When My Son Mirrored My Own Misplaced Adoration

I realize now that my adoration for things was breeding contempt for everything else, even in my son.

My kids, food, tidy house, clothes–the list could go on. Unfortunately, the first thing that pops into my mind when I see the word adoration, is not God. I live in a state where sports can be more adored that anything else. Maybe you do too? I used to secretly feel a sense of security, that my heart and mind were in the right place. After all, I did not place sports above God.

When My Son Mirrored My Own Misplaced Adoration | The MOB Society

But recently, I am learning any sense of security placed on where my walk with the Lord is, instead of my security being placed in Him, should immediately be a red flag. My security should be placed in Him, not on whether or not I think my adoration of Him is well placed. I am reading 7 (Jen Hatmaker) with our girls’ small group and I didn’t realize until we got to the sections on clothes and possessions how out of sync my definition of adoration really was. Even more halting was seeing it replicated in my son.

We replicate who we are. My adoration of “things” being sewn into my son, stopped me in my tracks.

22-23 “Your eyes are windows into your body. If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar. If you pull the blinds on your windows, what a dark life you will have!

24 “You can’t worship two gods at once. Loving one god, you’ll end up hating the other. Adoration of one feeds contempt for the other. You can’t worship God and Money both. Matt 6:22-24 (MSG)

Two things I could no longer deny:

1. I was so covered up, the windows (or eyes) so dirty and cluttered that no light was coming in, or going out. I have so much stuff, so many things that are blocking my eyes from seeing. I have so much stacked around me, gathered to me, that my arms trying to hold it all, prevents me from seeing anything else. My adoration of things, possessions, clothes, has prevented my eyes from truly seeing. My heart was a dank cellar, it’s dimness mirrored in crystal clear pools in the eyes of my son. Toys, things, games, treats, all were more important than anything else. Our adoration of things bred contempt for everything else. What to do?

GIVE. The more I gave, the less contempt I had. The less I had, the easier it was to see the world around me. Time with my kids is more important than things. Sometimes we cannot even seem to get to our kids for all their things and vice versa. The act of giving fostered a sort of “cleaning” of my own internal windows. I can see people in front of me now, not just my things.

2. Adoration of God alone breeds a life of contentment. When you adore God alone, there is no place contempt. We are guaranteed to have contempt when we adore something other than God. More than anything, I want my son to pursue God and adore Him. If I replicate myself, then I have to actually adore God more than anything. My adoration or lack thereof can potentially influence the way he prioritizes his relationship with God. I am asking God to help me learn how to adore Him more. How to teach my son to adore Him, placing Him above all else. Practically for me, it means more giving and less getting. It means saying “no” now, so my barns don’t fill up that way again. I am certain I’ll need you to remind me in a month, when my eyes start to cloud over and I start gathering more things around. A habit of 36 years is hard to break. I am posting Matthew 6:22-24 where I can see it frequently.

Lord, I long for my heart to adore you over anything else. I want my priorities placed on You ordering my steps, not on what I think is needed or wanted. I want to point to You, so my son sees You are the One to go to first. You are the Beginning and the End. We start and finish with You. Thank you for paring down my life to a place where I can see. Give my children eyes to see past their “things” too. Thank you for all you given us. May I be a good steward of what you have entrusted to me.

Additional Resources:

7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess (Hatmaker)

Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream (Platt)

Praying Circles Around the Lives of Your Children (Batterson)

Kristi-GriemWife to one tall man, mom to two littles (1 boy, 1 girl), lover of laughter, passionate about freedom, ending human trafficking, and you. Praying you know today the value you hold as the daughter of the King.

 

 

 

 

4 Verses to Pray to Help Your Son be a Man of Purpose

“Give me one pure and holy passion. Give me one magnificent obsession. Give me one glorious ambition for my life, to know and follow hard after You” (Passion).

I heard that song for the first time when I was just 23 years old. Single, working in my first full time ministry job, and spending a couple hours a day in the Word of God, I was filled to the brim with a desire to know and follow hard after God.

Even back then, I knew I wanted to raise boys, and so as I sang…as I worshipped and belted out those lyrics with all my heart and at the top of my lungs…I asked God to make it so, and to help me raise boys with the same magnificent obsession.

Now, 14 years later (yikes!) it’s still my prayer. But as it turns out, keeping one pure and holy passion is harder than I thought it would be. Making it my highest ambition to know and follow hard after God is easier to say, and much harder to do. If I find it hard as a 37 year-old woman, I know my boys will find it even harder as they grow up in a world filled with so many distractions.

