Life can get a bit crazy at our house some days. As a mother who has been blessed with the joy of raising three boys, I tend to see life through a different set of lenses. (usually it’s in the shade of camouflage) I’ve learned the art of dodging soccer balls that “accidentally” fly through the house on occasion. I can mute my sniffer from the agonizing strange aromas that seem to come from nowhere at the drop of a hat! From the moment the doctor laid the boys on my chest, and said, “Congratulations mom, you are the mother of a brand new baby boy… then another boy… and “crash,” heeeere’s Kyle!” I’ve committed my life to raising Godly men that will someday honor and protect their wives, and family, if God so chooses to gift them with one, by doing life God’s way.
That’s a hard task these days. I have an amazing help mate, husband and friend who has shown these boys what it is to be a man in today’s feminized society.
A real man. #grunt!
We like to joke around that we are raising boys that feminist will hate. We still believe in those old fashioned tried and true virtues of protecting, honoring, and keeping. We believe in the values and traditions such as opening the car door for your lady, walking the girl to the door, asking for permission to date the daughter, paying for her meal, and treating her as if her father were in the room.
We use every teaching tool we can get our hands on to drill this “old fashioned chivalry” into their heads and believe me these days, there are not very many tools left in the box. My parents had good ol’ Andy Griffith and Bill Cosby to help raise us.
My generation? Not so much! Seriously, have you turned on the television lately to see the feminized dumbed down version of men the media has normalized and promoted? I was watching a show with your youngest child just last week. “Good Luck Charlie.” They made the father look so stupid and disrespected, that the children mocked him. No wonder men are scared to lead and we have hit a crisis with the skyrocketing divorce rate!
These days, it feels as if I am standing in the center of a downtown street in New York City during the five o’clock rush hour, going the wrong way, looking desperately for a hole to crawl into for just a moment of shelter from the chaos and to clean the slime off my skin!
Christian parents, can I talk to you for a second? More specifically, can I talk to the Christian parents who have daughters? I’m raising your daughter’s future husband, and I need help! It is hard to raise boys in a a sex saturated society. Everywhere you look there is something that has to do with sex. From commercials, to internet, even our phone apps screaming sex. Sex is everywhere. But can I challenge you? It’s not just the world that is throwing sex at our children. I believe it’s us! It’s cowardly parenting! It’s a deep desire to want to be liked by our kids, so much that we are willing to look away when in fact, we need to step in and be parents. I feel it too. I’ve always loved the speeches from my soapbox that scream, “Demand respect, not friendship from your child.” When I officially received the title of “uncool” parent one day, I swallowed my pride and cried!
As a mom of boys, who wants to raise Godly husbands, and future fathers, can I ask you a couple of favors?
Could you dress your daughter modestly?
In our house, we call it “the bounce.” When something comes on TV that is racy, our children have learned to bounce. They’ve learned that sometimes you can’t control what comes across your line of sight, but you can control your response. They bounce away quickly. By the way, along with the bounce comes the “mama’s remote control tackle.” I have it almost perfected!
That’s all well and good for television, but how do they do that at church or in the community? When you allow your girls to go to church or events with strapless tops, short, tight skirts, provocative writing in strategic areas, and you condone or tolerate this as a Christian mama… how do my boys bounce?
I understand the dilemma you face, being the uncool parent. I am one. I’ve learned to accept that title by keeping the end in mind. What’s the end you ask? My beautiful children and daughters in law on their wedding day, radiant and pure. My grandchildren being raised in a Godly home. Payday for us “uncool” parents will be that day. Until then, can you please help dress your daughters? Can you have the courage to tear up provocative clothing, watch their social media pages for racy pictures and posts, and dads, for gracious sake, have the courage to block the front door if you have to. Do what it takes.
Learn to say no.
The stakes are high for our children. My husband and I have put a protective standard around our family with a lifestyle that strives to be pleasing to Jesus. Do we shelter them from the world? No, in fact they attend public school, but they know they are safe, and mom and dad have their backs when it comes to boundaries and precautions we place around our family.
When the cool, free as a bird “Christian” kids are allowed to act like the world, it makes it difficult to explain why we live our lives differently. There is nothing more frustrating than participating in a group that looks just like the world, but hides under the “Christian name.” In fact, we pulled our children from “Christian school” for that very reason, I grew tired of paying the massive tuition, while still having to explain to our boys why “Christians” were not supposed to dress in a provocative way or live like the world. I can teach them that in a public setting!
It’s jewel these days, to find a parents who will say “NO”, and be willing to put up boundaries for their kids. Oh, I totally understand why…. I get it, It’s almost pure agony to say NO some days! “Be home by___ o’clock, you’ve spent too much time with that person, go back upstairs and change your clothes…” It kills me to say, “put away your cell phone, stop texting and use your communication skills!” But friends, it’s our responsibility as parents to say no, and to put those boundaries in place. There’s even technology that can help us do it such as phone trackers, internet filters, cell phone usage limits.
Being a parent of teenagers these days, I feel that I am needed more at home now, than when they were in diapers. It’s hard work. In the end, what a prize it will be, to have two young people who have made far fewer mistakes (notice I said fewer) because they had parents who were willing to put in that hard work and be intentional parents, than those who were just too cool and hip to say no. And for the record, lest you think my children don’t make mistakes, I can tell you stories! They absolutely make mistakes! I also make more than I’d like to admit! It is about engaging, finding courage, and GRABBING those teachable moments to say… “let’s talk about this.”
Find a Pastor and friends who are willing to lead.
As I stated in my previous point, it’s a jewel to find friends who are willing to raise the standard in the home by bringing up children with modesty, integrity and purity in this age of conformity. It’s also amazing when you find a pastor willing to discuss those hard truths such as purity, modesty, masculinity, femininity, and holiness. Moms and dads, when you allow your daughter to attend church less than fully clothed, can you imagine being that pastor who has to address this? As a mom of boys, I am so grateful there are some who will address it! When you find a leader who is willing to take on the tough stuff and not just finding the latest and greatest lighting or social media tool to get them through the doors, you have found a prize!
Finally, to the mother of my future daughter in love,
I want to thank you for your courage to go against the flow of “cool” parenting to raise your daughter with modesty, self-control and a beauty that far outweighs the fake Hollywood fads. Thank you for raising her with character and self-confidence that gives her that radiant beauty my son will behold the day he marries her. Thank you for telling her to go back inside and change her clothes! Thank you for giving her a loving curfew. Thank you for having that “You touch my girl and I will kill you” speech with my son! Thank you for teaching your daughter that true beauty lies within her heart where Jesus resides. Thank you for saying no. Thank you for not compromising because it is easier. Thank you for being the example my son needs as he chooses his wife.
You don’t know me yet, but one day we will meet, and the “uncool parents” title will be handed over to our children!