Teach your Boys (or any child you love!)

Boys

Hi, I realized the other day that I am not typing in all the blogs I am writing in my head lately. I have reacted to the political hotbed, the gorilla, the attacks on US soil, the crocodiles and so many other topics. However, I have not been able to get responses completed and produced.

Okay, that is only partly true. Really, I also don’t know that I have the ability or the maturity to react to all that is going on around us with enough grace or wisdom to respond lovingly.

What I have been thinking about is teaching my boys. Yes, we home educate them and yes we are teaching them skills other than “school” skills like gardening, cooking, and taking care of animals. But, I have been thinking about teaching them what is even more important than that: the Lord. With things as they are and are moving toward, I am not sure how much longer I will be able to teach my children at home. I am not sure how much longer I will be able to openly train them in God’s ways.

So, I am feeling a real burden to teach them the things of God NOW. Not waiting. Right now. Yes, I am busy. Yes, I get stressed. Yes, I have a very long to-do list. But, isn’t one of Satan’s greatest tools a “too busy mom?” Think about it. She has to do so much work to keep her family moving in the right direction and then has outside pressures. She is busy, busy, busy. Sometimes she is just keeping up with the neighbor getting her son into another sport. Sometimes she is keeping up with a Facebook friend and adding a new item to her menu or exercise plan or reading list. Sometimes she is keeping up with Pinterest and adding new decorations to her home. Sometimes though it is just the laundry, dishes, and life of living with a family that keeps us so busy. None of these things are bad. They are just busy.

This past school year we started going through a study from Not Consumed  that is called Foundations of Faith. Find the link to the study here if you like. (I am not getting anything from your buying this item should you choose to do so.) It doesn’t give a lot of doctrine but it asks a lot of questions. It starts with ones like “Who is God?” and “Why am I here?” The author lists some verses you might want to check out and then there is space to add in lots of the verses you find yourself. She also brings up judging and discernment and how they are different.

She moves on later in the study to matters of “What we Believe,” and  purity, dress, media, alcohol, and money as well as other topics come up here. She doesn’t tell you what to teach your children. She just asks about what your family believes and gives you questions to think about and discuss with your children. This opens the door to talk to your children about your family’s beliefs from scripture. My favorite part is that it forces me to think about what my husband and I believe (Sometimes I even have to ask him!) and to see if those are Biblical beliefs or just a tradition that we grew up with in our homes.

Do you know what you believe about modesty, media, marriage, or money? Do your children know what you believe? Do you know why you believe those things? Do you know what scripture says about those topics and do your children? This is a wonderful study about the things that really matter. In a world where so many people are telling us what to believe and why, our children should know what we believe as Godly parents who are seeking the TRUTH and where we find that in scripture.

So, what do you do if you begin to study scripture and what you believe (or thought you believed) doesn’t line up with the Word of God? Well, this is where the toilet meets the floor. You know–that wet dirty ring around the bottom of your toilet? Come on, you know what I am talking about! I can just see some of you looking away like I can actually see you. Others are now thinking about the last time they gave that area a swipe with a disinfectant. If you have boys, that ring is often yellow and smelly! That is the gross place where reality lives. Stay with me here. (Okay, if you must go and clean, do so. I’ll wait for you. ) You have to get in the Word and find out if your thoughts, your beliefs, your reality is really God’s. If it isn’t, well, you’ll have to decide what to do then yourself. Do you really want to go against God? My suggestion is that when we find those things that don’t line up, that WE CHANGE (gasp!). Yes, we move our thinking to align with God’s.

And, if you don’t know where you stand on some of these topics, it might be a time to study a bit more yourself or with your spouse. If you don’t know what you believe, how will your children know? They are going to get their belief systems, ideas, morals, and reality from somewhere. Adults, media, friends, and teachers are all too happy to share their ideas, but your children need the Word of God. They need a sure grounding in the one place that never changes, that never moves away from what is right and good and pure. God’s Word is that place.

Teach your boys (and all your children!) God’s Word and your belief in it. Someone else will gladly teach them something else, if not.

Love your boys and teach them!

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Have you ever seen the rain…

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There is rain in the distance.  See the streaks on the picture below the clouds?  The dark lines coming from the clouds show the rain that falls in the distance. But you can see it coming, smell it, hear it.

Farmers need the rain, but too much rain is bad for us, too. I love the falling rain. It cleans the air and removes dirt from the sidewalks. It refreshes us, all of us. Children love to play in it and in the puddles from it. But too much of anything is no good. Sometimes the rain is not good for us.

With children, it happens that we can also see the dark clouds coming at times, and we know it is not going to be a good thing, like too much rain on the already wet soil. Our Dancer is not yet two and sadly I can see the dark clouds coming in his life. Children do not have to be trained to be sinful. Scriptures tell us, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” in Romans. Unfortunately, it is there in their blood.  They inherit that sin from their fathers who inherit it from their fathers, all the way back to Adam, the first man.

I asked the Dancer if he had spit his piece of meat into his napkin (Who taught him that, anyway!?) and he said, “No.”

