FREE Printable: 12 Lessons I Want Our Son to Learn

FREE Printable - 12 Lessons I Want Our Son to Learn Before He Turns 12

Earlier this week I shared about how one son so gallantly opened the door for the guy behind us on our last trip to the library.

Put such a smile on this mama’s face.

And then how moments later,  another son nearly knocked this sweet white-haired lady off her feet as he cut in front of her.


And how I realized that we still had a few things to teach our boys around here.

Apparently, we’re not the only ones either based on the response to that article. Thank you everyone for your kind and encouraging words!

Now here’s the free printable that I promised.  Just click the link below and print & save to your computer! 

12 Lessons I Want Our Son to Learn Before He Turns 12

*If you’re reading this in your email, you’ll want to hop over to the blog to download the printable – just click the “web version” button at the bottom of the email.

You are welcome to print as many as you like and to share with your friends.

A small gift from me and mine to you and yours!

Thankful to be walking with you,

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*Based on the original article 12 Lessons I Want to Teach Our Son Before He Turns 12

100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L Jacobson
*If you would like these posts delivered directly to your inbox, simply subscribe below (and get the FREE eBook, The 7 Habits of a Highly Fulfilling Marriage).

12 Lessons I Want Our Son to Learn Before He Turns 12

12 Lessons I Want My Son to Learn Before He Turns 12

Isn’t it amazing how much you can learn in one trip to the library?

Most every week I take one . . . or more . . . of the boys with me for a Library Date.

Yesterday, I took all three boys – ages 8, 10, and 12.

The boys raced for the entrance door, but then the oldest stayed behind and held the door open for the person who had come up the walk behind us.

Warming my mother’s heart.

Still smiling as we walked toward the Children’s section, I watched as our youngest boy cut right in front of this white-haired lady. Nearly knocking her off her feet. Whoosh! 

I gasped a little.

Thankfully, she was sweet about it.

But honestly!

I pulled my son in close to me and whispered in his ear, “Son, don’t you see what you just did? You ran in front of that lady and nearly tripped her to the ground.”

His intelligent response went something like this . . . .


The word oblivious comes to mind.

And that’s what got me thinking . . .

I’ve got some teaching to do. Maybe it’s not the end of the world to have your 8-year-old racing through the library and nearly taking out every elderly lady in his path. But I wanted more for him than that.

Way more than that.

I want our young sons to learn to look after others, to be mindful of the world around them, and to be ready for their calling when God gives it.

So we still have some important things to learn around here—some things that you don’t necessarily learn from the library.

And some . . . that I guess you do.

12 Lessons I Want Our Son to Learn Before He Turns 12

 12 Lessons I Want Our Son to Learn Before He Turns 12

1.    The Benefit of Kindness.  Offering kindness to others is a both a blessing to the other person and to yourself. Go out of your way to show kindness to others and you’ll be the better man for it.

A man who is kind benefits himself, but a cruel man hurts himself. ~ Prov. 11:17

2.     The Value of Hard Work.  It might not feel pleasant at the time, but there’s nothing like the satisfaction of a job well-done and the reward of giving it all you’ve got.

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men ~ Col. 3:23

3.     The Power of Self-Control.  Learning to get a grip on yourself and your temper will make you the true winner.

He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty. And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.  ~ Prov. 16:32

4.     The Gift of Good Manners. Taking the trouble to choose politeness will more than pay off. Good manners will open more doors than kicking one down ever will.

“Courtesy is as much a mark of a gentleman as courage.” – Theodore Roosevelt

5.     The Walk of Humility.  The world would have you strutting around, showing off your “stuff” but God has a much better approach. Walk humbly in His strength rather than your own.

What does the LORD require of you . . . but to walk humbly with your God? ~ Mic. 6:8

6.     The Blessing of Obedience.  Listen to God’s instructions and you’ll experience great blessings—not necessarily in the way some people view blessings, but in much deeper and richer ways than the world will ever know.

Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in his commandments. ~ Ps. 112:1

7.     The Honor of Justice.  Always uphold that which is good and right – no matter what the personal cost.  And fight against injustice wherever you come across it. It’s your privilege and honor to do so.

Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause. ~ Isa. 1:17

8.     The Strength of Serving Others.  As God has equipped you, so use those gifts – not to build yourself up – but to offer your talents and skills to help others.

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace. ~ I Pet. 4:10

9.     The Dignity of Respect.  Showing respect might be considered somewhat old-fashioned, but it says as much about you – maybe even more – than it does about the other person. Speak and treat others respectfully.

Outdo one another in showing honor. ~ Rom. 12:10

10.    The Courage to Do What’s Right.  It takes a brave man to stand up for what is right. Be that man and don’t back down from evil. Not ever.

