The MOB Society

For Moms Who Have Questions About Raising Boys

Brooke McGlothlinComment

As many of you know, I come from a long line of boymoms, most notably, my paternal grandmother, Cack, who raised three boys to become good men mostly alone.

I've said before that I would love to have just another hour with her to ask all the questions about how she did it.

  • How does a mom grab and keep the hearts of her boys, demand their respect, and teach them to be men?
  • What in the world does a mom do when that thing starts happening?
  • How does a mom teach her sons to be stayers in a world full of leavers?
  • What does a mom do when her son starts noticing girls?

Of course, there are other questions I have that she couldn't have answered, like...

  • How do I intentionally preserve my boys' imagination and creative thinking in a world of electronics?
  • How do I protect them from pornography?
  • How do I discipline in a world that frowns on most all forms of it?

And then there are questions I just plain wouldn't have had the foresight to ask. How could I have imagined I would need to know things like...

  • How do I get my baby to sleep through the night?
  • What natural alternatives are there to help keep my son healthy?
  • How do I teach my son to love Jesus in a world so hostile to absolute truth?

I may never be able to ask my beloved grandmother to give me wisdom on raising boys, but these, and other questions like them, are answered by moms every single day on the MOB Society Facebook page in our Question from a Boymom feature.

We've hosted Question from a Boymom for years now, and it's consistently been one of our most popular features on our Facebook page. It's been a joy to see moms support each other, love on each other, pray for each other and give wisdom to each other.

But we've noticed a couple of negative side effects along the way.

Sometimes, the questions are super personal, and moms don't feel comfortable answering in a public forum (where all their friends can see what they write).

Because the MOB Society attracts moms who are in all stages of their Christian faith, some who don't profess faith in Christ at all, we've seen some well-intentioned moms forget that not everyone is as far along in their faith, and say things that sting.

Because of this, we've decided to make a big change to this popular feature. Don't worry, it's not going away!

At the beginning of June, we're moving it inside the safety of our Tribe membership program.

Because we utilize a private Facebook group, we can provide moms with a safe space to ask any questions they have, and provide answers that will be for Tribe member eyes only. We feel it's of the utmost importance to offer a place where moms can support each other, and ask each other important questions. Never before in history has there been so much help and wisdom available to moms! With the click of a mouse, you can access wisdom, prayer, and the experience of other moms who have gone before you, specifically, boymoms who speak your language and are walking your walk.

You'll still be able to participate in the Question from a Boymom feature on Facebook through the end of this month, so please feel free to take advantage of it! Also, we'll be leaving all of our previous featured questions on our Facebook page, so if you feel like searching for a particular kind of question, you're welcome to any time!

Beginning June 1, 2016, you'll need to be a member of the Tribe to participate.

If you'd like to study up on the benefits of Tribe membership (and mama, they are a plenty), click here. For just $5 a month, you have access to a multitude of helpful items, including our exclusive monthly #prayingforboys prayer calendar! It's worth $5 all by itself, but you get a bunch of other helpful tools, too!

We can't wait to see you inside!

Recommended Resources

To kick off this new season for the Tribe, we'll be hosting a major Question and Answer session inside of our Tribe Facebook group in the first part of June (date announced soon). Many of the MOB Society writers plan to be there to answer as many of your questions about raising boys as they can, so join the Tribe right away and plan to be there! Click the red box below to learn more about Tribe membership!

About the Author

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Brooke McGlothlin is Co-founder and President of The MOB Society, author of Praying for Boys: Asking God for the Things They Need Most, co-author of Hope for the Weary Mom: Let God Meet You in the Mess, and the Hope for the Weary Mom 40 Day Devotional. She's also creator of the Fight Like a BoyMom Program, and a mother of two boys who believes God has chosen her to fight for the hearts of her sons. Her newest book, Not Enough, releases from Waterbrook Multnomah in the fall of 2017.

