Monday, July 30, 2012

Marriage Monday: Treating our Sons with Respect {Link up}

Marriage Mondays"

For the past several weeks, we have been considering the greatest need of our husbands, which is to be respected and admired.  Conversely, our greatest need as wives is to be loved and cherished.  Love and respect are two sides of the same marriage coin -- you don't get one without the other. 

That means, if a husband wants respect, he doesn't get it by demanding it or barking out orders like a drill sergeant.  He gets it by loving and cherishing his wife.  If a wife wants to be loved and cherished by her husband, she doesn't get it by trying to make him jealous or by whining about his lack of tenderness towards her; she gets it by respecting and admiring her husband.

This is a foundational marriage truth!

Last week, I took a little side trip to explore how this love and respect relationship affects not just the marriage, but the children in the home, as well.  Today, I'm still off the main path, exploring that theme a bit more, and specifically as it relates to sons.

Four of my six sons ~ November 30th, 2011

As the mother of six sons, I find that other moms often turn to me for advice when it comes to rearing boys.  I certainly don't feel like an expert in that complex subject, but I have learned one thing.  In the same way that our husbands' greatest need is to be respected and admired, our young adult sons also need to be treated with respect. (Click here if you'd like to tweet that!)

I find that moms often panic as their young adult sons begin to make their own decisions and set their own standards.  It is a natural tendency to tighten the reins, try to protect, "remind," smother, control, etc.  However, what I've discovered by both experience and observation is that the more we try to force our young adult sons to do things our way, the more they will run in the opposite direction. The more we try to tighten the reins, the more they will buck.

Men, whether 18 or 48, absolutely hate to be nagged, scolded, preached to, controlled and manipulated by women!!  The fastest way to drive your son (or your husband) away is by employing these tactics!  

Instead, I encourage you to treat your young adult sons with the same respect with which you should be treating your husband.  Look for ways to admire them, praise them, encourage them, believe in them, and treat them with esteem.  Never criticize or tear them down in their areas of manly pride; instead look for ways to build them up in those areas!  (Need a refresher??  Click here!)  This applies even if they are pushing the boundaries.  Even if you don't agree with all of their music or movie standards.  Even if you don't like some of their friends.  Even if they don't go to church as much as you like.  

By the time a young man reaches 18 or so, he wants and needs some wiggle room to wrestle with his own beliefs, standards, and convictions, and to choose his own path in life.  Naturally, it terrifies us conscientious mothers if our sons look like they are not making the choices we had hoped for, but trust me, nagging them, trying to put them on a guilt-trip, giving them regular sermons, and breathing down their necks will not achieve the desired results!!!  

It is a natural God-given desire for a young man to seek some independence from his family and to want to figure out who he is and what he believes.  Even if your son appears to be living for God and adopting your values, don't celebrate too soon.  Until he has wrestled with God (think of Jacob) and come out on the other side trusting God, submitted to Him and willing to live for Him, come what may, you really can't be confident that he has made his faith his own.  Unfortunately, your faith cannot save him.

Our biggest enemy is fear.  We simply cannot be controlled by fear!  We must keep our eyes on Jesus and live by faith and not by sight!  Our greatest weapon in the battle is prayer!

Your Turn to Share:

If you have sons, please share specific ways that you treat them with respect and encourage them to become men of God?  Do you have a testimony of a son who was headed in the wrong direction and turned back to follow the Lord?  Please share!

If you were blessed or encouraged by this post, please consider sharing it with your friends on Facebook or other social media sites.  Thank you!

Link up:

I'd love to have you link up your blog to mine!  Please link up any past or present posts related to marriage.  Don't forget to link back to my blog by copying and pasting the HTML code for my blog button below into your post or by simply linking back to my blog.  (Unfortunately, my code is messed up and my blog button is not currently working.  If anyone knows how to fix that, please let me know! Thanks!)



linked up with these fabulous blogs:


The Alabaster Jar

Marriage Moment

Two Shall Become One

Blog Button Final

Growing Home


Beholding Glory


Gail Purath said...

So many good things on your blog. Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom and experience. Gail

MyJourneyBack said...

This was a great post filled with wisdom. Thanks for sharing.

hsmominmo said...

Much wisdom here, thank you! We have 4 sons (and 4 daughters). 1 is grown and married and hoping to start a family. 1 is grown but still living at home, then 2 younger guys still under the wing.
I must remind myself to treat them as men, not as little boys. I want to treat them as I would expect a young woman to treat them, modeling to them the qualities they would like to see in a wife. Shew! it's hard sometimes.

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