“Somebody call a veterinarian, ‘cuz these puppies are sick.”
My nine year-old son stood before me, flexing one muscle after another. Disbelief crossed my face as he checked out his physique, all whilst channeling his inner Atlas. As if it couldn’t get any more ridiculous, my boy took it one step further–he actually kissed one of his biceps…followed by the other! Oh, friends, it was all I could do not to burst out laughing. I mean, where did he get that from?
And what about those lessons in humility I was trying to teach him? What about all those chats we had about staying humble and what that means–what it looks like–in sports, in school, and in life? But there he was, his dukes stretched out before him and a grin upon his face.
Didn’t any of it sink in? And where (oh where) did he hear such a lousy pick-up line comparing sick pups, a vet, and one’s biceps? I thought to myself.
I have no clue.
This concept of humility? This idea of remaining humble? When it comes to raising our boys, we need to go a bit deeper.
Our culture takes great pride in shining the light upon ourselves…in bragging about our actions, our deeds. Collectively, we desire to see our name in lights, just as we want to be celebrated for our efforts–our athletic ability, our intellect, our acts…our everything. And these boys we’re raising? They’re no different. They can’t help but to thrive on such accolades…to delight in being known and approved by those around them. I’ll tell you what: As a mom, this is my hardest battle yet: teaching my sons the importance of humility, fueling their passion in serving the Lord, and helping them to realize that this life they lead is ALL and ONLY about Him.
The intrinsic drive for approval is modeled all around them…around us. Our boys can’t help, but see poor examples in the media, hear them on the ball field, and even at school. How do we teach them to shine the light upon Jesus…not themselves? To in fact, remain anonymous in a world desperate for recognition?
Our boys must understand that when it comes to serving God and His kingdom, everything they do is for His glory. Every act we commit, every endeavor we undertake, everything is for Him. And it’s vitally important our sons understand that there is beauty, courage, and even strength in humility.
So, how do we show our sons that the efforts they make and this life they live should be used for His glory?
- Open Your Bible: In Judges 4:4-10, we see Deborah telling Barak as she leads him into war, that the honor will not be his but that of the Lord’s. This lesson in humility teaches our young men to work unto the Lord. In all things, in all ways.
- Take the Time: I find teachable moments peppered throughout my day, every day. Take the time to chat with your son, when these instances arise (and they will come up). Talk with him about his actions, those of his friends, and what he sees in the media. Get his perspective on things and discuss accordingly.
- Choose Your Words Wisely: It’s natural to want to boost our son’s esteem, to tell them they did a great job–especially when they excel in a certain area–but we must be careful with our words. We must choose them wisely, in fact. We need to applaud their gifts while giving proper credit where credit is due…unto the Lord.
Jenny Lee Sulpizio is a Christian wife, mother to three, and author of the recently released, For the Love of God: A Woman’s Guide to Finding Faith & Getting Grace, as well as Confessions of a Wonder Woman Wannabe: On a Mission to Save Sanity, One Mom at a Time.
Through her personal website, blog, and as a contributing writer for numerous mommy sites, there’s always plenty of information to relate to, encouragement to absorb, and a whole lot of comic relief to go around. Connect with Jenny by visiting www.jennyleesulpizio.com. or by joining the God’s Girl Movement at bit.ly/gods-girl