 

 

 

 

5 things I want my boys to know about forgiveness

Guest ContributorComment

I work to have lots of conversations throughout the day with my boys on various topics. My boys are quite verbal and enjoy most of our discussion. All the while, I’m mining their hearts to see what is being nurtured within.

One practice I have is asking them to define words or concepts for me. “What is the sun?” “Where do we live?” “What does being frustrated mean? What does it look like?”

The results can often be hilarious. Like: “Doctors can tell whether a baby is a boy or girl by looking at their faces.”

More often, my sons’ answers are telling of their spiritual growth and awareness. I recently asked my six year old son what forgiveness meant. His circular definition: “It means we forgive the person who did bad, and tell them we aren’t mad.” I was pleased he understood what we do when we forgive. But I want him to understand forgiveness at a deeper level. To see the beautiful mirror: our forgiveness of others is merely a reflection of God’s love and forgiveness towards us.

Forgiveness isn’t a blasé phrase we toss around to make problems disappear; forgiveness is a conscious decision we make time after four-hundred and ninetieth time.   

Here are five things I want my boys to know about biblical forgiveness:

1. Forgiveness is humbling.

For God to offer us forgiveness, He had to come a long way down. From God to man; from heaven to earth, from perfection to sin for us.

The experience was so powerfully humbling, Christ wept tears of blood, asking for this Cup of suffering to be removed. When our boys struggle to forgive, I’m grateful for the example of the Savior, who in His struggle still said, “Not my will, but Thine.”

I pray our boys grow into men who can humble themselves in forgiving others.

2. Forgiveness is our duty.

Giving children time to develop a genuine forgiving spirit also allows us to teach them about being in God’s will. We’re called and commanded to forgive “even as God has forgiven you.” When we help our boys see forgiveness as following God’s will, we deepen the eternal value of forgiveness.

Forgiveness can take time. Forgiveness is a weighty thing; a decision in its own right. A glib or rote “I forgive you” erases a valuable learning opportunity, and this easy-come attitude can leave hurt feelings under the surface to fester for years. I’ve heard too many stories of adult heartache that has unforgiveness at its core.

Our boys may need to be walked through the emotions of forgiveness. An effective way I’ve found to talk about emotions with my boys is through prayer; as I pray with them, I name the emotions they are likely feeling, asking God to touch and heal their hurting hearts. We read simple verses about forgiveness. Sometimes, our children just need the vocabulary to grasp the conflicting feelings of hurt and offering forgiveness.

3. Forgiveness gives God His rightful place.

When we are unforgiving, we make ourselves the executor of justice and judgment. Yet it is God who is the righteous judge, not us. Forgiving others puts God back in charge of our life, and helps us follow His command to overcome evil with good.   

4. Forgiveness is a lifelong endeavor.

It has certainly been humbling for me to allow my children to see me as less than perfect. To see me upset, sad, hurting.  But I believe modeling is an important teaching tool, so within reason, I purposefully allow them to see me struggle to collect my emotions, ask for a minute to calm down.

They hear me “talk aloud” through the idea that my heart hurt, that this is hard, that I need to ask Jesus for help. My desire is for my boys to see in me a conscious decision to follow God’s Will in offering forgiveness.

5. Forgiveness offers freedom.

Sadly, our boys will battle human nature when they are wronged, and that’s not easy to brush aside. Yet, when they offer forgiveness, they are offering freedom to themselves and the offending party.

The freedom to try again, to restore a friendship. Liberty from years of resentment, hurt feelings, and bitterness.

Learning these truths about forgiveness can help our boys learn to communicate well, with others and with God. In understanding true forgiveness, our children acknowledge their own need for forgiveness… drawing them closer to a relationship with a loving and forgiving God.

Recommended ResourceS

*affiliate links

About the Author

Julie Kieras 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.

Four Ways to Beat the Summer Crazy

Brooke McGlothlinComment

It's right around the corner.

