Mothers & Their Sons

Mothers and Their SonsA couple of weeks back I gave a message on lust and adultery. During his sermon on the mount Jesus spoke clearly on the matter, and since the urgency is great, I tried to do the same. In a culture where sex has been commoditized, Christians are frequently stumbling in places they should have avoided. We are seeing an increase in impurity, a decrease in holiness, and an avalanche of regret. Something must be done.

“What can I do?” asked a mother of a son. Like most mothers of sons, she is simultaneously awed and bemused by her boy. He is both a wonder and a mystery—boys are just different to girls. Generation after generation, boys reinforce the distinction between the fairer and coarser sexes. Moms of sons have to learn to live with dirty faces, torn clothes, and strange odors. Slugs, snails, and puppy dogs tails indeed! But this mother’s appeal wasn’t about her son’s strange aversion to cleanliness, but his strong sexual appetite. She wanted advice on raising a son in such a sexually permissive society.

I have thought a great deal about this and have distilled my advice to two pointers: (1) watch what he’s watching, and (2) talk about girls.

  1. Watch what he’s watching
    Pay attention to the images surrounding him and pay attention to the movement of his eyes. Realize that with the flick of his eyes he can catch all the dimensions of a passing girl. It’s so fast that you will frequently miss it. Remember that images that don’t cause you to look twice, will sear into and charge his imagination.

    1. Forget privacy issues—look through his phone and check the computer browser’s history. If the history is wiped clean intervention is needed.
    2. Chuck the catalogues—advertisements for Victoria’s Secret, etc. are primers for pornography.
    3. Beware of dark sunglasses—if he knows that his eyes are hidden his restraint is likely to lessen.
    4. Inquire about immobility—when a boy is presented with a titillating opportunity and grows still, it signals that his mind has just kicked into high gear.
  2. Talk about girls
    Just as your son is a mystery to you, girls are a mystery to him. He is utterly bamboozled. To make matters worse, our culture has so objectified women that he is likely to think of an attractive girl as an opportunity first and a person second.

    1. Personify girls—if you see him looking at a girl don’t embarrass him, educate him. It’s great that he finds girls appealing, now lead his affections beyond their appearance to their character.
    2. Explain yourself—you are his best guide into the feminine mystique. When you hear things that objectify women share your concerns with him.
    3. Champion girls—when a mother denigrates girls she is sending a message to her son that some girls are of a cheaper cut and in turn he thinks that he can be selective with his respect.

Certainly, this is incomplete advice, but I hope it helps. Let us do what we can to raise our children in the world but of the Kingdom. We remain diligent while remembering that their futures rest in the hands of our loving Father.

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5 thoughts on “Mothers & Their Sons

  1. Pray continually for the timing of your talks…for sons it takes time for them to open up to reveal what is going on (especially as they reach puberty) and listen, listen, listen. Make time for those conversations to come about–like a long drive,etc. Give him a bigger picture of the world over his “right now” me, myself and I world. Remind him that the girls in his life are someone’s daughter/s. Ask him how he would want his daughter/s treated?Ask him to think about: what does HE want for in life? Does he want to live with veneral disease, emotional soul ties from having sex with a person, and other questions the Lord will give you? Yes, make sure it is age appropriate. Ask him why God might want him to wait for marriage before having sex? Could he dare believe that God has a GOOD PLAN for HIS LIFE? …and then again PRAY!

    • I agree! I have found car rides have a way of opening up conversations that might not happen otherwise. They usually are highly uncomfortable with face-to-face “let’s get personal” talks.

  2. One of the valuable things I believe I have tried to instill in my four boys has been to esteem girls and then young ladies, and women in general. I talk openly with them about our negative inclinations, but I also try to help them see the beauty that lies in a woman from a biblical perspective. I’ve taught my sons to be sensitive and respectful towards all girls, especially the ones most guys ignore. Being in a totally testosterone dominated home all these years, I’ve learned the importance of displaying modesty, and femininity, for their benefit.
    I am blessed to have a husband who, at appropriate times, leads them through biblically-directed resources on sexuality, sin, and temptation, and sets a good example for them at home.
    Whenever my sons seem interested in a girl, I try to get them thinking as quickly as possible about her as a person. What’s her home life like? Do you think she acts the way she does out of insecurity? How do you think she feels when she hears people saying those things about her?

    • I have also, at appropriate moments, shared my own failures, and the hurts associated with them from my own youth in hopes that they will see that their decisions and actions may have long- lasting, powerful effects on the girls with. whom they interact.

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