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. ~ Rom. 12:21

11.    The Delight in God’s Word.  Learn to love the Word of God for it is “living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword” (Heb. 4:12). Arm yourself with His Word and you will be prepared for whatever you face in life.

Blessed is the man who(se) . . .  delight is in the law of the LORD, and on His law he meditates day and night.~ Ps. 1:1-2

12.    The Unfailing Love of Christ. No matter what you might encounter in life, nothing . . . no, nothing will keep you from Christ’s love.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? ~ Rom. 8:35

All that from one trip to the library.

Pretty amazing, huh? ;)

*The free printable of these 12 Lessons is now available HERE.

In His grace,
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P.S. S. And, yes, this would apply to daughters too.  Our girls are past 12 now and still learning these lessons and a few more of their own. Kinda like me. 

(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L Jacobson
*If you would like these posts delivered directly to your inbox, simply subscribe below (and get the FREE eBook, The 7 Habits of a Highly Fulfilling Marriage).

Why Big Differences Make for the Best Marriages

Why Big DIfferences Make for the Best Marriages

You think by now we’d know.

I mean we’ve been married for years and years. Over two decades.

But somehow it hit us anew.

It all began with our son who is back east at college. He called to tell us about how he and his friends were all taking this personality test. And he thought we should do it too.

Oh, sure! That’d be fun.

So we sat down one evening and filled out the questionnaire.

A piece of cake.

Matthew took his and I took mine. The questions were simple and straightforward and we were done in less than 12 minutes.

But the conversation that followed lasted several hours.

 The personality test went something like this:

You need to retreat and have some “alone time” after spending some time talking to other people.

Him: Nope. Not usually. (Extrovert)

Me: Absolutely. (Introvert)

You often do things spontaneously or in a rush.

Him: Pretty much.

Me: Not if I can help it.

You would rather call yourself down-to-earth than a dreamer.

Him: More like Mr. Visionary.

Me: Down-to-earth and practical to a fault.

Keeping your options open is more important than having a to-do list.

Him: The more options the better.

Me: Love my to-do lists!

So you can see how it is.

Big differences.

We each have our own way of looking at the world. We think differently. Respond differently. Feel differently

Not necessarily opposites. But definitely not the same.

When we first married, I don’t think we factored in these differences. It didn’t matter all that much to us, but as the years went on the reality of these things became increasingly clear to both of us.

We were different.

Not just male and female, mind you.

But different in our personalities and perspectives.

You don’t need to take a personality test to discover you’re different though.

All you have to do is to watch how you each respond to certain situations. What appears to you as a disaster is merely a challenge to him.  What is an exciting possibility to you is an impractical pain to him. What fills you up, drains him and vice versa.

And so on down the list.

The world looks at this scenario and will declare you “incompatible”. The secular viewpoint considers this an impossible situation.


But this is not how God views it. He has reconciled you. He says He is the one who joined you together (Mark 10:9). He is the one who makes you one flesh – not your similarities or common experience (Eph. 5:31).

God brought you and your husband together because of your differences . . . not in spite of them. Just think: God knows your husband even better than you do. He knows all too well how you both are made and how you are bent.

God put you two together because He knew what was best for the both of you. 

How Big Differences Make for the Best Marriages

You Can Make the Best Marriage Out of Your Differences

Appreciate his strengths. Rather than getting frustrated at how quiet or loud, relaxed or uptight, he is – decide to be thankful for how God has made Him. I can choose to be upset by the way my husband “ruins” my well-laid plans with his spontaneous projects . . . or I can be thankful for the fun that he brings into our lives with his wild ideas. The second response makes it more fun for all of us!

*How do you respond to your husband’s strengths? Do you let them annoy you or are you grateful for them? 

Grow in the areas you are weak. I said I can be “practical to a fault”. Well, my husband is a very generous person and that’s an area that I’ve needed to grow in. My “practical” nature can hold me back from giving as freely as God would have me give.

*What are some weak areas that you can grow in and learn from your husband? 

Develop similar interests. Rather than settle in your different camps, seek to do what things you can together. Enter into his world and invite him into yours. Talk about what activities you could both learn to enjoy together.

*What are some things that you both like to do? Activities, recreation, or hobbies?

Establish common goals. Maybe you see and respond to things differently, but if you’re both working toward the same goals? Then this helps you pull together to achieve those things that you’ve both set out to do. At least once a year, we try to get away for a few days and talk over our past goals and write out new ones. These goals can fall in any category—ranging from family to career, from spiritual to house projects.

*Have you purposed together what goals the two of you – as a couple – are choosing to pursue? 

