Sunday, October 11, 2009

Show Yourself a Man

I have always wanted to raise daughters. But to my delight, God has given me sons...loud, rough, active, precious boys.

How do I go about nurturing and training them, especially as they grow into manhood? I take comfort in the fact that they have a wonderful father to emulate, one who is both kind and strong, godly and wise.

I recently read a helpful series of
blog posts by Carolyn Mahaney where she discusses her "plans" for her children. She says, "I think about their strengths and weaknesses, their unique temptations, and consider ways I can more effectively encourage and challenge them to grow."

She lists a number of encouragements she gives to her son. One that I found particularly insightful was "Son, kill a bear or a lion." She says,

This “bear” or “lion” could be an area where he is not gifted or his personality is not inclined, and because of selfishness, fear, or pride, he prefers to avoid. We want to show Chad the underlying sin that hinders him, and then challenge him to attack it. See, we not only desire to help Chad grow stronger where he is already strong, but to also grow strong where he is weak.

It seems so much easier to emphasize your son's strengths and overlook his weaknesses. But I suppose the end result would be an insecure, selfish and unbalanced man. You know...the man whose mother thinks he hung the moon but nobody else can stand him. And what good does that do his eternal soul?

I also really liked Mahaney's encouragement to her son to "lead where appropriate." She gives a few examples of directives they give to him:

* Be the first to pray in group settings.

* Be the first to take an interest in others.

* Be the first to lead in conversation.

* Be the first to stop a conversation that is not edifying.

* Be the first to offer to serve others.

Men seem to constantly be demeaned in our media and culture. I want my sons to buck the stereotype of the apathetic, uncommunicative male...the one who is afraid of domineering women, who never does the right or hard thing, and who is basically just selfish. Give this series a read if you have boys. It has some insightful moments.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for that citation from Carolyn Mahaney, Christel. I think I'll pass that bulleted list on to my boys.