Friday, August 16, 2013

On Raising Young Men

Cade has become such the helper this summer.  He takes out trash, mows, cooks lunch, cleans, helps with his brothers, keeps his room and bathroom pristine, changes top bunk sheets for me (praise the LORD!), unloads, folds clothes, and can shop like the best of them at Kroger if I simply hand him a list.  To say I will miss him terribly come Monday is an understatement. I still don't know how I used to do it all now that he helps me in so many ways.  The others are in training, but Cade has made huge strides this summer.

It makes me think of the day when he will be married...far far far away, I tell you!  It makes me think of how blessed his wife will be, that he will know how to manage a family! 

Over the summer, we gave him the book "The Mark of a Man" by Elisabeth Elliot to read.  It was a book that Eric read in college which really defined manhood for him.  Perhaps some would say that 13 is too young to call male children to manhood, but we disagree.  Eric is taking charge and teaching him what true and Godly manhood looks like because Cade will be seeing everything but as he experiences more and more of the world. Our goal is now not so much to shield him from the world but to teach him how to stand and be a light in the world. (There are a few chapters at the end of "The Mark of a Man" that are geared towards married men that we are saving for later.)

There is a concept in the book that almost seems foreign to today's society. The idea is that the woman was created to be the adapter and responder to the man.  All feminists and even some non feminists would balk at this idea.  But, it is the type of wives we are praying for for our boys.  Here is an excerpt from Elliot:

" When you're looking for the right woman to marry, look for one who is prepared to adapt to you.  Now don't suppose for a minute that you yourself won't have to budge.  When two people live together day and night, for life, both of them need to give and take; and I'll mention more of this later.  But if you find a woman who is ready to go where you go and do what you do without brooding about being "her own person," you'll have found a treasure.  She will have to be a woman who has submitted herself to God, first of all, because otherwise she'll be listening to the insistent voices around her, telling her that she's got to be independent and autonomous, that she ought not to be "only" somebody's wife or somebody's mother, that she needs to seek fulfillment for herself, and that that can only be found beyond the bounds of home.  If, having submitted herself to God, she understands that what He had in mind when He made her was response--in order that both man and woman be fulfilled--she will be at peace with the arrangement."

"The important thing for you, as a man, to remember, is that a woman cannot properly be the responder, unless the man is properly the initiator.  He must take the lead in order that she may follow, as in a dance.  The willingness of each to perform the "steps" that have been choreographed gives the other freedom."

"The New Testament word for a woman's position is hupotasso, 'to place or arrange under, to subordinate, to bring under influence.' It is used of the spirits of the prophets; and of the whole of creation, subject to Christ.  Jesus as a boy submitted Himself to His parents, and the same root word is used as is used of demons being submissive to the disciples in Christ's name.  It is a matter of placement.  It does not by any means necessarily imply that one is of lesser worth, any more than Jesus' being placed in a position 'inferior to the angels' suggests that angels are worth more than Jesus.  (It was, in fact, His willingness to take that position that resulted in His being given "a name beyond all names.)"

Yesterday, Sam asked me a good question: "When you were a girl, what did you want to be when you grew up?" The answers were easy. I wanted to be many things, all ranging from a vet to an OBGYN to an English high school teacher to a Christian Counselor.

I had dreams, but no dreams that were higher than being a wife and a mother.  I got my degree in English and planned to teach, but Cade came only two years after we got married.  We didn't hesitate in our decision for me to stay home and raise him.  As each boy came, we never once considered me working full time. 

There were seasons of "famine" where I had to clean toilets for extra cash.  And now, there is photography.  (But, let's face it, photography is for fun, my sanity, and to force myself to see God's beauty all around.)  But I would even give that up if it meant my family was taking a back burner.

Every once in awhile, the enemy sneaks in and tells me I could have "done something with my life."  But, I throw water right on that fiery lie because I know there is nothing more meaningful than being home with these boys. 

I am not saying that every woman should quit her job and stay home.  The whole point is that a woman should come under her husband's authority and ask what would please him most and be the most beneficial for the family.  It just might be the workplace to help with the budget...

So, back to Sam's question.  I told him my dream came true, I got to be a Mom and a Wife...and an occasional English teacher to my boys as needed. There are days I fall into tears because God has been lavish enough to allow me to be at home.

Eric and I pray that as we (with much GOD NEEDED GRACE) strive to raise our sons to be Godly servant-leaders that there are parents out there raising there daughters to be Godly responders whose true beauty shines forth as they submit to their God given authorities.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a great word. Your guys are great and fun to watch as you grow together as a Godly family. You are such a blessing to your family. I praise
God for you!