Just like that, my sweet-faced little Dancer lied to his momma!  Sin is in his blood. So, what is a Mom to do?

I start training. I start teaching. I start praying.

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After the rain, a rainbow appeared.  It was a whole rainbow that spread across the sky and then a double rainbow appeared.  We are praying for that same rainbow to come in the life of our sweet-faced Dancer’s future.  We are praying that he accepts the blood of Jesus Christ early in life so that he can be able to be used by the Lord, and so that he can be not only sweet-faced but sweet-hearted: deep, sweetness of heart because he is the son of the Lord Jesus Christ and a member of the Body of Christ, completely forgiven of his sinfulness. Yes, this is what we want for our little boy.

Are you teaching your little boys? Are you training good behaviors now before they are an insult to you and to others?

We will be training and praying for that whole and double rainbow! Above all, love your boys!

 

 

Wisdom from the throne

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Recently, we had a bout of flu. I should not complain as this is not a regular occurrence.  The 6 year old Cowboy cannot remember vomiting in the past so that is pretty good.  The Engineer and Farmer, Jr. only remember it vaguely.

The Dancer got it first, the next night it was the Engineer, the following night early it was Farmer, Jr. and later Cowboy.  What a long couple of days for the Mom of four boys…I learned that my boys, maybe all boys, are not good at being sick.  They do not want to stay still and do not suffer well.  Hum.

But, it was on this third night that the wisdom of an old man came out in groans and questions.  This flu came with stomach cramps and then vomiting, as well as other cleaning out that won’t be detailed here. So as my poor Farmer, Jr. sat on the throne holding his belly and groaning in pain, he pondered aloud.  His questions went on and on as he tried to hold his belly and head at the same time.

Farmer, Jr: How long will this last?  Why do I feel this way?  Why do we even get sick?

Mom: We get sick because of sin entering the world with Adam a long time ago.

Farmer, Jr: But, why mom? Why did Adam have to sin?  Why did he sin?

Mom: He sinned just like we all sin.  He made a decision.

What a question…from an 8 year old, sick boy.  Why do we sin?  Why do we choose to do wrong all. the. time?  Why indeed?  We sin, very basically, because we are sinners.  Adam was not a sinner but he chose to follow his wife, Eve, who had been tricked into sinning. “And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression” says 1 Timothy 2:14.  Adam was not tricked.  He saw that she had sinned, and he CHOSE to sin.  He picked it, literally, and ate the fruit.  He made a deliberate decision.

So, we make deliberate decisions daily to sin, also.  We hit a brother or take a toy. We throw a book,  a punch, or an angry word at one another.  Boys sin here.  So do their parents.  We are sinners.  Romans 3:23 says that “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”

Honestly, that is not an easy thing to write.  I hate sinning.  I know through scripture that my sinning put the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross.  Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”   So, the wages or payment for sin is death, eternal separation from God.  He is perfect and truthful and cannot be around sin.  We then are cast away because of our deliberate sins.  BUT, keep reading the verse.  There is a gift.  “The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  Notice that it does not say the gift of God is eternal life through all Leesa does. Or all Leesa prays or how Leesa lives.  It is through the Lord Jesus Christ.  He alone was perfect after living on Earth and being tempted.  He alone can save us from this eternal separation.

Christ’s blood that was shed took care of my sins.  Colossians 1:14 tells me, “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.”  Christ’s sinless blood was shed to cover my sins–MINE. My daily, weekly, yearly, even lifelong sins.  All of them, covered.  They are taken care of and God the Father can no longer see them.  Yikes!  That is BIG news.  You know what?  Yours too.  Your sins are covered, just like mine and my boys and your boys. We are free from sin because the Lord Jesus Christ died for those sins.

So, what do I have to do to get it, really?  Believe that He did it.  We trust that the Lord took care of it. That’s it?  Yep.

Believe it.  “For by grace are you saved [from eternal death and separation-my note] through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God:  Not of works lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2: 8-9.  It is His grace and our belief.  It is a gift and not a ticket to be paid.  It is not of my works–any works–or then I could boast and brag about myself.  Only trust in His blood that took care of your sins.  Free to you.

So, while all the boys are free from that yucky flu, they are more importantly free from eternal death, if they believe.  Wow.

I want to continually be checking to see if they know, understand, and believe this Truth.  Of all that we teach them, this is the most important.  When a tiny soul is formed, it is a forever soul.  While our bodies get sick and one day die, our souls are eternal.  That is real.

Farmer, Jr. is wise to ask the questions about the Truths of life.

As parents of boys, may we be wise to have the real and truthful answers, the Truth of God’s Word, to give them.

Enjoy your boys!

Mining gems to share with your sons

diamondsI remember when I learned I was expecting and wanted so very much to have a son, the son of a farmer to carry on after dad. I wished, hoped, even prayed for a son for my husband. When my sister did one of those crazy “urinate in a cup and add it to Draino” experiments (or some other chemical—this mommy-brain can no longer remember), it turned the color for a daughter. I remember being so upset at first. Then we found out through an ultra-sound that it would indeed be a son. I cried! I still remember how happy I was to give my husband a son, though he had never mentioned a preference of the sex of our child. He is the only boy of four children and his father is the only boy of four children. I felt like I was doing my duty as a farmer’s wife and was so excited.

