Lori at I'll Take it Lord, all You Have to Give is the hostess of "At the Well" this week.
I have to tell you, the topic of raising Godly boys has thrown me a bit of a loop. Lori threw out some INcredUlous questions on the subject, however, which are the following:
1.What advice would I give to women to raise Godly boys?
2.If you are raising boys, what areas concern you most?
3.If you don't have or haven't raised boys, what is your concern for boys in today's culture?
Okay, so nobody gets to bow out of this one...she's covered all the bases. So go on over to her place and sign the Mr. Linky, then give us your thoughts on the subject. Doesn't have to be anything fancy, but you know, we're all in this together, and our answers to the questions just might help each other out a bit. If you don't have time to blog about it, just leave your thoughts right here...NEED to hear from you on this one.
So back to why this has thrown me for a loop. A loop-d-loop actually. My firstborn--my baby boy--my Little Sweetness (my name for him in the womb)--is now a thirteen-year-old giant. I'm not kidding you, I was JUST holding him, reading the I'll Love You Forever book to him while rocking back and forth, back and forth, back and forth...NOW I've fallen off my rocker because he came up behind it and pushed me out of it by force of his pinky.
I've been through so much with him the last year...learned a lot...been humbled quite a bit (both of us). And he would be completely humiliated if I publicized to the whole world why and how and what. So I won't. All I can say is that I pray a TON. More than I ever have before. The struggles that a teenage boy has to go through majorly blows me away. Their thought life is so complicated, so foreign to me.
My opinions shared today are those based on being the mom of a new teenager. The way you parent your toddler will be different from the way you raise your son who is growing up in his pre-teen to teenage years. If you're not there yet, hold on to your hat, because fast forward is already in motion.
After praying about this post, the best advice I can give you at my stage of parenting is to pray. Pray that he owns his faith--not you. Pray that when you turn your head, he knows where to turn when temptation strikes. Pray that you will have wisdom to know what freedoms to give and not to give. Pray that you will know how far to let him go before you become Mama Buttinsky. Pray that HE will have wisdom in situations where Mama Buttinsky is not around. Pray, pray pray. And when things seem okay, like he is Godly and rooted and "better behaved" than other boys his age, pray some more. Maybe even more at that moment.
Communicate. Don't ridicule. Don't exasperate. Don't humiliate. Communicate. What are his likes? His dislikes? What in the world does he think about this and that and the other? Be amazed and thrilled at the differences in reasoning and logic, listening more than lecturing.
Learn. Learn from what you learn from your communication with him. Learn from others who have gone before you. Learn from God's Word. Learn from good books. Never stop learning. Learning as you listen.
Stop saying "never." The stuff you said you would "never let your son do." Don't be afraid to pray about that, reevaluate that and be open before God about what is best for the way your son is wired. Make sure you have consulted the One who knows your baby boy better than you do. Be open-minded as you pray, communicate, listen and learn.
Let the ponytail down every now and then. Remember, our boys get to a point where they want adventure, they want action...they want to be busy all the time. Keep reminding them that it's good to be still, and it's great to chillax, but don't forget to be a little crazy with them sometimes too. This is my achilles heel in parenting. I would rather teach him how to behave and journal and pray (which are essentials) than to let him teach me how to have an adventure and do something out of my comfort zone. But nothing brings us closer than when I do some stuff his way every now and then. That leads me back to more prayer...and listening and learning...
Anyway, rambling. Quite honestly, I have never had to exercise more faith than I have to at this stage in my son's life. I know more is to come, but right now, I'm consumed with what I have in front of me: and that is a very very tall, fuzzy-upper lipped, deep-voiced (with a touch of croak), testosterone-filled boy. One who loves Jesus, who wants to live for God, who sets an example for other boys...but is struggling with what it means to do all of the above with genuine faith--not the kind his parents pressure him into, but the kind he desires passionately with his whole heart, soul, mind and strength.
Which leads me back to prayer...