Maybe you're staring summer down face-to-face, your normally quiet house turned upside down by the little humans now thinking they have the right to rule it. Or maybe, like me, your homeschool finish line is getting closer and closer, and you find yourself asking the summertime question of all questions...

How am I going to keep from going crazy with these kids running around this summer?

I don't worry too much about what I'm going to do with my kids all summer. I lean toward being more of a 70s kind of mom most of the time. Go outside! Climb trees! Swim! Sweat! Watch old movies! Mainly, we spend a lot of time at the pool, the lake, and as much time as possible watching our local baseball farm teams knock 'em out of the park. I don't tend to be a planner when it comes to summer, and I don't like to have a lot of things on our agenda. I don't even like to be a part of a formal Bible study over the summer! Really, I just like to relax as much as possible and let God bring us the right ways to serve when they come up.

That said, I do worry about keeping my sanity over the summer. My boys tend to get bored easily, lean toward the whiney side, and are firmly in the "love/hate" stage of their relationship where they can't stand each other, but would also defend each other to the death. Our homeschool days tend to be very organized, though fluid, and I've found over time that my boys thrive on a schedule.

So how does a mom keep from losing her mind during the simmering summer months? Here are four of the best ways to beat the summer crazy:

1. Look for ways to expend energy.

I mentioned before that we spend a lot of time at the pool. Have you ever watched how hard your kiddos work under the water to stay afloat? My boys are gloriously happy at the pool. In fact, on the days we don't go I always find myself wondering why not. Bonus? When it's time for bed, they. pass. out. They're exhausted, and I love it. Beautiful.

If you can't go to the pool, figure out some other way to get rid of all that energy. Worn out boys = a much happier mama.

2. Lower your expectations.

If there's anything I've learned about motherhood, it's this: whenever I plan something big and have great expectations for how it will turn out, the reality falls horribly short of my dream. It's happened so many times now that I almost build failure into my plans. I don't mean that in a bad way, just that if you lower your expectations you can sometimes be pleasantly surprised. Don't feel like you have to live up to someone else's vision of the perfect summer.

3. Don't make it all about fun.

Are there ways you can serve with your boys so they're not so concentrated on what summer can do for them? There's nothing worse than entitled kids who feel they have a right to a dreamy summer (or parents who feel it's their responsibility to give it to them. Come on, ladies!). I've already said I'm not a planner, but for those of you who are, go ahead and scour Pinterest for ways to get your kids involved in your community. You might be surprised at how easy it is (think small, not big!).

4. STAY IN THE WORD OF GOD.

Did you get that I think that one's most important? I know, I know...you're so tempted in sleep in and go to bed late, and with kids in the house all the time it can be hard to keep your groove. But having your kids home with you can trigger all kinds of ungodly responses, or at the very least make it harder to be the kind, gentle, godly mom you really want to be. So commit now, before "Summer Day One" even gets here, that you're going to do whatever it takes to get your nose and your heart in the Bible every single day.

I just so happen to have a little something to help!

Would you consider giving God your next 40 days?

Maybe linking arms with other moms who find the summer days a bit wearying, and want to take a proactive stance against the crazy?

Why not #StartWithHope this summer, taking just a few minutes to fill your heart with truth before the day starts or as it ends.

If that sounds like a little slice of heaven, join the #startwithhope study with us and walk through the next 40 days with the Hope for the Weary Mom 40-Day Devotional as your guide. #StartWithHope is absolutely free (after the cost of the book, which is ON SALE right now for just $4.99 through the end of May - ebook only).

Here's How to Sign Up

  1. Purchase your copy of the Hope for the Weary Mom Devotional.
  2. Enter your email address here and click "subscribe." You'll receive an immediate welcome email giving you all the details about what to expect. We're officially kicking off #startwithhope on May 31st (the day after Memorial Day) and going for most of the summer!
  3. Gather up your girlfriends and do this together over the summer? Even if you aren't meeting together on a regular basis outside your home, you can still create a Facebook group and hold each other accountable! Click here to share this post with a friend and create a circle of like-minded moms around yourself. I promise the summer will be better when you're in it with your friends!