I worry about them trying to fit in, comparing themselves to other men, being too focused on their careers, or thinking their names have to be in lights to have value.

Already, my oldest wishes he was the star athlete like his brother and father, and thinks that somehow his worth as a person is tied to his performance on the field.

With all the tasks the world says they need to achieve swirling around them, I pray they'll be men of true purpose, with one pure and holy passion.

4 Verses to Pray to Help Your Son Be a Man of Purpose

We hear a lot about the pressures women face to “have it all,” “be it all,” and “keep it all together,” but I believe men face equal pressure from the world today to be the best athlete, excel in school, get a good job, provide for their families, etc, etc. With all the tasks the world says they need to achieve swirling around them, I pray they’ll be men of true purpose, with one pure and holy passion…

1. Lord, let them truly, and deeply love you.

“Let (your son’s name) love the Lord his God with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength and with all his mind, and his neighbor as himself” Luke 10:27.

2. Lord, may they be men after (pursuing it with reckless abandon) your own heart.

“May God find in (your son’s name) a man after his heart, who will do all his will” Acts 13:22.

3. Lord, may they seek to abide (remain) in you.

“May (your son’s name) abide in Christ, and Christ in him. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can he, unless he abides in Christ” John 15:4

4. Lord, may they be lead by you.

“May (your son’s name) trust in the LORD with all his heart, and not lean on his own understanding. In all his ways may he acknowledge him, and He will keep his paths straight” Proverbs 3:5-6.

This week, add these verses to your prayer time each day. Ask the Lord if you’re modeling a pure and holy passion and magnificent obsession for your son in your own life, and if you’re not, make the change.

Resources to Help You Pray

4 Verses to Pray to Help Your Son Be a Man of God

Praying for Boys: Asking God for the Things They Need Most

The FREE 5-Day Praying for Boys Challenge: Covering Them from Head to Toe

Brooke

Brooke McGlothlin

Brooke McGlothlin is co-founder and President of Raising Boys Ministries. She’s a mother of two boys who believes God has chosen her to fight for the hearts of her sons. She can be found most often on her knees in prayer, not because she’s so holy, but because God is. Not because she knows how to raise godly men, but because she believes in the God who loves them more than she does.

 

Should You Tell Your Children About Your Past Sins?

I remember stepping into our garage with a bag of garbage heading for the dumpster only to find my husband and one of our two sons in a heap of tears on the garage floor. I dropped my bag of trash and ran to the scene.

“What in the world is going on here? What happened?”

I immediately began looking for blood or bruises. All I found were tears.

Our desire was to reveal God's love through our own redemption stories. He gets our weaknesses. He is ever ready to save and redeem what the enemy means for evil.

Our son had been in a discussion with his Dad about an upcoming event for the ministry we had founded together. A Crisis Pregnancy Center. We were just days away from our annual fund raising banquet and my husband had agreed to the very rare act of speaking at the event and sharing his part of our personal testimony as a couple. It was not an easy assignment for him but one he felt God called him to do.

I had been sharing my part of our story and the abortion we had experienced together, for many years. He, however, had chosen to be the silent wind beneath my wings. Until this event. God had clearly shown Mike that this was the time for the voice of a man, involved in a “woman’s choice” to speak out.

Our sons had been raised up in our ministry. My husband and I stepped into this “calling” from God just a few short years after becoming Christians when both of our boys were very young. The story of our abortion was laid out before our corner of the world in a very transparent and public way as we boldly proclaimed the lie of abortion and the truth of God’s Word about life.

We had made every attempt to share with our sons as “age appropriately” as possible over the years and had never kept our past mistakes and sin a secret. Nor were we ever quiet about God’s redeeming love and grace. Our desire was to reveal God’s love through our own redemption stories. He gets our weaknesses. He is ever ready to save and redeem what the enemy means for evil.

We knew that both sons knew our story. Then this happened.

Our now teenaged son was helping his Dad with the lawn when he began to ask questions. “How Dad? Why Dad? When Dad?”

My husband had stopped the yard work and sat down in the middle of our garage with our son to answer his questions. Honestly. Transparently and Humbly. He shared our story, again at this NEW age appropriate level.

Our son wept.
He wept for his lost sibling.
He wept from his broken heart.
He wept with his new revelation.
He wept at God’s grace.
He wept out of love and admiration for his Dad and me.

That day a new ministry, a new passion, a new level of love and respect for us and for God was born.

