The Lord saw fit to bless our home with three children of the masculine persuasion.
By our third son, I sat up and took notice that I had more than a few things to learn. Growing up with only one sister left me with not much knowledge of these man-types. Don't get me wrong, I've always been crazy about males, but only if they were wrapped around my little finger. And truth be told, for years I held the secret (or not-so-secret at times) belief that women and girls were, uh, better than men and boys. Yep, its true. Thought we were smarter, and thought we were better because of our knack of multi-tasking, having more apparent depth of emotion, and not struggling as much as men with sexual sins.
Funny how circumstances often bring us to paradigm-shifts. The more I researched boys — the way they learn, the way they play, the way they interact, the way they fight, they way they learn to follow (or don't learn to follow) God — the more I fell in love with the way they are. I like to think that I have graduated to the higher status in life of Boy Advocate.
Boys are GREAT! Men are GREAT!
And boys are Future Men.
It is amazing to me that God had the idea of making men and women so different from one another, and now I am mature enough to thank Him for this (instead of asking him why men weren't more like women).
What a joy it is to have sons. Boys are simple and forthright. Boys hardly ever hold grudges. If they are mad at a brother or friend — even if the disagreement escalates to a physical scuffle, once the fight is done, its done. We don't have to try to hard to psycho-analyze a boy — he puts it all right out there for us. Being competitve is not a sin, and it is possible to teach a boy how to win and lose gracefully. Boys learn by seeing that they can use their knowledge to make a difference in the world — receiving little "good job" smiley-face stickers doesn't cut it for motivating boys. They need to feel the strength and profundity of acquired knowledge. Boys grow up to be fathers, the single most important person in each of our childhoods (whether your father was present or absent, godly or unkind, his importance is not diminished — though the blessings may have been). Boys grow up to be leaders — of their families, churches, businesses, and societies. A focused man (one that isn't good at multi-tasking, remember?) has the strength and fortitude to make a huge dent in our society. Imagine that focused man "seeking first the Kingdom of God." What a difference he can make, and what an adventure he can enjoy while doing it!
And boys and mothers, oh my. I don't think I will ever tire of having several males who pick flowers for me and play with my hair and tell me I'm beautiful. This love and affection alone makes any pee on the toilet seat worth it.
I am in Boy Heaven.
Some great books on boys:
Future Men by Douglas Wilson
Raising A Modern-Day Knight
King Me by Steve Farrar
Bringing Up Boys by James Dobson
Some good books about and/or for men:
The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands by Dr. Laura
Created to Be His Help-Meet by Debi Pearl
Reforming Marriage by Douglas Wilson
Wild at Heart by John Eldredge
Family Man, Family Leader by Phillip Lancaster
A Father's Stew by Stephen Beck
Point Man by Steve Farrar
No More Christian Nice Guy by Paul Coughlin (highly recommended by a friend, we haven't read this yet)