Love (21 Days of Prayer for Sons)

God is love. I John 4:8

I rocked back and forth slowly, savoring the moments of holding my baby boy for a few moments before he drifted off to sleep. The blessing of parenting came with a burden.

But the burden of parenting is eased through the honor of praying.

While I rocked, I prayed for this boy to know how much his daddy and I love him. And I prayed for him to know how much Jesus loves him.

The rocking chair has held many babies since this boy and many more prayers have been whispered over soft baby heads, cradled closely. While the Noah’s ark décor has long been removed and those baby feet have grown to larger than my own, one thing hasn’t changed–I still pray that my boy will know how much Jesus and his parents love him.

Love — The 21 Days of Prayer for Sons Challenge via The MOB Society

THE FIRST STEPS

It’s been twelve years since I started praying for my son to know how much he is loved. God has answered my prayers in many ways. Asking Jesus into his heart several years ago was the first step in understanding how much Jesus loves him. Continuing on to hold prayer conversations of his own has deepened the knowledge of God’s love. This boy of mine keeps his own prayer journal now and through recording his personal faith journey, he logs a little of God’s love each day. His daddy and I are blessed to watch him begin to understand God’s love, not just for himself as an individual, but for the world.

An incredible transformation takes place when God’s love has been poured into a human being– God’s love begins to pour out of that same human being. Seeing God’s love on display through our children creates a beautiful masterpiece for our viewing pleasure. If we as earthly parents are so pleased with the love shown in our children’s lives, can you imagine how much God loves to see this beauty in his children?

GOD’S BRAG BOOK

I’m guessing God’s brag book is the largest ever. I wonder if he ever looks down and says:

“That one right there. Wow, did you see him? What he did looks just like something I would do.”

Then he sits back, smiling, remembering that first day when his love blossomed into a little boy’s heart and it began to grow.

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

What are some ways having God’s love can help us to love others better?

Throughout the day, pray the ten scripture prayers found at the end of the Love chapter in Praying for Boys!

facebook cropped threeRachel Wojnarowski loves her husband and 7 children more than life. As a sought-after blogger, author and speaker, she mostly enjoys caring for their busy family, whose ages span 3 years to 23 years and includes a special needs daughter. Rachel leads community ladies’ Bible studies in central Ohio. In her “free time” she crochets, knits, and sews handmade clothing. Ok, not really. She enjoys running and she’s a tech geek at heart. Wife, mom, reader, writer, speaker and dreamer, you can find Rachel on RachelWojo.com.

A Servant’s Heart (21 Days of Prayer for Sons)

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:10

I plopped down on the bed, discouraged beyond words.

“I’m such a bad wife,” is all I could mutter. We’d only been married a few months and already I’d been feeling the guilt of not living up to the ideal I held in my heart. I was working full time at a very stressful job so my attention to cleaning, laundry and cooking was not as directed as I’d hoped. I felt like I was failing my husband within our first few months of wedded bliss.

He laid down next to me and gently responded, “I’ve never viewed it as only your job,” he assured me. “We’re in this together.”

The weight that had been pressing down upon my shoulders lifted in flight and I embraced him with deep gratitude.

EARLY TRAINING

I have his mother to thank. She taught my husband to do his own laundry, cook his own food, vacuum the house and do it with a servant’s heart. Honestly, I haven’t vacuumed more than a handful of times in our twelve years of marriage. I am completely blessed to have a husband with an amazing heart to serve others.

The balance has shifted just a little bit as we’ve welcomed children into our life and I am now primarily a stay-at-home mom. I do much more around the house but my hard-working husband still serves us tirelessly through his job and at home when he can without complaining.  I can’t remember the last time I heard him utter negative works about work he had to do for our family or for others. He continues to model a servant’s heart for our children and I am especially blessed that he is such an example for our son.

A Servant's Heart — 21 Days of Prayer for Sons Challenge via The MOB Society

MY RESPONSIBILITY

I know that just as his mother taught him to serve others I have a responsibility to teach my son to have this same heart. And I have an even greater responsibility to pray for this heart. As I lay this request before the Lord for my son, I can already see his heart bent toward others. He always wants to hold doors for women and pitch in to clean up toys. In the years to come as we continue to pray and model and help guide our son to serve others, I trust we will be lead by the Lord according to our child’s unique gifts and personality traits.

