“Mommy! You’re so special to me!” my three-year-old shouted, wrapping chubby arms around my neck.
Words any mother longs to hear. I let his love wash over my heart. Then my five-year-old slipped softly as a whisper to my side, giving me a side hug. Looking into his blue eyes, I sensed the same message, unspoken.
Then this mama’s heart did a flip-flop—I’m sure you’ve felt it at times. That juxtaposition of discovery, and yet concern.
Each boy had revealed a glimpse into his little spirit at exactly the same time. Their differences brought the why of “train up a child in the way he should go” into sharp focus:
My youngest boy’s overflowing love will bring welcome warmth in this world.
Yet I will have to teach him wisdom to protect his heart.
My oldest son’s reserve will serve him well in leadership.
Yet I will have to provide opportunities to boost his boldness and confidence.
I felt the gravity of my God-given role as a mom. We cannot underestimate the impact each of us moms has in guiding our boys towards becoming godly young men.
How can we guide our boys to walk in God’s chosen way for them? The answer, I believe, lies in understanding that God’s path for each child—the way HE should go—is as distinct as his God-intended personality.
Part of the work of motherhood is to be sensitive to nurture each child’s strengths and temper weaknesses.
Helping children find their way means we intentionally walk alongside them as they grow in maturity and faith. Lists of rules aren’t enough. Before we can set rules, we must set good examples. Here are some practical ways you can start doing that today:
Model Scripture-led living.
We have a tendency to limit Scripture to correction; yet Scripture is also profitable for instruction! Chant and sing Bible verses as you go about daily tasks. Bring verses to mind as you explore nature or talk about favorite books. Show your boys how to find their way through the verses in the Bible; help them engrave it on their hearts, making biblical guidance a natural way of life.
Point out beautiful details.
Heighten your awareness of their growing personalities! Watch your children closely. Notice what toys or games they gravitate towards. Observe when they are giving—and when they are not. Their innate strengths and interests are the key to their spiritual gifts, and will become apparent at an early age. Use their natural abilities as a jumping-off point to talk about the Lord and His way for them.
Choose character-building activities.
No matter what spiritual gifts your child has, all children need training to develop godly character. Scripture is the foundation, and then it must be put into practice! Games provide opportunities to take turns, tell the truth, play fair, cooperate, or make wise choices. Engaging activities allow you to deliver wise instruction in a fun way, and to show God’s principles at work in daily life.
Discuss the purpose of each day, action, word.
Nothing in God’s world is irrelevant, least of all our children. Intentionally share your daily schedule with the kids, and have them help you plan. Ask them lots of questions. When we show them even little things matter, we communicate a very important message: they matter to us and to God.
Praise strengths, AND build up weak areas.
Rejoice in those strong emotions, and guide them toward positive outcomes through self-control. Support a quiet child by providing tiny decision-making opportunities for him to experience small successes!
I know I am not alone in this burden for my boys to realize their full potential in the Lord. Every child is a God-intended creation, with a God-intended purpose.
Moms, come alongside your boys as a faithful servant-leader. Serve your boys by being a good example in lifestyle; lead your boys by consistently following God’s Word.
Intentionally look for the strengths God has breathed into them. Then let God’s truths guide your parenting and calm your heart as you mother those delightfully different little boys!
Julie is a blogger, homeschooler, teacher, and lover of words. Whether God’s Word, the written word, or words fitly spoken, she seeks to give life with all the words that flow from her pen (or keyboard!). She writes about wholesome family living on her family blog and seeks to encourage parents through simple tips, recipes, and crafts with kids.