My husband and I had six girls before God gave us our first son. Everyone always told me boys were different...just wait and see. Well, they were right, of course. Boys are amazing little creatures full of wonder, energy, raw strength, and grit. I absolutely love them. But before you know it, that little boy is no longer a toddler... and right then we must begin the practice of making a man out of him. A gentleman.
A hearty dose of roughins' is necessary. You gotta wrestle 'em, toss 'em around, and teach 'em to put up their dukes. We have to teach them when to fight, and when to walk away. We have to show them how to stand strong.
And then we have to teach them how to be gentle. A young boy (beginning as young as four) can be taught how to treat a lady. Sisters are great practice! But caring for momma is a duty dad should remind his boys they must do while he is away. Bringing her water, pulling out her chair at meals, opening doors when about town, and clearing her place at the table are all small ways he can honor momma.
Teach boys by example, pointing out polite men who hold the door open, or impolite men who let the door fly in your face. My boys often notice now that most men who do such things do not have a wedding ring. I like to point out to them that "He who finds a wife finds favor from the Lord" (Proverbs 18:22) and perhaps because this man was never trained to treat women kindly, he is still single! My boys open the car doors for us, carry bags when they can, and bring in groceries. My two oldest boys are responsible for cleaning up the master bedroom in the morning and on more than one occasion have been known to turn the bed down for me before they go to sleep. Thoughtfulness can be a trained trait, you know!
Parents, let's not let our boys grow up to be thoughtless heathens. Train them how to treat young girls respectfully and eventually we will raise men who know how treat a lady right. In my (short) experience, the boys LOVE to be the knight in shining armor or prince charming. Starting young is the key to stoking something that is innately inside most men. But take heart - if you have neglected this training, it’s never too late to start!
Lyette and her husband of 23 years, David, have 16 children. Their ten daughters and six sons range from 20-years-old to newborn. With Lyette's vast experiences in parenting, she loves to offer hope and help to families on her website TheRebacks.com. Lyette is also the author of Please God Don’t Let Me Screw This Up: Hope & Help from a Mom of Fifteen.
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