That day a new man was born from a boy.

The Bible clearly tells us two things we must confront as we parent our children:

1. We overcome the destructive acts of the enemy through the Word of our testimony.

We protect our sons and daughters by sharing our redeemed sin. Revelation 12:11, which interestingly in “The Message” Bible is titled “The Woman, Her Son and the Dragon,” says this:

“They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.”

The “word of our testimony”—GOOD AND BAD—along with the Blood of Jesus, overcomes the plans of the enemy.

2. God’s word clearly commands us to “teach” our children from our experience, and that includes our mistakes.

“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it” Proverbs 22:6.

“Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them” Deuteronomy 4:9.

“Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up” Deuteronomy 11:19.

It is not easy as parents to share our mistakes and our brokenness but, when done with prayer, for the correct reasons and in the right timing, God covers the details and brings the deliverance.

I joined my husband and our son on the garage floor. We prayed and we thanked God for His love and for our son.

Then, I emptied the trash.

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 10.11.42 PMPat Layton is the author of Surrendering the Secret, a post-abortion recovery program from LifeWay used all over the country to help women heal from abortion. She’s also written A Surrendered Life, Baker Books (2014) and Life Unstuck (Revell, 2015).

If you’ve suffered the pain of an abortion, please find a local crisis pregnancy center with a post-abortion recovery program near you by searching at Surrendering the Secret.

Writing a Family Mission Statement

The year we had family portraits taken at the beach was the year each picture perfectly captured one child pouring sand over the head of a crying brother. Yes, there were tears–salty, wet tears. My frustrated husband looked like he was about to blow in each pitiful frame. Then there was me, trying to hold it all together, forcing a smile.

A year later we went with a rustic barn theme. The sunflowers I brought for the children to hold were instead used as swords.  And there was spitting. That’s right, all three of our sons spent the hour spitting on one another. Again my husband looked frustrated and I looked…pathetic.

And let us not forget the time I dressed them in coordinating argyle sweaters.  The weather was perfect, the trees were changing colors, I’d finally lost all the baby weight and my hair looked phenomenal. The planets had aligned and I was sure we would finally have frame worthy portraits. Then this happened…

family portraits

The littlest arched his back, the middle son made monster faces, and the oldest spent the afternoon biting on the inside of his lip. Needless to say, it’s been years.

Then this past fall I decided it was time. I wanted something special, a portrait that would do more than document what we looked like. I wanted to remember our interests and the way we spent our time together as a family. As the day drew near I became giddy at the thought of having a keepsake that represented more than just our physical attributes at this specific stage in the boys’ lives.

Our family is an artistic bunch. We love to spend time together at home with music pumping loud through speakers. The boys connect with their dad in the backyard over stringed instruments plugged into amps, and I show my love by serving platters of fun food amidst these impromptu jam sessions. And so the next day at dusk, when our photographer arrived, she walked through the house and out into the backyard to find each of the boys with an instrument in hand.

And yet, there is more to our family than guitars and s’mores – more to us than simply what we enjoy doing together.  Our family has values that a camera’s lens could never capture.  You see, over the years, as the boys learned not to spit and throw sand at one another, I prayerfully crafted a Family Mission Statement.

A family mission statement sums up what we believe and how we choose to live, giving clarity to children and parents alike.

Writing a Family Mission Statement via The MOB Society

Here is ours:

WS-About-FamilyMotto

When I first penned these lines, we hung them on the wall beside our kitchen table.  As we committed them to memory, we talked our way through each attribute, sharing verses that supported each important aspect of our lives together.  Here are a few examples:

We Honor our Parents – Ephesians 6:1-3, Deuteronomy 5:16

Prefer our Brothers – Romans 12:10, Philippians 2:3

Encourage Others – 1 Thessalonians 5:11, Ephesians 4:29, Hebrews 10:24-25

Always Serving the Least of These – Matthew 25:40, Proverbs 19:17

One at a time we went through them this way – always pointing out the right behavior when we saw it in the everyday lives of our children.

Jot down a few thoughts of your own.

  • What is most important to you, regarding how you want to live as a family?
  • Is fellowshipping with friends at the heart of your home? (Hebrews 10:25)
  • Spending time in God’s Word together? (John 17:17)
  • Orphan care (James 1:27)
  • Respecting elders (Leviticus 19:32)
  • Honesty (Proverbs 20:11)
  • Displaying the fruit of God’s Spirit in the way you treat one another (Galatians 5:22)

Choose three or four attributes, pray through them, support each one with scripture and then write them down to share with your children. Implanting noble, Godly virtue in their little hearts at such a young age is both pivotal and powerful.

