Friday, January 30, 2009

Teaching Our Sons to Be Men

I recently watched a film where the father believed the best way to teach his son how to be a man was to encourage him to drink, use foul language, and to be abusive to women and animals. I contrast that to the examples of the men of God we see in the scriptures and standing before us in the pulpit, who are reverent in their behavior and give God the glory for their successes. Part of being in the world is to face opposing messages and to decide for ourselves which paths we want to take, and our children are being bombarded with messages from both sides and from more middle-of-the-road standpoints as well. How do we best teach our sons what real manhood is? I suggest that we emphasize the following points:

1. True strength does not come from aggression. Television shows and movies would have us believe that men must be aggressive in order to be strong. Real strength is controlled and moderated.

2. You can turn the other cheek without being a wimp, and you can stand up for yourself without becoming a bully.

3. Showing emotion doesn’t make you less masculine. Boys and men need outlets for their emotions too, and if they need to let it out, by all means.

4. Being a leader means to set a positive example and to inspire others to follow, not to browbeat them into submission.

5. Holding your liquor is not a sign of strength. The real sign is how you stand up to temptation and do what you know is right.

As cartoons and movies continue to become more violent, it’s my hope that we as parents can guide our young men toward true examples of manhood and help them differentiate between the “men” they see on the screen and the men who influence them for good in their own lives.

Join me next week as I share my thoughts on teaching our daughters to be women.

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Mirella Patzer said...

Hi Trist,

Loved this article. I also love what you've done with your blog. It's lovely and I enjoy following it.

ali said...

As a mom of boys, I feel this to be one of my greatest callings. To raise up MEN. Real men.

Men who know how to put their shoulder to the wheel.

Men who know how to put their family first.

Men who know how to love a woman, to cherish her and respect her.

Men who put God above all and fall on their knees in gratitude for all their gifts.

I especially liked your #5 Tristi. It is a great responsibility we have to raise up men worthy to lead future generations.

Rachelle said...

Wonderful insights. Great post!

Gary McCallister said...

Men (and boys) want an adventure to live, a battle to fight (a cause bigger than their little world) and a woman to rescue (even if she doesn't need to be, he needs to try). Women probably don't understand this at all.

In fact, most men don't understand this.

The people in the Church seem to want every man to be a sweet, kind, gentle, polite, clean person (girl). I have never heard a boy tell me he wants to be a Bishop some day. They want to be jet fighter pilots.

Tristi Pinkston said...

There's absolutely nothing wrong with being a jet fighter pilot. Or going on adventures. Or saving damsels in distress. That's all part of being a man. The point I'm making is that these things are not the entire package of being a man. They're only a percentage.

You ask my son what he wants to be when he grows up? First thing he says is, "A father. And an inventor." He's got his priorities straight.

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