I am praying for strong character to develop within my son according to his God-given uniqueness. I am asking God to reveal ways I can help him develop a servant’s heart according to his tendencies. He started holding doors for others on his own. He is quick to give a compliment even at the young age of three. Prayer, combined with eyes to see these tendencies, will help mold a child with a servant’s heart that uses his gifts to bless those around him.

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

What are some ways you can teach your boys to serve?

Throughout the day, pray the ten scripture prayers found at the end of the Servant’s Hert chapter in Praying for Boys!

 

jessicaheadshot-servantsheartJessica Wolstenholm is co-founder of Grace for Moms. After 15 years in the music and publishing industries, Jessica came home to be with her two small children. Although the transition from the corporate world to the playground has been an adjustment, she is learning every day to access the grace available to us through Christ as she navigates the full time job of motherhood. She is the co-author of The Pregnancy Companion: A Faith-Filled Guide for Your Journey to Motherhood and The Baby Companion: A Faith-Filled Guide for Your Journey Through Baby’s First Year. Jessica lives in Nolensville, TN with her husband, Dave and two miracle babies, Hope (6) and Joshua (3).

Why We Need Your Support: Local MOB Groups

Last week’s winners of the Lisa Leonard “boy mom” necklace are Shannon Zikman and Kasha Bartholomew! Thank  you SO much for giving and watch your email for details very soon!

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God has some big dreams for this community. Brooke and I are humbled to even be a part of His plan for encouraging and equipping boy moms because we need it as much as any one of you. Over the next few weeks, we are hoping to give you a glimpse of the vision He has provided for Raising Boys Ministries to help you understand why your support in this initial fundraiser is so important!

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Big Dream #1: Local MOB Groups

One of the things we hear over and over from boy moms is The MOB Society makes them feel like they aren’t alone in this boy-raising journey. It is encouraging to hear a story about a mom and her boys that you can relate to, isn’t it? We know this is why our Facebook page is a popular place for boy moms and growing bigger every day.

We’ve also heard your desire to have in-real-life connections with other boy moms in your community. We’ve wanted to facilitate local MOB groups for years, but time and resources have not allowed. As we move to being a nonprofit ministry, however, this is one of the doors we hope to open with the help of your donations and volunteer support!

We can’t give you a timeline or a specific format for these local groups, but know that Brooke and I desire to bring boy moms together in community face-to-face as much as we seek to encourage you in this online space. We hope to provide women who wish to lead such groups with online sign-up capabilities, study or discussion ideas, and support as they connect the boy moms in their area.

Here’s how the MOB Society has blessed one reader:

As I headed to the Emergency Room for the THIRD time that weekend I was overwhelmed with God’s goodness, protection, and peace that he had given our family through it all.  Having five sons we have definitely had our share of Emergency Room visits, but this weekend was different.  It had been one thing after another.  As I sat in the Emergency Room I began to read many past articles on MOB Society.

  • I was encouraged by the testimonies, and challenged to keep my eyes on the Creator.  Isaiah 40:31 “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
  • I was reminded what war is being waged against our families and its destruction (especially our sons and future families). Ephesians 6:12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
  • I was challenged to pray more for my sons especially through the month of October.

I was physically tired, emotionally spent, but spiritually encouraged.  As the new week began things didn’t really lighten, but my spirit was renewed.  I knew that God had something wonderful in store for these boys and this weary mother.  He had used MOB society and His precious Word to encourage my heart. 

Thanks so much for your ministry to this Encouraged Mom,

Becky

Oh friends, we would love you support and prayers as we continue this initial fundraiser to fund our move to nonprofit status. We can’t move in to these God-sized dreams and reach more boy moms with this message of hope and delight without you by our side. If local MOB groups are something you would love to see develop, please consider donating today to make it happen!

Mug

For the next week (ending Friday, October 17th at 10PM EST) anyone who gives a gift of $20 or above will be entered to win one of two MOB Society mugs {not available for purchase at this time}! We’ll announce the winner in next Saturday’s post and reveal the next generous gift for generous supporters.

