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Monday, September 27, 2010

Boys

Here's our boy today...



He got a good thumping and a face plant in a wave he thought he was big enough for.

It was interesting listening to the men around him talking to him about it. It was universal - they didn't frown disappointingly at him, tell him he should have been more careful, pay better attention next time - what would naturally spew from my concerned Motherly heart if I didn't know any better - no, they talked of his bravery, his strength, even talked of it being a badge of honor.

He beamed.

As I've been reading through Hal & Melanie Young's book, Raising Real Men, I've been thinking about how I treat this little guy a lot.

Here's a quote from the book that was a paradigm shift for me:

We all expect that our sons will grow up to be strong, independent men, able to support themselves and their families, prepared to stand up for their beliefs, able to take on the world if necessary. What we've forgotten, as a culture, is how soon that may be possible.

In 1781, the young John Quincy Adams was sent to Russia as the private secretary of America's diplomatic mission to the court of Catherine the Great. Since the lead diplomat did not speak French, the diplomatic language of Europe, young Adams would be responsible for interpreting discussions and translating any official documents. He was fourteen at the time.

In 1813 midshipman David Farragut, serving aboard the USS Essex, was given command of the captured British whaler Barclay. Although the English captain of the vessel attempted to take back the ship once they were underway, Farragut faced him down and brought the prize successfully into port. He was twelve years old.

...What changed to make the culture go from viewing a 12-year-old as a young adult, to seeing men and women ten years older as barely able to care for themselves?

I'm sure many of you can take your guesses at answering that question. And you can read the book for yourself to find out what else Hal & Melanie have to say.

They were actually kind enough to give us a free copy of their book for a giveaway on this blog - our very first one! We will be posting the details on that shortly so stay posted.

And have a great week!

4 comments:

  1. Great post! We have two boys and I have to correct my mom all the time, when she says "be careful" at every action. When did it become important to be careful of everything? Thanks so much.

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  2. We're trying to raise our son to be a man at a young age but it's difficult when even the grown adults we come in contact with act like ten year olds. Do they offer a solution for that? I honestly don't know any "real" men, including my husband. Boys haven't been raised properly for a couple generations now, just as the girls aren't raised to be a responsible grown women. My husband and I are learning though and hopefully our children will have a better chance than we did.

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  3. Hi Lazy Organizer (love the name :-) --

    Naomi sent me a link to her post and I just had to comment. Last weekend we spoke in Chicagoland and a man told us afterward that he was very convicted during our talk that he was going to have to change some things in his life to become the Christian man he hoped his son would be. He had a lot of wounds from his upbringing and he was just realizing how that had affected him.

    We're not perfect, and neither are our sons, but the Word of God is and God is merciful. It's our prayer that He'll help fathers and mothers realize how critical it is that our sons learn to stand alone, to do their duty, to serve God as a mighty man. How our society needs that! I'm with you, I hope our sons exceed us in the things that matter...

    Melanie Young

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  4. Lazy Organizer - I won't give you the advice a good friend of mine gave me a while back when I was complaining about my husband - "If he was everything you want him to be, he probably wouldn't have married you!" I was NOT looking for that answer.

    But seriously, in my humble opinion, I don't think that is your burden to carry. While we may want to, we can't control it all, and in my experience, that especially includes my husband(Prov 21:1). The solution that has worked for me, has not been nagging, complaining and worrying (the things that we are oh so good at) but expressing my fears to my husband, vulnerably, without being judgmental and pointing the finger or blaming him (so much easier said than done!) I even precursor what I say sometimes by telling him this is not about him, it may not even be truth, it's just about my fears. "I'm afraid that..."

    He is so much more open and caring to listen when he knows I'm not attacking him, but actually seeking his comfort, support, strength. You'd be amazed what a male will 'step up to' if we would but lean on them.

    Then I trust him to do the right thing. And maybe he won't - either way, it's not my burden to make him a perfect man. My burden is to serve Christ and that includes honoring my husband, not worrying, praying and trusting in Him and His Will in His timing, even when circumstances seem hopeless. Nothing is impossible with God.

    Your husband and those men maybe act like ten year olds because they're just as fed up with themselves as you are and are reminded of their shortcomings and their failures by their family, their friends, and everyone else around them all the time. Maybe they just need a little encouragement, a little honoring, a little trust and faith to step up to the plate. Lord knows average men have shown themselves heroes in stranger circumstances before.

    Being the one to overlook a trespass, a shortcoming, to see what could be and not what is, to honor and encourage him anyway - I believe that's our burden, and that's the stuff marriages are made of.

    HTH!

    Naomi

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