When our second child’s ultrasound displayed boy parts, I cried again:  another son; I must be some sort of queen! At the third ultrasound, I cried again…another boy? Really. I was so happy but at the same time was wondering if I had hoped too much! And, at the fourth ultrasound? Yes, more tears for yet another son was to join our family. Four boys. Four boys! What do I do with four boys?

While I am very thankful for my sons, I am daily reminded that I do not really understand boys and their ways. I do not understand why all air that passes from the body—in any way—is funny. Really? Yes, apparently it is. From my conservative husband to our  19 month old, they all laugh– every time. I don’t understand why they run, hop, jump and push when we COULD just walk. I do not understand why they all compete for attention and power over the rest of the family. But what I do know is that God knows. He understands. He will help me to love my boys and lead them toward Him.

Moms of boys…according to one report over 90,000 more boys are born each year than girls. This has been the trend, the report noted, since 1940! That’s a lot of boys and thus a lot of moms of boys out there. I started thinking about what it means to be the mom of a son and what God’s word says about moms of sons. I looked up Mommas of boys in the Bible to see if I could glean something from them. There are several moms presented but two caught my attention. One is from the Old Testament and her name is Jochebed. The other is from the New Testament and her name is Eunice. Both women show us what we need to be doing as Mommas of boys.

Jochebed was the mother of Moses. She was married to a man named Amram and was of the family of Levi. What I learned about Jochebed is that she knew her scripture and she acted on the facts of scripture. In Genesis 15:16 God, who is making promises to Abram (later Abraham) about the nation that will come out of him, tells that in the fourth generation the nation (Israel) would come out again from God’s judgments. The 4th generation…Levi is the first generation of the nation of Israel. Levi’s son is Kohath, the second generation. Kohath had four sons, one of them is Amram; he was in the third generation. Yep, the same Amram who is Moses’ daddy is in the 3rdgeneration. So, when Moses was born to Amram and Jochebed, he was the 4th generation of this nation. (Gen 6:16-20 shows the generations.) Moses would fulfill scripture. Also, during the time of Moses’ birth, Egypt’s pharaoh, who was holding the Israelites as slaves, started telling the midwives to kill all the Israelite baby boys when they were born so the slaves would not overtake the Egyptians (Exodus 1:16). When Moses was born, Jochebed saw that he was a “goodly child” (Exodus 2:2), and she protected him in the now famous Bible account of her hiding her son in bulrushes in a tiny basket-boat. She knew scripture and she acted on the facts of scripture. She knew that her son could fulfill that scripture and she helped to preserve him. Jochebed also, through a series of events, was able to nurse her own baby son and teach him who he was as an Israelite until he went to live with the daughter of pharaoh as her Egyptian son. Jochebed’s teaching would carry Moses through many days of his life. He was not a perfect man, but he knew who he was and who Jehovah God was.  Later in Moses’ life, he would follow God on his own. He would lead Israel out of Egypt and he would fulfill God’s scripture.

The second mom is only mentioned in one verse. Eunice is the mom of Timothy. Timothy is a helper and mentee of the Apostle Paul. In 2 Timothy 1:5, Paul tells us, “When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee [Timothy], which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois and thy mother Eunice, and I am persuaded that in thee also.” Unfeigned according to Webster’s 1828 dictionary is “not counterfeit; not hypocritical; real; sincere.” Timothy’s faith was real, sincere and not made up or put on. It was real. Wow, an unfeigned faith, isn’t that what we all want for our children? Paul notes that this faith was in generations of Timothy’s family. Timothy’s father was a Greek, an unbeliever, so Timothy learned scripture from his mom. She knew it because of her mom, Lois. The truth of scripture being passed from generation to generation does not happen without effort: our effort. I like that God included a mom teaching her son about the truth of God’s word. So, know we can do it, too.

As moms of boys in our society today, we need to be passing on the truth of God’s word. We need to be teaching our boys—and daughters too, for that matter—so they come to the realization that they are sinners and in need of God’s great love and salvation. Then we need to go further, teaching them to rightly divide God’s word so they know the parts of it that are written directly to them today verses and what was written to others for only our edification. We can do this, Moms, but that means we need to know scripture ourselves. We need to study God’s word, to mine out small gems of truth and know it. Teaching our children will happen as we go through the days and nights with them, not just at set times of study. We need to be ready to share gems of truth from God’s word. I know, Momma friend, that during sipping years and diaper years and runny nose years, it is hard. I am there with you. But, sweet friend, now is the time. Pick one gem from God’s precious word and add it to the treasure chest in your child’s heart. Do that often. Your son needs God’s word and you are the Mom to help him learn it.

A dear friend once told me that only sons can grow to be men of God. So, at our house, we are growing up men of God. We want men who will continue to mine out gems of truth to pass along to their children and grandchildren. God needs you, Mom, and you can do it!  Your son is worth it.