*Donations are NOT tax-deductible at this time. We apologize for any inconvenience.

**If you would prefer to donate an alternate way, you can donate directly to our Paypal account at the email address themobsociety at gmail dot com OR you can email us at that same address to find out how to send a check! Please let us know if you have any questions!

Remember, only those who give $20 and above will be entered to win one of the two necklaces.

Words can’t express how grateful we are for your support and encouragement. Give today so that the ministry of the MOB Society can continue, and keep reading on Saturdays this month to catch the whole vision with us!

Have questions? Please feel free to leave them in the comments, or email us. We’re happy to answer them!

 

Purity In All Its Forms (21 Days of Prayers for Sons)

How can a young man keep his way pure?
    By guarding it according to your word. 

Psalm 119:9

As we sat watching a family-friendly movie on what had been labeled a “family-friendly” channel, I was shocked by the commercial that popped up and accosted the eyes of myself and my young boys. I must have looked like a crazy woman as I simultaneously tried to change the channel, tell the boys to look away, and leap to cover their eyes in case they didn’t do it themselves. The sexuality and violence in the commercial was definitely not family-friendly and I was not a happy mama. This commercial was a direct attack on their purity in all its forms.

My boys are still small and the honest truth is I don’t even want to talk about purity. It scares me. The topic makes me feel inadequate, not because I have a checkered past, but because purity is SO big and SO important. How in the world can I possibly keep them pure in this world?

The answer: I can’t.

Purity — 21 Days of Prayer for Sons Challenge via The MOB Society

The Truth

I’m an encourager and I want to tell you right now, “Hey Mom, you’re doing a great job keep your kiddos pure and you have nothing to worry about!” But that would be a lie.

Many parents see sheltering their children as the most effective and practical solution for preserving purity. But even when my boys have been under my watchful eye, we’ve encountered things of this world that could cloud their minds. Billboards we drive by, magazines in the grocery store checkout aisle, words and and images and skin I wish they could un-see.

The Most Powerful Thing

The best solution for protecting the purity of my children is the most powerful thing we can do in this world: prayer.

These prayers aren’t just for the future choices my sons will make about sex. My prayers for purity are about their minds right now. They are prayers for protection and self-control and the wisdom to call on God for help when temptations arise or dark thoughts enter their minds. We talk a lot about purity when puberty hits, but our job is to turn their purity over to God by prayer beginning when they are very small.

My boys have become so good about telling each other to turn away when an inappropriate scene shows up on TV. Even my two-year-old will say, “This not my show!” when something comes on that he doesn’t think he should watch! I keep the lines of communication open so they can talk about when they have heard or seen something that bothers them. I don’t want them wrestling with impure thoughts on their own. I do what I can, but none of that matters if I’m not asking God to protect their purity, in all its forms, on a regular basis. Only He has the power to overcome the darkness that threatens the purity of our sons.

If you do have a teen and you are looking for resources to use to start a purity discussion, we would love to recommend the True Love Project!

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Formerly known as True Love Waits, the True Love Project and the accompanying devotional, 40 Days of Purity for Guys, have this focus…

We live in a culture that shoves sex, porn, and lust in our faces constantly,  and purity can seem impossible and even irrational. But it’s not. We have a powerful God fighting on our side, and His definition of sex and purity is so much more fulfilling that the world’s. 
 
Young men need guidance. They need to be taught how to check their egos, how to walk away from the wrong girls, how to starve and outsmart sexual temptation, and how to ask more important questions than “How far is too far?”
 
Maybe more importantly, they need to learn how to not give up just because they mess up. And most importantly, they need to learn to let the Gospel define the kind of men they want to be.
 
The world tells us all that sex is everything and that it comes with no boundaries. But God wants to help us fight for something greater. He continues to call us to purity, and these devotions offer a battle plan to step closer to purity each day.
We are especially loving the devotional because it challenges teen boys to spend 40 days in the Word discovering more about God’s plan for their lives, their hearts, and their purity. Although my boys aren’t old enough to go through this on their own yet, I am thankful to have it on my shelf now to give me perspective and to pull out when the time is right. Moms of pre-teen and teen boys – check this out to share with your boys now!

