Camera flashes went off as Ben pinned a gorgeous corsage on his date for the prom. My handsome son put his arm around Melissa for another round of photos before being whisked away in a limousine for the evening.
Jackie and I followed to watch them enter the venue that had been chosen for this special night. We sat in the car a while as Jackie shared how she had never gone to her prom because she was a teen mother to Melissa. It was such a healing joy for her to see Melissa experiencing something she had missed.
A few weeks previous, our son, Ben, had received a call from Melissa asking if he would escort her to her senior prom. Melissa was a sweet, quiet, heavy-set girl that had not yet enjoyed the attention of a young man. She felt safe to ask Ben to help her make a dream come true.
Jackie called me the next day. “Mom,” Melissa had told her as she shared the memories of her prom, “he treated me like a princess. He opened doors for me, pulled out my chair and asked me to dance with him. When some of his friends came to the table to say “hi” he always complimented me in front of them, saying, ‘Doesn’t she look great?’”
I was so proud of my son at that moment.
But let me tell you there were many moments before and after this one that left me bewildered. His school experience varied weekly from Student of the month to suspension for fighting, an award for the best essay to C’s, D’s and even F’s on a report card. He struggled with smoking. His fascination with fire almost cost us our home.
Today he is a devoted husband, and a Dad to two darling daughters. He is a favorite science teacher at our local charter school. People appreciate his pastor’s heart, hugs and loyal friendship.
I don’t have all the answers but I’ll tell you six things I’ve learned in raising our son.
6 Perspectives on Raising a Son
1) Mothers can give their sons a unique perspective on how females think and feel.
I remember as Ben began to show an interest in girls having a talk with him. It went something like this.
“You know, Ben, girls experience physical touch as a commitment. It is not casual for them. It MEANS something. Even holding a girls hand is like holding her heart. Be Careful.”
2) Be Available.
When children are younger you can create quality time. When they grow older, we need to look for those moments and make ourselves available to pursue them.
3) Look for the glimpse of who he is becoming.
It takes longer for boys to grow up. “Do not lose heart in doing good for in due time we will reap a harvest of good if we do not grow weary.” (Galatians 6:9)
4) Choose to believe the best and speak the best.
Sometimes in my weariness, in my bewilderment, in my fears that whispered the worst, I would vent my feeling to a family member or friend. One day this verse came alive for me in a new way.
“Do not let unwholesome talk come out of your mouth but only that which is good for building others up according to their needs that it might benefit those who listen.” (Eph 4:29)
I realized this did not just mean foul language and lies. It can be anything that does not build. My words could actually tear down the very family members I was trying to build up. In short, I could be gossiping about my own children. I began talking less and praying more.
I chose to believe the best and speak the best.
I am not saying there is never a time to share our struggles with another. But I know I had crossed the line at times. This small correction brought great fruit in my family.
5) Love hopes all things, endures all things, believes all things. (I Cor. 13)
Believe in what God is molding in your son even when things don’t look good. Ask God for encouragement. Ask Him for glimpses of the man forming in him. A glimpse of my Prom Miss Keeper kept me going through tough times yet ahead.
6) Finally, “Do not be afraid. Fear has to do with punishment and Perfect love casts out all fear.” (Eph. 4:29)
When I first started driving, I concentrated on staying in the middle of the road. I over corrected to the left and then the right. When I began fixing my eyes on the goal, my present position corrected itself.
Keep your eyes down the road a piece to the finished work of Jesus in his life.
Hand-made by the Author Of Life, Wife of ONE, Grandmother of TWO Mother of THREE. She has journeyed with Jesus through FIFTY-THREE years, SIX states and TWO continents. She still lives to write about it.
Pray 7 Sample Prayers!
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Kaylene and Nanette,
THANK YOU for your works and words! My theme this month with the children (including my darling 9 year old son) has been EDIFICATION. I want to teach my children to not only tolerate one another, but also to build each other up. Hopefully I didn’t wait to long to address this!!! Pray for me!!!
Thanks for the reminder that watching what I say about them is part of that edification process also!
Dear Rachelle, Thank you for your comment. Often when I write I wonder if anyone can connect with it. I needed to know that if helped you as much as you needed what was shared. I will pray for you as you journey through these important mothering years. Nanette
I know , somewhere in the Bible it says ” never give up ” . I am also a Father of three, and Nanette ‘s words were never truer said. My prayer now , is that I’ve passed on these precepts to my children to live by. Thank you Nanette for all your inspirations.
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