Raising a Man

marinda, 28 March 2009, No comments
Categories: Motherhood

My son is all boy.  He loves to climb on everything.  When reaching the top he giggles with glee and then shouts, “I did it!”  I want to be excited for him, but every fiber in my being is screaming, “Be careful-you’re gonna fall and break something.”  Of course, I usually keep my fears inside and somehow muster up a smile myself and say, “Way to go!” 

I’ve been thinking about this a lot.  Raising a boy is something that you have to do very purposefully, so as not to squash the masculine tendencies given to him by his Creator.  Eli spends almost all of his time with me.  So I’ve been spending some time lately thinking about how to raise this young man to be the adventurer he wants to be, without imposing my feminine boundaries on him.  I want to create a safe environment for him, where his adventurous spirit can soar.  I am trying to discover the happy medium between wanting to protect him from everything and letting him do things that might hurt him.  I don’t want my need to feel safe to keep him from the natural explorer that he is. 

Several years ago, I read John Eldridge’s book, Wild at Heat, and I’m so glad that I did.  I recommend it for any woman who wants to understand the heart of a man.  John Eldridge says that all boys desire to be a hero, to be a warrior, and to lead a life of adventure and risk.  I already see some of that in Eli.  I want to be the kind of mom that allows my son to be a real boy. 

Two days ago, Eli climbed up on my cedar chest and then lept on to my bed.  He doesn’t have to jump.  The space between the chest and my bed is only about a half inch, but everytime he climbs up on that cedar chest he stands triumphantly then leaps across the “giant canyon” before him.  I was brushing my hair and looked over just in time to see that Eli had gotten too close to the edge of the bed.  He fell in between the bed and the nightstand, banging his head so hard on the nightstand that he knocked it over.  I picked up my hysterical child and immediately saw that his head was bleeding.  I calmly took him to the bathroom and got a cold washcloth and applied pressure.  Upon examination, I saw that he had two cuts on the back of head and two knots were already forming.  After a just a few minutes, the bleeding stopped and he hopped out of my lap and was on to another adventure.  We both survived the first of what will probably be hundreds of adventure injuries. 

Since then, more than ever I have been praying that God will show me what my son will need to grow into the man God wants him to be.  God made boys and girls so different in so many ways.  Figuring out the heart of a boy really isn’t too hard, when you consider that we bear the image of God.  Through studying the character of God, I can definitely begin to appreciate and understand the best way to raise and nurture the little warrior adventurer that is sound asleep in the next room, hugging his blankie.

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