We have TEN SETS of the True Love Project + 40 Days of Purity for Guys to giveaway this weekend! Just leave a comment discussing this chapter by Sunday, October 12th at 10PM EST to be entered!

 

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

1. Sometimes parents find it hard to talk to their children about sex because of their own impure pasts. If this describes you, take a minute to ask God to heal what He died to save. It’s so much easier to talk about the hard things with our children when we’re doing it from a place of health.

2. What are the implications of the fact that we’re not able to keep pure lives without God’s help?

Throughout the day, pray the ten scripture prayers found at the end of the Purity chapter in Praying for Boys!

Erin-Mohring-300x300Lover of Jesus, family, home. Wife, mommy, writer, runner.

Erin finds joy in her life as a Jesus-follower, doctor’s wife, mama to three handsome guys, writer at Home with the Boys, and co-founder of The MOB Society. She has a passion for healthy living, fashion, and encouraging families to form strong bonds based on faith!

Just joining us? Simply subscribe to the MOB Society blog now. That way, the 21 Days of Prayer for Sons posts will come straight to your inbox all month long!

 

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Honor (21 Days of Prayers for Sons)

Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.

1 Peter 2:17

Honor. 

That word almost seems archaic in this day in age. I ask my children what honor means and they don’t know because it’s not exactly a buzzword or a high-frequency word from school. It’s for this very reason that we talk about honor at our house and use the actual word. Yes, honor means respect and a certain regard for others, but how does that look in the life of our boys? How do we cultivate attitude of honor that fuels the small choices which are foundational for a life that will eventually be labeled as honorable?

Honor — 21 Days of Prayer for Sons Challenge via The MOB Society

Speak it.

Honor is shown in many different ways and I think even from the earliest age, we can urge our boys to act honorably. First of all, using the actual language is important. Talk about honor. Discuss who should be a recipient of honor and how that could be shown. For the little guys, it can be as simple as saying, “We honor our mom and dad by picking up the toys they buy us” or “We honor our siblings by not stealing their toys.” As they get older simple sentences can evolve into full-blown discussions. Why do soldiers salute the flag?  Why do we hold the door open for ladies? Why do the firefighters have a black band across their badge?

Act it out.

I’ve done some things that can be considered less than honorable. I don’t want my son to follow in my footsteps as far as that is concerned. Maybe you’re in the same situation with a less-than-optimal track record. Please know it is NEVER TOO LATE to start making honorable decisions. Turn, friends. Look up. Ask Jesus for forgiveness and then ask him for strength to make more honorable decisions. You’re not His black sheep, no, you are his beautiful daughter who he has gifted with some incredible little boys (or big boys). I promise no matter how messy your situation, he can take all the shards and piece it together more beautifully than we could ever imagine. Don’t allow yourself to wallow in dishonor, instead take Christ’s honor, which is what God sees when He looks at you and focus on imparting that honor to your sons.

We’ve all heard that actions speak louder than words and this rings true, especially with honor. Our boys can talk all they want about honor, but if we aren’t acting it out in our lives by making honorable decisions, how can we expect them to make honor a priority? It is through the small, every day honorable behavior and choices that a life comes to be characterized as honorable.

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What about you? 

1. How do you honor your boys in your home? How do you cultivate an honorable attitude?

2. Are there any areas in your story where you acted dishonorably? Make a plan of how you will discuss them with your boys when the time is right and they are the appropriate age.

3. How has God redeemed the dishonorable parts of your story?

Throughout the day, pray the ten scripture prayers found at the end of the Honor chapter in Praying for Boys!

Kjtanner headshotKristina never thought that the title ‘single mom’ would follow her name, but now that it does she writes about navigating life in this unexpected season. A native New Yorker who despises precipitation of any kind, she works as an American Sign Language Interpreter and writes about her adventures with her four daughters and one son. Her life is rarely boring.

Just joining us? Simply subscribe to the MOB Society blog now. That way, the 21 Days of Prayer for Sons posts will come straight to your inbox all month long!