Tuesday, October 2, 2012

To Mothers of Sons

I have five sons, for now. A sixth awaits us as we prepare our move to The Philippines...maybe even a seventh, eighth or ninth. Only the Lord knows.

 And He knows how much I love my one-and-only daughter. And that I would gladly mother another daughter but it seems that is not my path. I am a mother of many sons.

 It appears that is part of The Calling. Precious only-daughter understands this well. When asked if she would like a sister, she unashamedly replies "not really". You see, she is a sister to many brothers. Settled in that role so well. Playing Call of Duty and unwilling to bring the drama. The perfect sister in this house of men-children.

 I know many adoptive families who actively seek out daughters only. Others actively pursue sons. We have done neither but God has brought our sons to us. Before they are ours, I know them. I see that young man on the "waiting for my family" list and I think "Oh, there you are son. I thought it might be a girl this time but it's not. It's YOU."

 Each time we felt God leading us to scoot over and add a member to our clan, we prayed and poured over the lists of waiting children that come to us from our adoption agency. As much as I wanted a sweet girl-child to grab my heart, these boys kept beating them to the finish line.

 There is something so unique about the mother/son relationship. We are his first "girlfriend" in the most innocent sense, the benchmark of what a woman should be. We tell our boys, just by our actions, if they are doing a good job of becoming men or if they are failing in their fledgling attempts. Be mindful, mothers, of the balance between criticism and encouragement!

 In a society that tells our sons they need to be "in touch with their feminine sides", we can help them appreciate all the God-given masculine tendencies that will serve to make them excellent husbands and fathers.

 God has impressed on me since my first-born son was an infant that I hold much power in determining how this person sees himself.
 I must impress on him the centrality of God's word in every facet of life.
 I must encourage him to learn compassion.
 I must guide him in not giving vent to his anger.
 I must allow him to carry heavy things and open doors for me.
 I must not disrespect and devalue his father at any time.
 I must teach him what his eventual wife will lean on him for and help him to remember to say "I'm sorry".

 And his father holds even greater responsibility in guiding this budding man onto the path that breeds life, health and righteousness.
 Dad must impress on his sons the centrality of God's word in every facet of life.
 He must demonstrate what it means to protect and provide.
He must model quiet strength and a servant's heart.
He must communicate that no matter how difficult marriage can feel, we never give up.
 He must teach practical skills like oil changes, check book balancing, staying out of financial debt and power-tool usage while keeping all appendages.
 He must lead his family in a way that spurs his sons to aspire to the same.

As my sons grow and the notion that I will become the "second best" lady in their lives draws near, I am given to extra consideration for the types of men I will be giving to some dreamy-eyed young woman.

 I am proud of who they are becoming.

 Unfinished in many ways but shaping up to be men I am proud to call my sons.

 A Sacred Trust.

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