David and I had six girls before God gave us our first son. Everyone always told me boys were different…just wait and see. Well, they were right of course. Boys are and should be raised differently than girls. Boys are amazing little creatures…full of wonder and energy, raw strength and full of grit. I absolutely love them. But before you know it, that little boy is no longer a toddler…and right then we must begin the practice of making a man out of him. A gentleman.
A hearty dose of roughins’ is necessary. You gotta wrestle ’em, toss ’em around, and teach ’em to put up their dukes. We have to teach them when to fight, and when to walk away. We have to show them how to stand strong…
And then we have to teach them how to be gentle. A young boy (beginning as young as four) can be taught how to treat a lady. Sisters are great practice! But caring for momma is a duty Dad should remind his boys they must do while he is away. Bringing her water, pulling out her chair at meals, opening doors when about town, and clearing her place at the table are all small ways he can honor momma. Teaching boys through example when about town of polite men who held the door open, or impolite men who let the door fly in your face. My boys often notice now that most men who do such things do not have a wedding ring…I like to point out to them that “He who finds a wife finds favor from the Lord” (Proverbs 18:22) and perhaps because this man was never trained to treat women kindly, he is still single! My boys open the car doors for us, carry bags when they can, and bring in groceries. My two oldest boys are responsible for cleaning up the master bedroom in the morning and on more than one occasion have been known to turn the bed down for me before they go to sleep. Thoughtfulness can be a trained trait you know!
At an event with a group of homeschooled high schoolers, my girls were quite cognizant of the fact that although there were not nearly enough seats for everyone to sit down to eat, most of those remaining standing were girls. Trying to hold their drink and their plate (and handbag) and eat while standing was not only uncomfortable, it was quite a testimony to the lack of training and thoughtlessness many of the seated boys gobbling down their food were oblivious to.
In this crowd, one young man refused to sit the entire evening. He helped clear tables and served others. A quiet but kind spirit, his upbringing and leadership emanated as others squandered an opportunity to be selfless and caring. Something tells me this gentleman will be the first to get a fine young bride who will benefit from being honored and served her whole life. Any woman treated as such will surely be an encouragement and a strength to him through the guaranteed trials of life.
I used to sing Willie Nelson’s, “Momma’s don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys” to my boys all the time. (I also have been known to sing Johnny Paycheck’s “Take This Job and Shove It!” more than a few times…) But Momma’s and Daddy’s lets not let our boys grow up to be thoughtless heathens. Train them how to treat young girls, and eventually we will raise men who know how treat a lady right. In my (short) experience, the boys LOVE to be the knight in shining armor, they enjoy being the prince charming. Starting young is the key to stoking something that is innately inside most men, but if you have neglected this training, please…it is never too late to start!
Here’s a quick clip of Waylon, Willie, and Johnny singing…see if it don’t get stuck in your head as you swagger on through your day!
(yeah, I know that wasn’t proper grammar…just drawlin’ out my words as I saunter on singin’!) Enjoy!