And one day, we will look upon the men they’ve become and see the portraits we always prayed for. 

Going Deeper:

– One of the most treasured Bible verses parents claim for their family is the exclamatory promise found in Joshua 24:15b. “As for me and my house, we will serve The Lord.”  But how are you going to take your family from a well-intentioned Bible verse hung over the mantel, to lives that actually live it out?  We need a plan, and a Family Mission Statement can help you develop one!

Prayer:

Dear Lord, Your Word promises that You are making all things beautiful in its time.  (Ecclesiastes 3:11) We want to partner with you willingly in this beautification process.  Please speak to our hearts about the values you want flowing from the lives here in our home.  For Your Glory alone! Amen”

Wendy SpeakeWhether she’s with loved ones in her actual Living Room, alone in God’s Living Word, or speaking to a room full of women, Wendy Speake is inspired to share life and faith with others in creative ways. As Jeremiah had fire in his bones, she too feels compelled to share the Gospel of Jesus – she just does it with stories that probe the glorious and hurting places of life, pictures of faith lived out in her home, and recipes purposed to inspire hospitality. You can connect with her in her virtual living room — WendySpeake.com

15 Creative Ways to Contain Your Boys’ Lego Collection

As a mom of one or more boys, you will likely encounter the craze of Legos. Legos are awesome! Legos entertain, spark imagination, leave trails of little, stabbing things all over you house, messes everywhere…well, let’s talk about containing Lego pieces and how we can not only contain the Lego mess, but actually get those boys to clean them up! There’s bound to be at least one of these ideas that you can use for your son’s Lego collection, since I’ve come up with 15 very, creative ways to contain all the Legos!

15 Creative Ways to Contain Your Boys' Lego Collection via The MOB Society

1. Basic, but functional you can organize your Lego pieces in a store-bought, plastic drawer unit. Sort by color and/or style.

2. If they love those mini-figures and want to display them but still use them, this creative shelving unit is perfect for just that!

3. An all-in-one book shelf can hold everything in just one area so that the mess stays {hopefully} in one part of your home instead of scattered everywhere.

4. Incorporate the design into their closet with a display shelf and bins to throw them all into.

5. I love the idea of using a tool box to contain the Legos by color – not only is it creative, but kinda manly too!

6. If you have a large, plastic, snack container you can make the cutest Lego storage box with a little spray paint and creativity – and for almost no money!

7. If you’re a mom like me, you might things to always look aesthetically pleasing around your house, but super functional. This Ikea Hack of the Lack table turned Lego table is awesome!

8. This dad built a rolling storage box to slide under his son’s bed for all his Legos! Super smart and keeps them completely hidden!

9. If your boy likes to take his Legos outside or next door to his buddy’s house, how about a portable tray to hold and display your Lego collection?

10. Grab a wooden box from Hobby Lobby and turn it into a travel Lego Box in just a few easy steps to take on a car trip!

11. I love the idea of having a mat on the floor, but then grabbing all the Lego pieces up in a bunch when you’re ready to go. You can make one, too, just like this Mom did for her son’s collection.

12. Another traveling Lego case is this plastic case one Mom made for her son’s Lego collection for about $10 and some glue!

13. Maybe you need a desk AND a play table for your son’s Lego collection – well, this Ikea Hack worked so great because you can simply move the counter up or down to adjust and the storage is on the sides!

14.If you’re a big fan of labeling and organizing by color, this sliding, organized system will probably be your cup of tea!

15. If your boys like to keep all their Lego instruction books, they can get torn and messy. Make an organized notebook to hold them neatly and keep from losing them.

However you get the Legos organized to begin with, my advice is to keep after those boys and enforce rules that make them clean up after themselves and to be considerate of others. Designating a “Lego building area” may help you to keep from stepping on them with your bare feet or vacuuming up little, critical pieces! Teach them to clean up after themselves and be consistent, while allowing for creativity. Have your boys gone Lego crazy? At what age did you see it start?

Becky BarnfatherBecky is blogger, speaker, piano teacher, wife and mom to two children – her son is 15 {he has autism} and her daughter is 10. She is passionate about motivating women to organize and have a relaxed and calm home {as much as possible}. She’s not OCD and not a perfectionist – just a girl who loves to organize. You can find her blogging atwww.OrganizingMadeFun.com

The Parenting Playbook via The MOB Society

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