Friday, October 16, 2009
Startin' Em Early
Recently, there was a hilarious conversation that occurred in my car on the way to school. One of the boys started talking about getting married someday and becoming a Daddy. All the boys chimed in with their own little responses to marrying a girl someday. They haven't gotten to the "girls are yucky stage" yet so their little ideas about having a family of their own were so cute. All of them wanted to marry a pretty girl (it starts young) and all of them wanted to be a Dad.
One thing I really try and instill in my boys is a respect for how hard their Dad works for them and how his work provides for our family. It's my hope that they will appreciate and want to emulate their Dad in this area some day when they have families of their own. We actually talk about this a lot. On this particular day, since I was getting such great conversation out of them, I wanted to see what the boys in the car would say about their Dads and working. I gently turned the conversation that direction and started asking the boys if they knew why their Dad worked so hard. One of the boys in the car, without skipping a beat said, "So I can spend money!" I just died laughing and thought to myself, I must remember to tell his mom (who is one of my close friends) his comment. I knew what he meant--that his Dad worked so that they could have money to spend on things like food, shelter and clothes. Believe me, none of us are rich that live out here so I know that he, or his mom rather, isn't just out blowing the dough Daddy brought in. But his response was just so, so funny.
And then I thought you know what, it's so important that they get it now. So many men in their 20s and even older don't get it. I have a responsibility as a Christian mom to raise my sons to take responsibility now and not later. It's now that they learn this stuff so that it's second nature to them as they grow older. So much of who they are now is who they will be in fifteen to twenty years. So I better not delay, let days slip by or think that if I'm not intentional about it, they'll just know it later on. They must be taught. Their Dad is their example and teacher, but I must be like his second, encouraging, pointing things out and most of all respecting his position. Respect will speak volumes. If I can get that part down, I'll be halfway there.
The other day Isaac said to me, "Mom, when I am big like Dad, I'll have my own family and I won't live at your house anymore." And with a little twinkle in his eye he said, "And you'll miss me!!" I hadn't told him that but, I think he just realized it out on his own. And I really was glad he had said it even though thinking of him all grown up did make me a bit sad. Nevertheless, even though he's young, he's getting it. And it's so important for him to understand that when he's a man, he'll need to take responsibility for himself and for a family and that this responsibility is God-given and good.
So I'm startin' em early. And I'm praying for their future wives. And I'm asking God for the grace to bring them up right, so that they'll be strong men of God who can face the world, knowing that God has made them to care for their family and to conquer what comes their way with His help. I pray that God will cover us and give grace for the mountain of mistakes we'll make and the hope that they'll still get it on the other end in spite of ourselves. However, if I don't try and teach them now, how will they ever know?