How can I, as a mom, raise a boy to be a man of integrity? Here’s what a boy needs from his mom…in a nutshell.
A few years ago I wrote a post that went viral, originally called “The 9 Best Reasons to Live In a Houseful of Boys.” It was a silly look at some of the perks of having an all-boy family. My last reason was that I have three chances to raise the kind of men I want to see in the world.
If you’re raising boys right now, you have that chance too. And you play a critical role in the future of this planet.
When we look around, we can easily see how much damage a few power-hungry, selfish men can have on the world.
💥 Your critical role (and mine) is to raise the kind of men who will build up the world instead of tearing it down.💥
✔️ Men who will live with integrity,
✔️ Men who will treat others with respect and kindness,
✔️ Men who will love their families,
✔️ Men who speak up for those who are less fortunate,
✔️ and most importantly, men who will seek God in humility.
It’ll take a while to get to that point though, so let’s talk about what a boy needs from his mom as he grows.
What a boy needs from his mom at any stage of life:
1. Unconditional Love
What’s the first thing a boy needs from his mom? He needs that unconditional love.
Friend, we all know our boys are going to mess up. They’ll annoy their siblings and tell lies to get out of trouble and get in fights and cheat and hurt others…even our easygoing boys will mess up in mighty ways at some point.
And you know what he needs when he messes up?
You. He needs you to keep loving him. Even if you yell a little at first (because let’s be real, sometimes we mess up too), he needs to know that he’s deeply loved. He needs to know that you’ll keep knocking on his door, inviting yourself in, and passing him slices of pizza even when he’s grumpy or obnoxious.
I know that’s hard. There have been so many times I want to huff and stomp away and let my son stew in my rage. But it’s when I am most frustrated with him that he needs my love the most.
And on the times you just can’t give it, God has a fount of unconditional love ready to wash over both of you. All you have to do is ask for it.
2. Grace For Yourself
Wait, isn’t this an article about what a boy needs from his mom? Why am I talking about grace for yourself?
Because if you don’t give yourself grace, you will have a tough time giving it to your son.
Sometimes, in a vulnerable moment, I’ll share this secret with a friend: It was easier to be a good mom when I had 2 boys. I could keep the house clean, bake bread, run the children’s ministries at my church, and exercise regularly. I was gentler, I read more to them, and felt like I had it generally together. Then came the third son, and it busted all my boxes of what my life should look like. (And don’t get me started about what happened when we got a dog…)
Having kids made me far more aware of my own shortcomings. I wasn’t as tidy as I thought I was. I wasn’t as patient as I thought I was. I wasn’t as fun as I thought I was.
If I’m constantly berating myself for being a bad mom, I’m not going to get better, I’m going to become self-focused. And that doesn’t help my boys much, does it?
Through God’s grace, I learned to cut myself some slack. I learned that a LOT of moms have anger problems and I learned how to deal with it. I learned how to be ok with a messier house so I could spend time playing with my kids. And I learned to be ok with chicken nuggets for dinner sometimes. 😉
Just like with that unconditional love, there’s an amazing God just waiting to teach you all about grace. So if you’re struggling in this area, talk to Jesus about it, and he’ll make sure you learn.
Many years ago, I recognized that I was a super impatient person, so I asked God for more patience. The joke’s on me because His way of giving patience isn’t what I thought. I expected Him to fill me with unending patience. Instead, He gave me 3 sons to raise. 😳
Turns out, how God gives patience is by putting us into situations that develop our patience.
My boys push, throw, climb, yell, and make messes. If I had a nickel for every time I said “our house is not a jungle gym”, I’d be on a Hawaiian vacation right now.
Siblings fight. A lot. One of my boys knows which buttons to push on the other two, and he pushes them All The Time.
I have a hunch that you know exactly what I mean. 😬
And I think you know where I’m going with this. Patience doesn’t grow on trees, but it is considered a “fruit of the Spirit”. That means as you spend time with God, he will grow the fruit of patience in your life. It’s not instantaneous, but if he can turn me into a patient-enough mom that I can homeschool my boys all days without screaming, then he’s obviously a miracle worker and can do it with you too!
I’m not gonna lie.
You’re going to need grit to raise those 3 boys of yours.
You’ll need the perseverance to get to know your boys. You can’t become offended when they won’t share their problems – you will need to find ways to climb over those walls and get into their hearts.
If you’re struggling to connect with your son right now, I’d love for you to check out my new, 5-day challenge. It’s all about having fun with your son!
Above all, your best teammate in this journey of raising 3 boys is God.
He is the one who can fill you with unconditional love, grace, patience, and perseverance on the hardest, messiest, noisiest days.