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Monday, January 11, 2010

.Boys to Men.

How do parents raise a boy to be a man?


Not just a man, but a godly man. A man after God's own heart. A man who is a biblical leader in his home and his world. A man who loves his wife and prioritizes his family. A sensitive but tough man. A man with good work ethics and a man that knows how to relax.

I have been pondering questions like this for awhile now.

And I do not have the answers.

I have been a mommy to a little boy for just seventeen months. He is the joy of my heart. There is something so very special about my little Scotty. He had me the first time I laid eyes on his sonogram picture - the one labeled "boy!". For as long as I can remember I had always wanted a boy of my own, but now that I have one, I feel so very....



What a huge responsibility God has given me to be the mother of a BOY. Oh, I know it really is not any more serious than being a mother to a girl, but it is much more intimidating to me. I feel as if my chances of messing up are greater, and that the stakes are higher with Scotty. I am raising him to be a man - to be a provider and a leader to his family. To be an example of His heavenly Father to his children and an example of Christ to his bride. Heavy stuff.


I don't know too much about boys. I have one sister and one brother, but my brother is eight years behind me. He was just a child when I went away to college. I am married to a man who was once a boy, so I have that, too. {grin} But really beyond that I am just learning as I go, I suppose.

How does a mommy, this mommy specifically, not smother her sweet boy? How do I hold on just the right amount?

Scotty is sensitive and tender and timid. I was talking to my sister about this recently. I told her that even in my womb, Scotty was more tender. His kicks and rolls were gentler. Scotty is much snugglier than Cadi was, much needier, too. He loves to be held. I should have made him a sling baby. I missed out, because I was too busy worrying about getting him on a schedule and training him. He is a beautifully sleep trained and scheduled baby, but what I wouldn't give for a few moments of his little infant body snuggled and slung into mine. (I've got to remember that for the next one!) I coddle Scotty more than I did Cadi. He has much more of my introverted personality than Cadi has. Cadi takes more after her daddy. So I feel for Scotty. I can empathize with him when he is surrounded by people and overwhelmed.


Scotty doesn't need as much discipline at 17 months as Cadi did at 17 months. Usually just a sharp look and a stern "no" melts my chubby boy into a puddle of lip trembling tears. When Scotty is home alone with us, he is a clown! A different part of his personality comes through. He performs and is silly nearly bringing tears to our eyes as we laugh at his antics, and the more we laugh the funnier he gets! He is cheerful and sweet and loving.

I certainly do not want to change his sweet personality. I just want to be very careful how we raise this boy. I want him to be brave and courageous and not overcome with timidity and fear. I want to allow him to be cautious but not fearful, to be sensitive and loving but not a sissy.

I am just not sure how to do this. Where do I pull the apron strings in more, and where do I gently cut them away? I know prayer is a big factor. I pray over both of my children every night, as I check them one last time before I fall into bed. I pray for their future spouses, for their safety, and most of all for their salvation. I pray for Jim and I as parents to these precious children, that we would have wisdom, discernment, selfless love, and grace.

But beyond that, what is the secret to raising up boys into men? What is your experience?


Carrie said...

Oh, man, I came to read everyone else's wise comments - my little guy is only 25 months old, and I have NO answers! He is giving us quite the discipline challenge right now, so we're praying about that a lot. It's hard for me to see into the future when he'll be starting to be made into a man, because I'm so focused on his issues now. :)

Melissa Vines said...

Beautiful post. I often wonder the same about raising my boy. Every night I pray for him and tell God that he is His and to use him for His glory but to please protect him along the way.

Heather said...

Sweet post and pictures! I don't have any advice because I just have a 13 month old little boy. :)
I do know what you mean in this post though- teaching them to be loving and caring but still be tough...and other things.
Prayer is definitely a good place to start. I wanted to get some books, I think one is a Dr. Dobson book, I can't remember the name of it though.

rameelin said...

We ARE kindred spirits, you and I. My heart has always been more cautious with Braden. It's tough to find the perfect balance, and you're right--intimidating. Oh, and I have a brother who is 13 years younger than me...another thing we have in common:) One thing I know for sure is this--it is going to take patience and alot of prayer. It is going to take more discipline as a mother to raise this boy to love Jesus. It's going to take focus, determination and more patience. This boy feels distant to me, at times. I question our parenting more with him than Nora. I think it's normal to feel this way, after all we are women. I know it's going to take my husband stepping up and teaching him what is important and praying that Braden would be sensitive to him. So again, more praying. I would love to talk to you about this so much more--I'll email you soon! Great post and gorgeous pictures of your little man♥

Jenny said...

He is absolutely gorgeous!

Three Against One said...

Could he be any cuter, he has the most beautiful blue eyes!!

DeWitt Family said...

What a sweet and honest post. Just beautiful... as well as the photos, too.
You are an amazing mom! :)

Tiffany said...

Heather - I have heard of that book. Bringing up Boys. I NEED to read it! Glad you mentioned it!

Tiffany said...

Dewitt Family - that is so sweet and kind of you to say!

Alisia K said...

loved your post. i really don't have the answers, either. prayer is the best answer, i know. my boys are a challenge, especially my oldest, as he has always been SO strong-willed. Dr. Dobson's books are really good. the 3rd pic. so cute! :)

Nutty Mom said...

WOW, it's nice to know I'm not alone. When we found out wingnut was a boy, I never knew how much sleep I'd lose after he was born pondering all these very same questions. "Intimidating" is a perfect word to describe the journey of raising a boy. The best I could come up with is "scares the poop outta me"! You did an excellent job putting your thoughts into words.....something I have yet to accomplish with my feelings on the subject. Thanks for sharing!

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