Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Difficulty of Women Raising Men

Many days, I feel ill equipped to raise the two boys God has given me.  Honestly.  How can a woman raise a boy to be a man when even on the most basic level, she thinks differently than his entire gender?  How can she communicate in a language he will understand when her own adult husband often fails to understand her meaning, leading to discord in the household?

Thankfully, I do see a good bit of myself in my two boys, especially their love of reading, but there is too much I can't relate to.  My boys see everything as a competition, a chance to tussle, an exercise in using too much force.  They run when they should walk, fail to listen when they should hang on every word, drive their bicycles straight through mud puddles when they should steer prudently around them.

Watching my daughter play just highlights the gender differences.  Amelia will line up her cars and take them places.  The boys?  Their playing with matchbox cars always ends with horrific accidents sure to back up any freeway for hours.  Amelia tells stories involving princes, knights, and dragons.  The boys' stories always involve monsters, traps, and aggressive sword fighting.

Even playing with dolls is a completely different experience with my boys.  Whereas Amelia carefully tries each outfit on every doll, then arranges them to have conversations with each other, the boys find it more interesting to clip the dresses on their own clothes or, as Emerson did, turn the dresses into monster claws, one for every finger.

When Wyatt and Emerson are all rough and tumble or in an unconscious competition to become man of the house when daddy is away, I really feel the weight of trying to raise these two very active boys to become Godly men, leaders of their own household one day, and passionate workmen for the Lord.

Yet, in those times that I think I don't have a chance at getting it right, I am reminded of Paul's words to Timothy: "I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also" (1 Tim. 1:5).

Timothy's father was a gentile and not a believer in Jesus Christ (1 Tim. 16:1-3).  Even so, two women--his grandmother and mother--were able to instill in him a love of the Lord so that he remained in the faith.

I remember this Scripture and my heart knows it doesn't matter whether I ever fully understand men or not.  What matters is that I live out the love of Jesus before my children.  What matters is that I send them to the Scriptures and to the Lord with their troubles, that I teach them to pray without ceasing for everything, not rely on mommy for all the answers. 

He can communicate to them in a heart language my feminine self may never be able to comprehend nor speak.

(**This week, my family is on the road visiting my brother and his wife in North Carolina.  Please be in prayer for us as we travel cross-country and spend more time than usual with each other in very tight quarters.)

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