Sometimes it's hard to hear God’s voice or believe his promises on the really, really crazy weary days. But I believe it’s possible. Take the challenge?

Recommended Resources

*affiliate links

About the Author

Brooke McGlothlin is Co-founder and President of The MOB Society, author of Praying for Boys: Asking God for the Things They Need Most, co-author of Hope for the Weary Mom: Let God Meet You in the Mess, and the Hope for the Weary Mom 40 Day Devotional. She's also creator of the Fight Like a BoyMom Program, and a mother of two boys who believes God has chosen her to fight for the hearts of her sons. Her newest book, Not Enough, releases from Waterbrook Multnomah in the fall of 2017.

What to do when you don't like your kid

Guest ContributorComment

Lately my firstborn has been driving me crazy.

I won’t go into details, but we have been in a season where everything he does rubs me the wrong way. It might be that we are so incredibly different. He craves my undivided attention and I like to be busy. I enjoy a quiet morning and he is an early bird with so many words. He is oblivious to dirt on his shoes and I am addicted to my vacuum. He has hoarding tendencies while I am a wannabe minimalist. He wants cupcakes for dinner after I have spent 2 hours making a healthy and delicious meal.

These things add up and sometimes I find myself resisting his presence by being easily frustrated, impatient, and distracted around him. And all my resistance usually fans the flames of his neediness.  He presses closer, talking more, whining more, clinging more and I retreat more and that makes for a very vicious cycle!

What’s worse is that I know these feelings are wrong. Would a good mom have trouble enjoying her kid? Guilt and shame are often my companions as I crawl into bed each night.

Have you ever felt this way? Here is my encouragement to you…

Space and Grace

99% of the time when I find myself easily irritated by my boys it is because I feel stretched thin in other areas of my life. Work is busy, or there are financial struggles. Deadlines. Sleeplessness.  Health issues. These concerns can crowd my thoughts, leaving little room for the space needed to hear and be filled by the Holy Spirit.

You’re not a bad mom – you are tired.

But let these feelings be a nudge toward repentance and the pursuit of a connection with Jesus.  Turn on some worship music, listen to an encouraging podcast, call a friend and pray together (being careful not to complain about your son!). Find fellowship with Him and then let His Word and His grace transform the places in your heart, mind, and body that are weary.

Move Toward

Relationships, whether with a child or an adult, are hard work. Our sin will rub against theirs and vice versa and there are bound to be some challenges. But as we benefit from space and grace and fellowship with Christ, He strengthens us to fellowship well with others.

I am learning that sometimes indulging the very thing that irritates me is the pathway to being restored to my son.

Is he whiny and clingy? Intentionally plan some one-on-one time together – like a longer snuggle before bed or a light hearted game of soccer in the backyard.  Some mornings when I am not particularly thrilled to see an awake little person at 5:30 in the morning, I literally command my spirit to greet him the way I would want to be greeted, “Good morning, baby.  I missed you while you were sleeping!”  Fake it ‘til you make it, girl!

One of the best mediators of conflict is not moving away from the person, but the faithful practice of moving toward them.

Children Are a Gift

It seems so silly and obvious that I would even have to remind us – MOTHERS – of this simple truth, but the fact remains that one of the enemy’s greatest tactics is to try to get us to think that a blessing the Lord has given to us is actually a curse.

That sounds extreme, but with the way I have been feeling, if I nurse those negative thoughts too long, resistance can turn into resentment. So it is helpful to think on Christ. How He welcomed the children. How He loved them and celebrated their involvement in His kingdom’s work on earth. How He blessed them, invited them into His lap, and even advised us to be more like them (Mark 10:13-16).

