Thursday, 11 April 2013

Teaching our Boys to be Young Men

Lately I have been really convicted about Flash. He's six, he will be seven in less than a month. And I just realized... he's becoming a little man.

I know, all if you out there reading this are like, 'Duh Adele, that's why they call them boys.' But that's not what I mean. Think of all the things you expect to find in a man, a real man. Protection, strength, wisdom, provision, leadership, to name a few. And Flash needs to know these things. He needs, as a young Christian man, to start developing these traits. 

The world is not going to help him do it. If there is one thing I am convinced about, it's that the Devil has his eye on my children, and the world is the Devils tool. 

The world will do everything it can to convince my son that he doesn't need to provide for his family. The world will do everything it can to tell my son he doesn't need to be the leader in his home. The world will do everything it can to tell my son that God's wisdom is wrong, and that he should be following some self-made theory of morality and guidance. The world will do everything to make my son ineffective. 

Flash is a self proclaimed Christian. We have spent months watching his life after he accepted Jesus into his heart, and it has been amazing to see him grow and mature in his faith. He wants so much to learn, and this is amazing to see. 

At the same time as I see this maturity starting in him, I see another ugly character raising it's head. We have had to deal with questions like "Why do I have to go to work? If I don't, I'll get money anyways." He's talking about welfare. Impressing on my son the need for him to work hard at everything he does is difficult when everything around him says that he doesn't have to. That he'll get a free meal at the end of the day, simply because he was there for the ride. 

The Bible says : 

2 Thess 3: 6-13

Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from every brother who leads an unruly life and not according to the tradition which you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example, because we did not act in an undisciplined manner among you, nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with labor and hardship we kept working night and day so that we would not be a burden to any of you; not because we do not have the right to this, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you, so that you would follow our example. For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either. For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies. Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread. But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary of doing good.

Did you catch that? The man who does not work should not eat. This is a fundamental truth in the Bible. I have found myself more and more hunting down verses like this one, to teach Flash what he needs to know, but it seems sometimes like it's fighting an uphill battle. 

But this does not mean I don't do it. 

So I want to encourage you moms out there reading this: 

1. Don't trust the world to teach your children. 

Your children are your greatest mission field. They are young, impressionable, and oh so open to learning. 
Don't let the world get a grip in their little hearts. 
Satan is not going to be merciful because they are children. The world will not be merciful because they are children. Be diligent. Your children are taking everything in, use your influence as their mother to pull them away from the world and it's sin. 

1 Peter 5:8

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

2. Teach them the word.

Often, daily, every hour, every minute. 
Talk to them about God. 
Talk to them about his statutes and precepts. 
Talk to them about his mercy and his love. 
Talk to them of his judgement and strength. 
Talk to them about his sovereignty. 
Talk to them about Jesus. 
Memorize scripture with them. 
Read the Bible aloud to them. 
Anything it takes to get the word into those little hearts. Because right now is the time. You might think they're to young, you might think they don't understand. But if they understand even one of the twenty things you tell them in a day, that's still something. 

Det. 11: 18 - 21

“You shall therefore impress these words of mine on your heart and on your soul; and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. “You shall teach them to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up. “You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your sons may be multiplied on the land which the LORD swore to your fathers to give them, as long as the heavens remain above the earth.

3. Set an example.

These children are watching you. Closer than you know. Be their example. Read your Bible. Pray as you do your chores. Love the Lord. Be merciful and pure in conduct. Your children will see that, and it will speak louder to them than anything that comes out of your mouth. 

The conduct you set now will be the conduct they will pick up. You love to read your Bible? They'll learn to love it. You sin regularly? Sadly, they will pick up on that same sin. 

For women, it's hard to be an example for young men, because we are not young men. :) But know this, if you are example of a Godly woman... your son will want to find another Godly woman to be with when he gets older. The Bible says that a Godly woman will bring her husband around with her conduct. 

1 Peter 3:1

Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives.

Now, the context here is unbelieving husbands, but I think it fits with this concept as well. A wife who is living in the word, who is filling her role as a wife, in submission and grace, will encourage her husband to fulfill his role as a Godly husband. 

Your son will look for a wife like you. Set the example now. 

4. Love and submit to his Dad. 

I can hear it. I can hear the bristling skin as the women reading this read the word submit. It echoes through these pages even as I'm writing. 

But it's one of the few commandments given directly to women in the Bible. 

Eph 5: 22 - 24

Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.

This isn't conditional. It doesn't say submit if your husband loves you, or submit if your husband is a good husband. No. It says submit. 

And it will be  one of the strongest ways you will reach your sons. Loving his dad, submitting to his dads leadership. Why? Because this not only shows him what a Godly woman looks like... but it allows his dad to step up and set the example of a Godly man. And your son will, more than anyone, learn from his father how to be a man. 

Learn what it means to submit. It's not a bad thing. In fact, it's a very good thing. 

5. Never think it's to late, or to early.

So your kids are older, or maybe they're much younger. Only babies. Teach them anyways. Guard their hearts anyways. Start now. 

Your son is a teenager? 

Be a Godly woman, set the example. Guard his heart. Love his dad. Monitor what he watches on TV, take him to church, talk to him about God. He might fight you on it, but as much as he seems all grown up? He is still a child, in need of your guidance. 

It's never to late to make a difference. 

I wasn't saved until I was 18. Because someone took the time to really talk with me about God and what he expects from me. 

Your son is just a baby? 

Be a Godly woman, set the example. Love his dad. Monitor what things go into that little head. Guard his heart with that fierce ferocity only moms can muster. Take him to church. Sing Bible songs to him, talk to him about his amazing creator. Get in the habit now. Make it so he doesn't remember a time when God wasn't the focus of his life. 

Flash was saved as six, because every moment he was awake, Caleb and I talked to him about God. 

It's never to early to make a difference. 

Just my thoughts for the day,


PS: I'd love to hear how you are teaching your sons to be Godly men. 

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