Seemed it was all settled with just one phonecall.
He called to tell us that he probably wasn’t going to make it home that summer. Instead our 20-year old son was heading to Paris and attending a language-immersion school.
He was in his second year at a college back east and there’s no denying that we’d miss him. A lot.
But if this was what he was set on doing? What he believed God would have him do?
Although I couldn’t help but ask a few questions before he took off . . . .
Do you know anyone there?
Can you speak the language?
Have you ever been there before?
(Well, at least no one could ever accuse him of being overly verbose. 😉 )
That was his one request.
I didn’t know if I should say anything, but it seemed a fairly bold move to make. To venture into a part of the world that he knew nothing about. To a place where he didn’t even know the language.
It took some courage.
And as this young man still has three younger brothers left at home, it made me wonder what kinds of things a mom can do to help raise up a brave young man.
Because this world could use a few courageous Christian men.
Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. ~ Deut. 31:6
7 Steps to Raising Up A Courageous Young Son
Always consider him as a young man in the making.
Even when he is still quite small, consider your influence in forming his manhood. I had a friend who commended her 3-year-old who patiently waited while she and I finished up a conversation. She quietly affirmed him, “You’re patient and I like that in a man.”
How powerful for a little boy to hear those words from the woman in his life! She was already addressing him as a man in the making.
Teach him to reach for the heights, but have a heart for the lowly.
We want our boys to conquer mountains, to reach for the stars and so he needs to hear our enthusiastic shouts of “I know you can do it!”. Yet he also needs to listen to our quiet reminders, “Look out for her; she can’t walk like you or me.” or “He’s smaller than you. Be sure and help him out.” A good man is mindful of those who need tender care.
Don’t pick him up every time he falls.
It’s difficult to resist our mothering impulses to rush out when our boy falters, to help him up and comfort him. But to put it bluntly, this does not make for strong men. As he grows older, the greater gift is to help him find his own strength in Christ, rather than depend on mama’s.
Stand by him until he gets back up.
Always believe that he has what it takes to recover and go at it again. Never give up on him and never give in. Stand by your little man.
Direct him toward daddy as his hero.
Mama will always have a special place in his heart, but direct his eyes toward Daddy (or another older, godly man if dad is not part of the picture). Throughout the day, I might say to one of the boys, “Now, Son, what would your dad think about that?” Or “Your dad is a good one to talk over such things.”—often even if I could answer the question myself. (An encouraging resource for single moms: Kim at NotConsumed.)
Leave no doubt you’re his biggest fan.
Boys generally try to act tough. He doesn’t always show that he’s scared or unsure on the inside. So don’t leave the slightest doubt that you are cheering wholeheartedly from the sidelines as he ventures out into this world. He needs to hear more “Go, Son, go!” than he might let on.
Pray for him every day.
Your faithful prayers as a mother will be the best gift you could ever give your son. I pray for each son’s protection, for guidance, and for his growth in maturity and strength. Our prayers can carry our sons much farther than our arms ever could.
The Lord bless you, dear mom, to have both the grit and grace to raise up your son into a courageous young man!
We could certainly use a few such men in this world.