One of my favorite ways to be reminded of this good word is to quietly go into my son’s room at night and spend some time praying over him and watching him sleep. You can’t look upon a resting babe without your heart being touched by such a tender, precious sight, and it’s there that the Lord helps me see my faulty thinking for what it is so that I can lay it at His feet in exchange for a fresh perspective.

Because surrendering our expectations of who we want our children to be allows our hands of resistance to become open arms of love and acceptance.

I don’t know where you are today, dear mama, but if you are anything like me, you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed by a certain son’s needs. Join with me by seeking Him, leaning in, and then celebrating that gift(s) walking around your house today.

Even if he is walking through the house with dirt on his shoes.

Related Resources

*affiliate links

About the Author

Julie Brasington, the Happy Home Fairy, is married to a Worship Pastor. Together, they have 2 boys, and she teaches preschool. Julie loves sharing easy, fun ideas to help moms build a happy home!

How to help your children recognize the voice of God

Christie ThomasComment

It was time for bed. I asked my two older boys to find a good “listening place," and they
scurried into their bunk: the four year old on the bottom, the seven year old on top. I asked them to repeat after me, “Jesus, please help me to listen to you. Help my heart and mind to be quiet so I can hear you. Jesus, what would you like to say to me today?”

I then invited them to be quiet and wait for Jesus to respond. Within a minute, my younger son said “I think he wants to say ‘I love you.’”

The older boy was discouraged because he hadn’t heard any whispers in his heart; he said his brain was too noisy. I encouraged him to ask God to help his brain be quiet, so he did. “God please help my brain to be quiet so I can hear what you have to say to me” he whispered. My heart melted to hear his longing verbalized. Only a few seconds had passed when I saw his face poking out over the top of the bunk. With a smile that simultaneously held surprise, joy, and bashfulness, he told me what God had spoken to him.

“God said ‘I love you Ethan.’”

Both boys had an experience with God that evening but I believe it was the most meaningful to Ethan, my 7 year old. He knows what it’s like to have an incredibly busy brain, one that is constantly coming up with ideas and plans. But in one simple heart-whisper, his heart and mind were brought to peace.

God desires to speak to our children, for them to know and follow his voice. My prayer is that in training them to recognize and heard him when they are young, they will continue to know and heed his voice when life becomes more complicated.

Jesus spoke often of being a shepherd, and in John 10:4 he describes the intimate relationship between the shepherd and his sheep.

“When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.”

Are you ready to help your children recognize the voice of their shepherd? If you have never heard the gentle whisper in your heart, it may be hard to believe that God would speak to your child. But he can, and he does.

Find an externally quiet place. The voice of God usually will not compete with noise. Invite God to speak, asking him to help your hearts be quiet enough to listen. Wait in expectation. Realistically, we won't always hear his voice. It is such a quiet voice and sometimes it is hard to identify. But I find that when my boys and I are truly waiting in expectation, at least one of us does.

My son asked a very good question the other day: how do you know what God’s voice sounds like? Of all the competing voices in our heads and hearts, which one is his?

I told him this: God’s voice will always sound like love; love for myself as an individual and love for humanity. In fact, the most common thing I hear spoken to my heart, and to the hearts of my children, is “I love you.” Recently Ethan reported after praying and listening that God had told him “I’m thankful for you too.”

Recommended Resources

If you would like to go deeper into this topic, Brad Jersak has written some fabulous books on listening prayer for children and adults!

*affiliate links

About the Author

Christie Thomas is a science-loving, zumba-dancing Christ-follower with a passion to help families cultivate authentic faith in their homes. She has the three best jobs in the world: Mom, part-time Director of Children’s Ministries at her church in Alberta, Canada, and author of Wise for Salvation: Meaningful Devotions for Families with Little Ones. She blogs about raising kids in the faith at wiseforsalvation.comChristie’s favorite people in the whole world are her husband and three young boys, who just happen to be the most interesting, creative, and precious boys on the planet.