Recently I listened to the “Mothers and Sons” audio from Sovereign Grace Ministries, featuring Janis Shank and Charlotte Richardson. This was a very encouraging message to listen because I needed to hear these two older women’s advice. In a way they provided a glimpse of what is to come should the training of my sons remain faithful.
There were six themes to this talk:
Moms are encouraged to cherish their boys even through their rambunctiousness and boyishness. Our boys are boys, thus, they are not like us so we ought to resist the temptation to have them do things the way we want them to. We also need to allow room for noises, messes, competition, loudness, and roughness. In addition to this, moms need to cultivate affection in various forms for their boys. Our sons will have wives and they need to give affection that they have received from us.
Even though moms are their boys’ primary teachers during the early years, there should be a transfer of training from moms to dads at some point. Teaching boys the gospel is of the utmost importance. What follows is the teaching on Biblical womanhood and manhood. Much of how our boys learn is through our personal examples, and this should encourage mothers to live godly and cross-centered lives as our boys are constantly watching and observing us.
Importance of Prioritizing Fathers
Mothers need to do everything they can to help build a father and son’s relationship. We also need to regularly ask our husbands how we can better train our boys in order to foster a healthy and better father-and-son relationship.
How mothers communicate with their sons should be motivated by kindness. One of the ways of communication is through encouragement. A good test of whether we’re finding ways to encourage them is to ask the question: “Is your son more aware of what you appreciate about him than what he needs to work on?”
In general, sons are not good communicators and moms should make it a point to learn how to draw them out beyond typical one-word-answers. We should also cultivate the skill of asking questions and listening to them whenever they are ready to talk.
Mothers need to prepare their sons from boyhood to adulthood by teaching them what Biblical masculinity and femininity look like. Teach them what to look for in a wife as well as teaching them practical skills such as cooking, time management, clothing care, etc.
Releasing of Our Sons
The final part of raising sons is releasing them. They are to leave and cleave. Even though this process is hard on mothers, we are to release them so that they can cleave to their wives as mandated by God.
I am at the very beginning of raising sons as my oldest is only 5.5 years old. It is good to be reminded that I need to allow my boys to simply be boys, even in all their boyishness. Stifling this very fiber of them is not conducive to relationship building. Many times I want them to behave the way I want them to behave, forgetting that I am not like them.
Even though I already know that how my boys learn about the gospel and the attractiveness of it largely depends on my personal example, I often forget to live it out. Sin gets in the way as well, which means I need to be even more vigilant in keeping my own heart as well as my boys’.
When it comes to encouraging my boys, the question “Is your son more aware of what you appreciate about him than what he needs to work on?” captured my attention. How easy it is to always want them to be better at this or work on this or that. Letting them know what they have done right or excellent should be more readily dispensed. It is not that I don’t encourage at all, rather, I tend to press the issue of what they need to work on more than what they have done right.