Season: 8 Episode: 104
Did you know moms have a huge influence over how and when their boys become men? Our culture defines masculinity and manhood differently than biblical manhood. Shanda talks about some of the recent conversations she’s had with her own boys and why moms must learn to let their sons go.
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Hey guys! Welcome back to another episode of Her Faith Inspires podcast where we take culture issues and align them to biblical truth. I have a great episode for you today and I am looking forward to sharing it with you because it does involve some conversations that have been taking place around the Fulbright home. Usually I do a lot of apologetics lessons with my boys but lately I have really poured into character development because all of my boys are in different stages of life right now.
Now if you’re a girl mom and you’re wondering how this is going to help you, I will explain that to you as we go along.
But before we get into today’s episode, I want to give you a heads up about our 2022 classes coming up. They start the last week in January. The registration will go LIVE for the classes on December 4th.
So if you are planning on taking either the 6 week Apologetics 101 class, or the one day, 2 hour How to Study the Bible Like a Scholar class, or the brand new Baseline Apologetics class to help you get into apologetics, mark your calendar for December 4th. I cap the classes at 20 students so once they fill up, we take the registration down.
I will continue to remind you on future episodes and on social media. There will be a bonus episode with all of the class details for you so you know what to expect and what each class holds.
Also, if you haven’t connected with me, you can do so @shandafulbright on instagram and you can also subscribe at my website at shandafulbright.com. I send out an email every 2 weeks with a linked blog post that assists with apologetics and cultural topics.
Ok, so do you ever have those mom days where you feel like you’re failing because your kids are doing some whacky things and you’re like, “Who raised you? Who is responsible for this?”
Of course you know what I’m talking about. This is a moment in motherhood we can all attest to and let me tell you, it’s hard! It’s exhausting. If you’ve been following me for a bit, you know we moved across the country. My oldest just graduated in June and he started a job and college. My middle son started a new high school, so I was fretting about that because the teenage years are hard enough. And when your parents throw you into a new high school in the middle of your high school days, that can be devastating to a kid. And then I have my youngest who also started a new school and is getting used to going to school all day since he didn’t have that option for a year and a half when we lived in California.
So, yes. I was exhausted.
I’m a watcher when it comes to my kids. I ask questions and observe how they talk, what they say, how they act. I wait before I react. There’s a lot of prayer. But one day it all hit me and I told my husband. “That’s it. I’m sitting the boys down today and we are going to talk about what it means to be a man because these boys aren’t getting it.”
And low and behold, this has turned into a podcast episode because isn’t manhood something the culture is confused about right now? The culture tells our boys that you can identity as whatever you want. You can wear makeup. I see ads on YouTube where young men are advertising shades of foundation. They’re wearing eyeliner, mascara, eyeshadow.
We live in a culture that tells our boys they can be feminine.
They can use a girls bathroom. They can play against girls in sports. Now, let me make a side note here and say this about boys who are truly struggling with their identity (or girls for that matter) my heart goes out to them. They need help, guidance, someone to care. Because our culture is confusing our kids. Gen Z are the kids around 20 to 5 years of age. They are the ones in this new system that condones, supports and encourages “finding themselves” and where acting like the opposite sex is considered heroic.
So as the adults in their lives, we need to be sympathetic to the challenges they’re facing because the majority of adults are making this worse fo them.
Ok, that was my side note. Now back to the lesson with my boys.
None of my boys will choose anything remotely feminine. They like being male. So I’m not talking about teaching our boys to be manly. What I’m talking about is how we get our boys to want to become men. How do we get them to grow up? Become independent?
And let me tell you, that was always a fear of mine. Would I be able to allow my boys to let go of me and become men? Would I step to the side and allow them to fly? I always thought I would hold on so tight, that I would hinder their growth. But I’m learning a few things with an 18, 16 and 11 year old that I hope to pass on to you boy moms AND also to the girl moms.
So here’s what we’re going to talk about today:
- What is the responsibility of a boy mom?
- What does it mean to become a man?
- How does this apply to girl moms?
What is the responsibility of a boy mom?
2 years ago I wrote a bible study called #Boymom where I talked about the boy moms of the bible. Just think about it … every man in that book had a mother. I know that’s obvious, but when you think about it … somebody raised David, Daniel, and every man except Adam. What fascinated me was the last chapter in Proverbs … Proverbs 31. If you start at verse 1, you will see a mom inspired the writings of King Lemuel.
The realization of that fact had a huge impact on me. A king remembered the sayings of his mother. She made him who he was and her words did not leave him.
Do our words do that for my children? And do you know what that means? Sometimes we have to have hard conversations with our kids. Even if that means you both end up in tears because that’s where we’ve been lately.
As a boy mom, we are to allow him to grow up.
But that also means we have to nurture their maturity. That is our job. To nurture maturity in them and honestly, that can be a challenge for moms who never want their boys to grow up.
So I want to share the conversation I had with my boys a few weeks ago with you because it hit me one day that I have to push them to grow up. It doesn’t always come automatic with boys. And moms, it’s all on you. They’re going to follow your lead.