So if you discover that you and he are rather different – with or without a personality test – then make the most of your differences.

Because big differences can be made into the best of marriages!

CHALLENGE: Rather than just saying to your husband that you love him today, tell him a few of the reasons you love and appreciate him (including some of those differences). 

Embrace Your Marriage - A Virtual Marriage Retreat

Every Monday in September, these five bloggers and I will be offering a word of wisdom and inspiration to encourage you in your marriage. I hope you’ll hop over to see each one of them!

And here are the topics . . . .

  • September 1 – Embracing Grace 
  • September 8th – Embracing Change  
  • September 15th – Embracing Your Differences  
  • September 22nd – Embracing Unity 
  • September 29th – Embracing Friendship 

I hope you are being blessed and refreshed by our Virtual Marriage Retreat!

In His grace,
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100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L Jacobson


A Faith-Building Story You Will Never Forget

Evidence Not Seen - A Faith-Building Story You Will Never Forget

 My life was changed when I heard Darlene Rose’s story. It challenged my faith as nothing else had. ~  Ruth Bell Graham (daughter of Billy Graham)

Maybe you’re different than me.

You wake up inspired and are confident in your purpose each morning. You can see clearly what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.

But that’s not always me.

Because sometimes I forget. I get lost in the busy and the mundane. I stare at my pile of laundry and try to figure out what’s for dinner.

And it all seems so terribly blaaaah.

Basically I get lost in my own story – and it doesn’t feel like a particularly interesting or inspiring one.

I have other kinds of days too. Days where I feel rather overwhelmed by my trials.  Surrounded by seemingly impossible situations. These are tough days too.

These are days when my faith can feel a bit wobbly.

But then I remember the 92 bananas.

I don’t think I’ll ever forget them.

My 3 daughters have read the same story and so we’ll often turn to each other in times of despair or discouragement and say, “Don’t forget the 92 bananas!” and our hope is renewed. Yes, we’ve all read the awe-inspiring story of Darlene Deibler Rose and it’s made its mark on us.

If your faith is feeling somewhat shaky and you could use some encouragement? Then I’d highly recommend reading this amazing and inspiring story: Evidence Not Seen: A Woman’s Miraculous Faith in the Jungles of World War II

The Story of Evidence Not Seen by Darlene Deibler Rose

As a new bride, Darlene Deibler followed her veteran missionary husband to the jungles of New Guinea, where the two worked to spread the word of the gospel to tribes who had never before seen a white woman. When World War II erupted, Darlene and her husband, Russell, were forced to go to separate internment camps where both endured countless horrors and degradations. Never to see her husband again, Darlene’s faith never wavered despite test after test. After four years of cruel internment in a Japanese camp, she was forced to sign a confession to a crime she did not commit and face the executioner’s sword, only to be miraculously spared.

This is the inspiring true story of a courageous woman who, despite the loss of her beloved husband, the death of her closest friends, and countless humiliations, never wavered in her faith in God and his plan for her life. ~ From the back cover of Evidence Not Seen

Well-Written: This is a well-told story—-full of insight, adventure, and even humor (yes, if you can believe it!).  I’ve shared this book with many people and they often say they couldn’t put it down. The story really flows and keeps you turning page after page.

Real Photos: The book has several pages of real photos taken before, during, and after the events take place. Amazing photographs capturing a time and place that is rarely recorded.

Faith-Building: Seeing God work over and over again – even through trial, tragedy, and pain – can significantly impact the way you view your own life and challenges. And somehow, despite the awful conditions, it is not a depressing book in the least, but has quite the opposite effect.

(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

Evidence Not Seen: A Woman’s Miraculous Faith in the Jungles of World War II

by Darlene Deibler Rose

Pages: 224
Originally published: 1988
Reprint edition: Harper Collins, (November 25, 2003)

Evidence Not Seen is available for purchase here (click this link)

Over the years I’ve read many missionary and faith-filled stories, but this is one of the best I’ve ever read. The story – and the lessons throughout –  are truly unforgettable.

Club31Women Book Reviews1This is one of my favorite books of all time. Darlene’s story is so beautiful, so raw, and yet sweetened with unwavering faith all the way through. It’s one of the few books (other than the Bible, of course!) which I can honestly say, changed the way I looked at – and lived – my life. Highly recommended. ~ Lisa Jacobson (from my personal review of Evidence Not Seen on GoodReads)

I hope you’ve found this Club31Women Book Review helpful and inspiring!

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.~ Heb. 11:1

In His grace,
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100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L Jacobson
*If you would like these posts delivered directly to your inbox, simply subscribe below (and get the FREE eBook, The 7 Habits of a Highly Fulfilling Marriage).