Marriage Monday is an opportunity to share and receive encouragement as we journey on the path to a godly wife. Most topics pertain to the husband and wife relationship. But today, we throw some excitement into the discussion as we cover..."Adding Kids To the Mix".
It seems often that many couples are just starting to learn one another and grow comfortable in the marriage, and then the children arrive! Children are a blessing from the Lord and forever change our hearts for the better. A couple begins to think outside of just being a couple and begins the mindset of becoming a family. Responsibility, workloads and emotions reach a higher peak. A family is ordained by God:
And God blessed them. And God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth." (Gen 1:28 ESV)
One of the topics for today which jumped out at me was "Raising Boys, What NOT To Do". As a mother of three sons ages 19,16 and 9, I have learned a lot about what works and specifically...what does not work!!
Even though once the children started coming and I was gender outnumbered in our home, that didn't stop me from doing the only things I knew to do as a mom - nurture, cuddle, protect and shower with love my boys. I dressed them immaculately in plaid shorts and polo shirts, with matching belts, shoes and taught them to speak softly and pleasantly and play nicely. No roughhousing toys for us, no getting muddy and dirty as we needed to look nice and act nice (not rowdy) at all times. This went well until they turned about 3!! Then they balked at my choice of clothes, insisted on being loud and rowdy, absolutely could not walk by a mud puddle without stepping in it.
I figured out quickly there were some things I was missing and quickly needed to learn. I read several books on boys, but my favorite was Bringing Up Boys by James Dobson. Boys are created and wired differently than girls and they need to be raised with the freedom to become men. Although the temptation to smother, protect, nurture and protect is fierce, the vision to raise men of God who are responsible, brave, bold must be our goal and focus. When they grow up and become the leaders of their own homes, they need to know how to be self-sufficient, how to take care of the house, the car, the chores etc. This takes teaching and most importantly training.
This needful training is one of the most important reasons a boy needs the influence of a father. While Mom may rather her little boy not begin to cut the grass since he may get hurt, Dad knows he needs to learn how to do this. Mom may be watching with apprehension and fear, but the boys are having a blast! Mowing grass, chopping wood, changing the oil are challenges they quickly rise to and learn. Even their play time can be a challenge. Boys are all about ACTION! Running, jumping, daring antics in trees etc. is how boys play and develop. They are fierce competitors and any lack any fear is masked or ignored by their quest for a new adventure.
Boys are constant motion, but Moms do play an important role in their development. Somebody needs to meet their unending appetite, make sure they drink enough water on hot days, show them and guide them to think ahead as they mature and cheer them on through the sidelines of the game and throughout their lives. Moms can provide a gentle reminder to think of others, to do for others and encourage them to do the best job they can. Diligence, responsibility and integrity can be modeled and instilled through daily life in the home. Without coddling but with encouragement, a mom can offer wisdom and guidance to those boys which will fashion in their hearts their first impressions and later the qualities they desire to see in their future wives and mothers of their children.
Even though we moms don't share as much in the action and adventure of raising sons, by gritting our teeth and praying fervently for their safety as they learn to be men, we hold a powerful influence in their lives which will be carried on for generations to come.