Praying for Boys, Session Five: Purity, Service, and the Fruits of the Spirit
It’s hard to believe this is our second to last session, friends! It’s been so encouraging to pray scriptures over our sons together.
This week, we prayed for our sons’ purity and the development of their servant’s heart. We also started to pray the fruits of spirit over them: love, joy, peace, patience, and kindness. Goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control will be this week.
As was the format last week, let’s look at highlights from each of these chapters:
As Brooke states on page 92, the Bible clearly states sexual activity is to be shared only within a marital relationship and yet, so many of us have not done this ourselves. This isn’t meant to shame us, it’s simply meant to make the point that the world tells us it’s OK to have pre-marital sex and so often, we listen. If we teach our sons we believe in their ability to utilize self-control, we encourage their own purity. While he can indeed wait for marriage, he can’t do it alone – he will have to rely on God as well. This will, in turn, make his relationship with the Lord even stronger. In addition, as mothers, it’s important that our sons understand that they are supposed to protect women’s hearts as well as their own eyes. This leads to one of my favorite quotes found on page 93: “Peace comes from a pure life, and even has the power to make us healthier. People who go against what they know to be true often experience extreme cognitive dissonance – an unrest of the soul.”
A Servant’s Heart
The mother of the sons of Zebedee sure gets a bum rap sometimes, doesn’t she? If you aren’t familiar with her story, she asks Jesus if her two sons could sit to the right and to the left of Him in His kingdom (Matthew 20:20-21) It was believed she was one of Jesus’ attendants during His ministry so perhaps she felt she had the “right” to ask Jesus this favor. She wanted her sons to be the greatest and yet, we read just a few sentences past this scripture to discover, “But whoever would be great among you must be your servant” (Matt 20:26) In other words, the last will be first and the first will be last. This is true greatness. The best way to encourage our boys to have a servant’s heart? Model it ourselves.
The Bible says, “God is love” (1 John 4:8). So if God is love then we can logically assume we can’t have true and pure love without having God. As Brooke states on page 103, without God, “love is often reduced to superficial, self-serving, pleasure-seeking feelings.” In our current world, divorce is always an option. Marriages get thrown away quicker than the paper plates from lunch, eh? Yet I want my boys to understand that ” . . . real love, like God’s love for us, never gives up” (page 103).
And all God’s people said “Amen!”
I once wrote a sweet acronym on our bathroom mirror to remind us that pure joy comes from prioritizing Jesus, Others, and Yourself – in that order. A few suggestions to foster joy within our sons? The peace chair, a quiet place with books and scripture where our boys can go to re-group and pray through whatever is stealing their joy. This teaches our son to go straight to God when he needs to change his heart. In addition, praying out loud, allowing our sons to see us worship, sharing our own brokenness, and, when he is older, having quiet time with you, are also ways to encourage your son’s development of joy.
In many of the talks I do for women’s groups, I discuss fear as being the root of all negative emotion. Anxiety? Fear. Comparing yourself to others? Fear. Anger? Fear. Yep, it pretty much all traces back to the fear of something. I love Brooke’s suggestion of thinking of the needs of others when we begin to feel fear creeping into our being. Fear does not come from God (2 Timothy 1:7) so when it begins to rear it’s very ugly head, she suggests we teach our boys (and ourselves!) to pray for others so we may lose sight of our own troubles. Brilliant.
Being patient is a challenge for so many of us, right? Page 119 states, ” We all struggle with patience. It’s much harder to wait and be faithful to God in the small things than it is to get the glory all at once.” Likewise, we can encourage our boys to develop patience by being faithful in the small things before they’re entrusted with bigger responsibility. God’s plan is always worth the wait and yet it’s on His timetable – not our own.
I loved Brooke’s story about sharing the tribulations of the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with her sons. Sometimes, we worry about sharing such senseless tragedies with our children so we don’t tell them about these harsh realities. Sometimes, that’s a wise choice if your child is overly fearful or not mature enough to understand that it’s not likely to happen to them in their home. However, when we do share the reality of what is going on in oppressed nations or the poor in our own country, we give our children an opportunity to exhibit kindness. As Brooke states on page 124, “Kindness. It roots its way into the hearts of our children when we give them something to care about, tell them a story that’s greater than they are, and help them see the real, present needs of those around them.” Another amen, eh?
Next week will be our last session – can you believe it? Our assignment is to pray the ten scriptures for our boys in chapters 15-21!
So here are our questions to discuss in the comments below (and you don’t have to be an “official” member of the study to comment!)