed of. We live in a culture where our men are supposed to have stiff upper lips and if they don’t, they’re wimps. This is just a big, fat lie, friends. It actually takes a man confident in his masculinity to be vulnerable. Vulnerability leads to deeper relationship and deeper relationship is what we desire with our husbands. My hope is for my boys to be emotionally healthy enough to have the confidence to be vulnerable when needed and know when to stand-up and be strong.
4. Don’t be scared to talk about hard stuff at their developmental level. As a mother, I know hard stuff is just plain hard to talk about (astute, I know.) When difficult stuff is brought up, sometimes we run the other direction – but it’s through the hard stuff that we can do our best teaching. I don’t know about you, but I’ve learned the most in the heat of the Refiner’s Fire. Hard stuff is real life and we want our boys to be prepared for this real life and not a utopian society that doesn’t exist.
There are many more ways to prepare our sons to eventually bless the socks off of that little girl singing in her bedroom – what else would you add to this list?
Also, I absolutely realize we also need to be preparing our daughters to be amazing wives as well. This is certainly not one-sided – we’ll talk about that next week!