I married you because I fell in love with your heart. I recognized that you were a good man; something that is VERY hard to find. I knew you’d love me the way my father loves my mother and I saw the definition of manhood in you. I wanted to marry a man. I hope together we can raise our boys to be men.
“A real man accepts responsibility, rejects passivity, leads courageously, and expects the greater reward,” Robert Lewis. Lewis used the Bible as the guidebook for raising boys into men when he wrote the book, Raising a Modern Day Knight. A knight was a man of integrity, virtue, respect, courage, and strength. I want to raise my boys with these traits in mind and choose my words and actions carefully as a parent knowing that raising boys into men is no small feat.
During WWII, when the men were off fighting the war, women stepped in to fill vacant positions. For the first time in history they had moved out of the home and into the “field”. When the men returned, many of the women decided they didn’t want to go back to the kitchen, so to speak. At this time, we saw a shift in power from men to women and it didn’t stop there. Have you taken a good look around lately? Pay attention to sitcoms, commercials, magazines…where have all the men gone? Men today are so often portrayed as idiots, worthless blobs, or neanderthals. What role models to little boys have today other than power hungry politicians, pot-smoking youtube phenomenons, rappers that belittle others…
Our belief systems about men are faulty as well. A man who expresses his feelings is considered weak. A man who is well mannered, enjoys art, culture, or fashion is automatically thought to be gay. Men drink whiskey, not wine. Ugh! I want more for our sons.
As a father, it will never matter what you say; it will always matter what you do. I can tell them how a good man lives his life and try my best to raise them to be that way, but they will ALWAYS look to you as their example.
The way you talk to me is the way they will talk to me. If you talk back to me, argue with me, or belittle me (even joking around), they will think this is acceptable. And, not only towards me, but to other women.
They will only keep their rooms clean, their laundry done, and the toilet seat down if this is the way you live as well.
If you make jokes or comments that are demeaning to others, they will grow up without respect for those different, or less fortunate than they.
The foods you choose to eat will be what they think men eat. They will want to grow up tall and strong like you and will nurture their bodies the same way you do.
When you work hard to reach a goal, share the feelings of that success with them. How else will they learn that it takes working hard to achieve success?
I hope you’ll model for them how to control your temper, express your feelings, and cope effectively with life’s disappointments so that they too will behave that way.
If they expect you to pick them up on time and you don’t, they will learn it’s okay to be late as long as you have a good excuse.
Issuing a consequence without following through sends the message that a man’s word means nothing.
If you demonstrate the way you accept responsibility, reject passivity, lead courageously, and expect the greater reward, they too will become those kind of men.
Husband, I believe in my heart that God gave us two sons trusting that we could raise them to be good men. If we keep God at the center of our marriage and raise our sons to live like Christ, I know we will experience so much joy raising them and such pride in who they become.
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think” – Romans 12: 2 (reject passivity)
“Be on your guard, stand firm in the faith, be men of courage, be strong” -I Corinthians 16:13 (accept responsibility)
“But as for me and my family we will serve the Lord” -Joshua 24:15 (lead courageously)
“Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done” -Revelation 22:12 (expects the greater reward)
I think our boys will be born some time this week, if not tomorrow, so I’m feeling very reflective and sentimental, but I hope as parents we will always take time to reflect on who they are becoming and how our actions may be affecting them.
I love you,