I observed as my small grandson placed one hand on the door frame, shifted his weight to one foot, and then put the other small boot toe-down on the floor. Looking at his dad, he checked his hand position and then assumed the facial expression he deemed appropriate to the occasion, a conversation among “the guys.”
My grandson’s imitation of his dad is endearing, but it is also instructional. If you want to be like someone, even if that Someone is God, you study their actions and do your best to imitate and replicate them. If you want to be like God, and if God has revealed Himself through inspired writing as One who values and embodies particular qualities, then you have your marching orders.
Whenever I open the pages of my Bible, I read about real people and their encounters with a compassionate God who welcomes the shifty and the shy, the bombastic and the bumbler, the liar, and the lecher. Grace paves over some pretty rocky personal landscapes in both the Old and the New Testaments. Even so, scholars say that one of the strongest arguments for the reliability of the Bible is its apparent determination to paint every character with absolute truthfulness, celebrating their strengths and describing their obedience, while also faithfully detailing their weaknesses and revealing their failures.
Heroes of the Bible have feet of clay just like the heroes our sons and daughters flock to and admire in real life. Even the Marvel universe of heroes has clued into the dramatic impact of a hero with a few chinks in his armor. Allowing the Bible to speak for itself about the highs and the low points in the careers of biblical heroes lays a foundation of realism for our sons as they observe the lives of spiritual leaders, teachers, and family members who inspire them to do more and be better.
I’m offering some cautionary words about how we handle the text when we teach our kids about heroes of the faith, so I’d love it if you’d join me over at the Joyful Life Magazine’s blog today. CLICK HERE to continue reading and to join the discussion with other mums whose goal is to nurture our sons to become men of character and action.
And I’m delighted to be sharing a resource geared specifically for boy mums today…
Examining the lives of well-known heroes of the Bible with our boys can help them to build courage and faith. It can also point them to their ultimate Hero and Rescuer: Jesus Christ.Tweet
And Now Let’s Talk Books!
I’ve raised four sons, and it was great–but it wasn’t easy. I can’t begin to imagine what it would have been like to have mothered four boys without the input and support of a caring and involved dad.
Because he was raised without that benefit, Roland Warren knows from experience that single mums face multiple daunting challenges. Since his journey to manhood required healing, forgiveness, and a good measure of grace, he has dipped into that reservoir to offer strong support to single mums. He serves as CEO of CareNet, and now has written Raising Sons of Promise: A Guide for Single Mothers of Boys.
A future full of hope and healing for families with an absentee dad requires processing the loss, giving and receiving forgiveness, and managing expectations going forward. Warren weaves present-day stories with the biblical account of Abraham’s life and the startling revelation that the father of our faith and star of the Hebrews 11 Hall of Fame was a pretty shabby father to his firstborn, Ishmael. Abraham’s rejection and abandonment shaped Ishmael’s life, and his mother Hagar’s too because she was saddled with a father-absent home and left with nothing with which to start a new life on her own
Hagar’s realization that God had not abandoned her, that God’s eyes had never turned away from her for a minute, is also the challenge for single mothers in 2022. Warren’s good work serves to validate the feeling of loss created by an absent dad–a loss for the mother and for the son. Statistics have been sounding the alarm for years to support the notion that an unhealed father wound follows a young man into adulthood and, unfortunately, all the way into another broken, fatherless home of his own.
The pressing challenge for a single mum raising a son on her own is helping her boy to “be what he did not see.” Raising Sons of Promise walks the fine line of speaking directly to the heart of a single mum, acknowledging her unique challenges, but in a male voice, as a witness to the role of the son of a single mum. Tough love is a connect-the-dots gift, enabling mums to see that their parenting, their personal boundaries, and even their dating habits will impact their sons’ view of marriage, fatherhood, and family life.
Whatever the backstory, raising a boy is a tall order for someone without Y chromosomes. Warren’s work provides a resource to help mums connect with their son, enter his world, and avoid some of the weightier pitfalls that come with the territory. Best of all is the reassurance that solo parenting never needs to feel entirely solo because of the God who sees, knows, and loves both you and your son and longs to partner with you in the work of building a man of solid character.
Holding You in the Light,
Raising a boy is a tall order for someone without Y chromosomes. @rolandcwarren knows from experience the challenges single mums face. #RaisingSonsofPromise offers hope for sons to become men of character and action. via @ivpressTweet
Many thanks to InterVarsity Press for providing a copy of this book to facilitate my review which is, of course, offered freely and with honesty.
And One Last Thing…
Right now I’m offering two free gifts to NEW newsletter subscribers.
First, I’ve developed a free guided meditation to encourage you in a deep dive into the truth of Psalm 46:1: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” I’ve found that the surest antidote for the poison of the lies we tell ourselves is LARGE doses of truth, and I’m committed to the process of helping women to become confident Christ-followers and students of God’s Word.
Second, if you are a bookish individual, perhaps you’d appreciate some help in writing book reviews? I’ve created a resource sharing some tried and true tips that have come from writing hundreds of book reviews for Living Our Days and other sites. I have loved pointing my readers toward the good stuff that’s out there, and if that’s your goal, too, I want to help you.
Simply click on the button below to receive one or both of these free gifts…
I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and an affiliate of The Joyful Life Magazine, two advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees. If you should decide to purchase any of the books or products I’ve shared, simply click on the image, and you’ll be taken directly to the seller. If you decide to buy, I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you.