When I sat my boys down a few weeks ago, I read them the verse in 1 Cor 13:11 and it says, “When I was a child, I thought like a child, I spoke like a child, I reasoned like a child, but when I became a man, I set aside childish things.”
We’re going to break that verse down in a few minutes but what I want you to take note of here is that God wants us to grow up. He wants our kids to grow up. Are we letting them?
The world is telling our boys they can be something much different than God intended. Are you telling them what kind of man they are to become?
When I talk to my boys about becoming men, I tell them they are to be men of God.
I make sure to describe what kind of man. Not just a man … anyone can tell them what kind of man they think they should be. This world is going to tell them what a man is. I tell them they are men of God and they will act like godly men.
But moms, we are always grooming them toward manhood. Every lesson we teach them spurs them on toward growing into men of God.
Dads will emulate what men of God should act like, look like, and lead like. But moms play a huge role in the development of their boys becoming men. I’m the one who sits at the table with my boys and teaches them. I’m the ones who shuttles them around town and talks to them in the car. I love my role in their lives.
But if anyone is going to hinder their maturity into becoming men, it’s going to be moms. Dads are usually harder on boys and they encourage them to be rough, play hard, and get things done.
So how do we groom our boys to become men of God?
First, moms must remember that one day she will let her boy who has now become a man, leave her and cling to his wife. That is God’s way. But if he is going to leave us, then we better make sure he knows how to do that. Does that mean he’s going to wake up one day, decide to get married and pack his bags? No. It means we are going to prepare him now for that day.
If it were up to me, my boys would never leave me. But if I do not prepare them for that day, I am not doing the job God intended for me to do. I have to prepare my heart to let them leave me and I have to prepare them to know and understand that that is what God wants for them.
And it doesn’t mean leave as in to never return. He will make a home of his own and he will be the man of his house … to love and protect his wife and children.
When I talk to my boys about the woman they will end up marrying, I always tell them one day they’ll love a woman more than they love me. My boys correct me and say, “No mama, we’ll just love her differently.” I like that better. But we talk about those things because I am also preparing my heart for that day.
My husband cares what I think over what his mom thinks.
He tells me his fears and his dreams. How do you think I would feel about it if he went to his mother and told her those things instead of me? Kinda weird, right? Wouldn’t you be thinking, “Geez, dude. You gone grow up anytime soon?”
If that won’t fly with you or I, do you think it’s going to fly with our boys’ wives?
Second, boy moms are responsible for allowing their boys to go through hard things. Now, I’m putting this in here because this is a challenge for me and I’m sure it’s a challenge for you. If we don’t allow our boys to grind through seasons of life, we are coddling them and keeping them from what it’s going to be like in the real world.
For example, my oldest is 18. He is in a new season of life and it’s not easy for him. I am here to help guide him but I won’t figure it out for him. He has to grow up and learn how to choose the right job, career path, education. Grinding through life is necessary for character building.
When we bail our boys out … and even our girls … we don’t teach them discipline.
We don’t teach them how to become independent problem solvers because we’re too busy solving their problems for them. It’s our job make sure they’re them are not dependent on us so has to be a gradual pulling away as they grow.
And worse yet, when we continually keep them depending on us, they don’t learn to depend on God. We need to point them toward the Lord so they can wrestle through those things with Him as well.
I don’t have the same expectations for my 11 year old as I do my 18 year old, but I most definitely have higher expectations for my 11 year old than I did when he was 8. So again, we have to remember the stages of life our kids are in and adjust these lessons accordingly, but the point is that we are always grooming them toward manhood in every stage.
The hard part about motherhood is you feel the pain your children go through and you carry their burdens. So naturally we want to save them from the hardship of life because it saves us from hardship too. But we aren’t doing them any favors because life is hard. But every hard thing (and I’m talking naturally hard things to life) will make them stronger and more independent adults.
Third, moms must remind their boys of who they are: you are a man of God.
This message is going to get lost in culture if we do not keep whispering it in their ears. Let me tell you something about being a mom … your kids believe what you say about them. Do you tell your boys they are men of God?
I tell my boys 2 things: 1) what they do well. We talk about their strengths often. I see such good qualities in them that will benefit them in life. And I remind them of how proud I am of them. I will never tell my boys what they need to correct without telling them what I see as a strength first. And that makes the next thing I tell them easier to accept because the 2nd thing I tell them is what they’re doing wrong.
When I say moms are to remind their boys of who they are, we’re telling them they’re men of God, but are we correcting their behavior to make sure they know what is acceptable to the Lord and what is not.
Those can be hard conversations to have at times, but they go well when we point out their strengths.
What does it mean to become a man?
Like I said, the culture is erasing women with men who want to be women. That is really another episode for another day because there is so much to say about this, but moms … we need to teach our boys that this is not ok.
Only women can give birth. Only women menstruate. Women are the only ones who can be wives. God made a distinct difference between men and women and we should not bend on this at all.
