I’ve been thinking lately about what sons need. What they need growing up. Thought about my four, obviously. And I came up with this simplified list, not all-inclusive and in no particular order but some of the things I think, from my experience are important.
Little boys need dirt. They need to be outside, to dig in it, to marvel at creation, to watch ants and worms, (ok, they probably won’t just watch them) to find holes and wonder what is in them, to make tracks with their trucks, to feel it between their fingers and toes. They should get dirty and sweaty and smelly. Give them a shovel and let them dig holes, get them outside!
Every boy should have something that breathes to take care of. We are partial to dogs here, but we also have a cat, had a rabbit , but dogs are our favorite. Yes, having an animal costs money, requires a lot of
nagging reminding to feed etc., requires time, but the pay-off is so worth it. After all, having a pet teaches empathy, sacrifice, commitment, unconditional love.
It started in the garden. Men are created to conquer, to test their limits, to have something that they can triumph over. You’ve got to find what will make your son feel confidant in himself. Don’t let fear hinder. My husband bought our sons boxing gloves and they would deck each other on Saturday mornings. He also taught them to wrestle. Sports are great, or spelling bees, missions trips to foreign lands, working with real tools, camping, working on their first car, the point is, finding something that challenges them!
Yes, young boys need men, real men, Godly and good in their lives. They also need heroes. G. A. Henty’s novels are great, as well as biographies of missionaries (“Before I eat and kill you” comes to mind and “High Adventures in Tibet”) and be selective with the movies, music and material that comes into your home. My oldest son, loved the movie “Chariots of Fire.” Thankfully, my sons have a father who is the same both in the pulpit and at home, and who if he wasn’t working, spent his time with his favorite people, his family.
Sons need to be both disciplined and discipled. Discipled (taught) to have discipline in their lives. Young men need to have self-control, control over their selves, their emotions & hormones. They need to be taught to follow through, to overcome, to be a leader and not a follower. Most importantly they need to have FAITH, to believe in miracles, the impossible, to be a valiant man of God.
What an honor it is to raise sons! To see little rascals become great husbands and fathers, servants in His Kingdom!