I’m not a boy, but I’m raising these boys every day and I’ve realized that there’s a lot of things about boyhood I don’t understand. Just like there’s a lot of things about manhood that I don’t understand. And it turns out that these things I don’t really understand are usually better taught by their father, grandfather, uncles, and other men in their lives. It also turns out they are often taught simply by example, without any words at all (which is certainly not my way of teaching things!)
But from what I’ve seen as a wife and momma to boys, here are some things I think our boys need to know, that they’re learning from their Dad and the other men in their lives…
1. Hands Get Dirty
You can’t go through life stopping every 5 minutes to scrub up with antibacterial soap. Sometimes your hands are dirty, your pants are greasy, and your boots have chicken blood on them, just spit out the dust and keep working. Wash up time comes when the job is done.
2. Hearts Stay Clean
There’s always time to do business with the Lord. Keep short accounts and don’t give sin any purchase in your life.
3. Don’t Worry About Lunch
Mealtimes come and go, but you don’t stop until you’re at a stopping point. Sometimes men have to sacrifice to get the job done. Just grab a sip of sweet tea and get on with the job!
4. Feed Your Soul
Whether it’s attending church, reading the Word, or listening to God-honoring music, keep your eyes and heart fixed on Him so you can face the world with a pure heart and upright spirit.
5. Get In There
Pulling up, holding on, twisting around, climbing over, jumping in, lifting out…sometimes you can’t let go just because your muscles are burning and screaming. Your body was formed by the Lord to do a good work, you can’t just quit because it’s a bit strenuous. Bite it back and hold on!
6. Mind the Temple
Eat right, sleep well, exercise when you need to, and mind your thought-life. You are the Protector and the Provider, the first and the last line of defense for your family. Respect the health God has given you to carry out your roles and don’t take your well-being for granted.
7. Throw Some Dirt On It
You can’t stop to cry every time you scrape your knees. God has a job for you and He needs you to be all in–not running for a band-aid every time you bust your knuckles. You need to be mentally tough, not giving up the first time Plan A doesn’t work out. You have to be physically tough, not letting go when you’re holding the line. Just throw some dirt on it and move along!
8. Heal Your Spirit
Never let sin, bitterness, anger, or other weaknesses fester in the dark. Bring your troubles to light, to the Lord, to the brethren, and let Jesus heal your spiritual wounds, so that you make walk upright in His sight and accomplish His good works.
9. Wear Boots
A man can’t go through life worried about something crushing his toes or stabbing his foot. You need to be ready at a moment’s notice to grab, lift, haul, snag, or otherwise hold together whatever is falling, separating, and crashing down. You will be on-call 24/7 to fix, mend, create, restore, and otherwise save the day from impending disasters and flip-flops are rarely going to be part of your daily uniform. Life is not a beach, be ready for it!
10. Put On Your Armor
Gear up for the work the Lord has for you. Know the tools of your trade and have them ready for use.
“Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God…” (KJV Ephesians 6:13-17)
What would you add?
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