Raising boys is an adventure. Early on in our marriage, Big Jon and I agreed on several mantras for raising our warriors. Today I’d like to share four important things to remember when guiding young men on their journey to adulthood.
Reposting from April 2016. Just in case you missed it. 🙂
I love my sons – y’all know that. Raising them has not always been filled with unicorns and rainbows. Or should I say trucks and mud? Please keep this in mind as you read my posts about our journey. Big Jon and I are just two people who love each other, love Jesus, love our boys and are trying to do the best we can.
That being said, I would love to share with you a few “mantras” we feel were important to teach our boys in preparation for adulthood and choosing a spouse.
Choose a career you will not only love
but that will support your family.
In a world obsessed with college degrees and white-collar jobs, we chose to encourage our sons to pursue their dreams, whatever they might be. The only caveat is that we insisted they be prepared to support a family. I believe this wholeheartedly. Be whatever you want to be, but if you want to have a family, it is your responsibility to be able to support your wife and children. I realize this may sound sexist to some, but this is biblically sound advice for any warrior.
As parents, your marriage comes first, children second.
“Chains do not hold a marriage together. It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads which sew people together through the years.” ~ Simone Signoret
Marriage is the priority. Many believe that once children arrive, they should become the center of your married life. While children are important, it is more important to continue to build up your marriage. A healthy relationship between husband and wife will provide a safe haven for your children to grow. Plus, if you want to have a relationship left after the children are gone you must invest in it while they are growing. Many couples who devote their lives to their children during the early years find themselves living with a stranger when the children are gone.
“One advantage of marriage is that, when you fall out of love with him or he falls out of love with you, it keeps you together until you fall in again.” ~ Judith Viorst
Choose to be equally yoked.
From an early age, we tried (let’s emphasize the word tried here) to teach our warriors that the purpose of dating is to find a spouse. Even in high school if they liked a girl I would ask them if she was marriage worthy. I’m sure at the time they thought I was a little crazy but the constant reminder was always there.
The question, “Is she marriage material?” has many, many connotations. Is she someone you could wake up next to for the next 50 years? Do you enjoy the same things? Do you like the way she treats her friends? Do you share the same morals and values? Bottom line… Is she a believer? By the time they reached twenty the boys were so used to me asking, “is she marriage material?” it didn’t seem so odd. And I choose to believe that they even think the question on their own.
Prepare them to leave and cleave.
This one is a tough one, but truly necessary when raising boys. Ultimately our job is to raise our children to leave us. With boys, we must prepare them to not only leave the nest but to cleave to their wife and her family.
This is why a man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife, and they become one flesh. Genesis 2:24
You know, the Lord gives us these fabulous children and it is our honor to raise them up. As difficult as it is, one of our greatest gifts we can give Him is to allow our sons to cleave to their wives. That is God’s plan. He wants us to raise men that are strong enough in their relationship with their parents to feel comfortable to leave.
I have to admit, it is both a happy and a sad day when this happens. I mean, who doesn’t want their child to be happy, productive, and married to a fabulous spouse. We all just do the best we can, right? The only instruction manual they come with is the Bible and that contains some pretty daunting guidelines. Parenting is hard stuff. If you do it well, they become grown-ups and leave you. Where else in this world are you rewarded for your efforts with a kid shaped vacuum in your heart?
The good news is those gifts from God will multiply. And someday that vacuum will be replaced with daughter-in-laws and grandchildren. God sees to it that our hearts remain full of love for an ever-growing family. God’s promise to Abraham holds true today. I am counting on it!
I will indeed bless you and make your offspring as numerous as the stars of the sky and the sand on the seashore. Genesis 22:17
Raising Warriors has been and still is my privilege. To share with you my experiences, my triumphs and my failures is also a gift from God. Thanks for listening and please share this with other mothers of sons.