One of the things our boys must understand is the differences between men and women, and why femininity is good and why masculinity is equally as good. If you want your boys to respect women and be proud of being a man, they must understand God’s design for men and women in creation.
Guess who brings that awareness?
Mothers. Dads are so very important in their children’s lives, but moms are the ones who remind boys of what a woman is and she nurtures and celebrates their manhood with them.
I want to take you back to the verse in 1 Cor 13:11, “When I was a child, I thought like a child, I spoke like a child, I reasoned like a child. But when I became a man, I set aside childish things.”
When I sat my boys down and talked to them about this verse, we went over each part of this verse separately. Notice Paul started with the thoughts of a child. When he was a child, he thought like a child. Children don’t normally have the discernment on when to speak and when to stay silent. Therefore, Paul also spoke like a child.
Our boys need to know how to think. I’ve talked about his before on my episode with Lance Cashion. They need to mature in their thought process and separate their thinking from culture.
Paul also said he reasoned like a child. Are children reasonable? Sometimes. But reason comes with right thinking. It affects decision making: How we will spend our time, the friends we hang out with, the jokes we tell.
Boys need guidance in all of these areas so they know how to mature in their thoughts and their speech. The best way for me to know my kids’ thinking is to listen to them talk. Or, ask them questions and see what they say.
But look at this verse and notice the connection between a child’s thoughts, speech and reasoning.
They are what separates childhood from adulthood. Paul didn’t say anything about physical appearance here to show that manliness was big muscles or brute strength. Not that it can’t be. But being a man is the ability to think rightly which leads to speaking rightly and also reasoning rightly.
The second part of this verse also says, “But when I became a man, I set aside childish things.” Paul was intentional about putting aside childish things. Our boys should look forward to growing up. They should be ready to set aside the things that hold them back from becoming men of God.
But we must show them what that looks like. The best way to do it is through God’s word.
What is a man of God?
Do you know what the number one thing Christian wives complain about when it comes to their husbands? Spiritual leadership. But many of the women I talk to don’t understand what it means for a man to be the spiritual leader of the home.
Is that to sit the family down and have a bible study throughout the week? He may do that but that’s not what spiritual leadership is. Is it when the husband gathers the family and prays? He may do that but that isn’t a requirement for spiritual leadership.
A man of God is what is required for spiritual leadership; a man who thinks according to God’s word, speaks in accordance with God’s word and reasons in accordance with God’s word. He is a man who loves and serves God. That will spill over into every area of his life.
Let’s take a few examples from godly men in scripture:
A man of God prays. David prayed. Daniel prayed. Jesus prayed. Ask your boys to pray out loud and have them lead the family in prayer sometimes. They need to do this with confidence and transfer this over to their own homes one day.
A man of God is courageous. When it comes to courage there aren’t a lot that show it in the face of danger. David was the only one out of thousands to take on Goliath. Caleb and Joshua were the only 2 out of 12 men to want to take on the giants in Canaan. This is why allowing our kids to go through difficult situations in life is necessary. It builds their confidence in themselves and teaches them to lean on the Lord.
A man of God protects. Look at the workers building the temple in Nehemiah. They built the wall with a hammer in one hand and a sword in the other.
A man of God works. Paul told Timothy that if a man does not work neither shall he eat. God instituted work before the fall. It is purposeful and good.
Stands for truth. Look at the disciples in the NT.
Basically, a man of God loves God. He isn’t perfect but he seeks to honor God.
How does this hep girl moms?
Moms of girls help their daughters identify men of God. Just like moms of boys help their boys identity women of God. We are to help our children raise a standard for their dating life which automatically raises a standard for their married lives.
That’s the big picture, or the big takeaway for moms of girls. Are you teaching them how to look for a man of God? And then how to prepare to be married to one? Because I knew I wanted a man of God, but I didn’t exactly prepare to be married to one. And those are important conversations to have with our girls.
I want to close this out by saying again that men and women are under attack in our current culture. And the enemy undermines God’s design for men and women by pinning them against each other, skewing their roles and by speaking the message that gender is fluid. There is no difference between men and women.
This is the message of the day. How are we countering it. How are we teaching our boys to man up by becoming a man of God? Children look for us to guide them. They struggle more with their identities in the younger years than as adults. They will latch onto these messages if we do not tell them God’s design for them as men of God.
It takes diligence. When I sat my boys down a few weeks ago, they listened. They made adjustments. There were some tears, some hard lessons learned. But they thanked me for it the next day. One of my boys came to be privately and said it was a really good talk. The other one said it helps him understand how to adjust in this new season of life. Because in all honesty boys hold on to being a child for a lot longer than girls do.
I was listening to one of Jordan Peterson’s lectures on Peter Pan. I thought it was just a fun Disney story but it turns out the author penned the struggle between a boy who never wanted to grow up and time being the thief that comes for us all. Boys may need a little push, but as a godly mother who steers them in the right direction, they will listen. Moms have a lot to do with helping their boys become men. And not just men defined by you, the culture or Men’s magazine … men of God. And that will make all the difference in the world.
If you have any questions about this topic or anything else I share, email me at email@example.com.