Can't Live Without Them

We have all heard those little jokes at the expense of men:

Why do men like smart women?
Because opposites attract.

Why are all dumb blonde jokes one-liners?
So men can understand them.

Why did God create man before woman?
Because you're always supposed to have a rough draft before creating your masterpiece.

Television, talk shows, sitcoms, radio, songs, Internet, and other media are riddled with the above types of conversations. These days, men are fair game for put-downs. And it's not just found in media. I hear it often in conversations among women, even women proclaiming to be God-loving Christians. If any of the above were said about women in a public forum, the fires of every feminist organization would engulf these people and fry them until they were burnt to a crisp. And perhaps even that wouldn't be enough.

We as mothers should ask ourselves how this is affecting our sons. What kind of men are they going to grow up to be when they're bombarded by this kind of negative media? How are we counteracting this “teaching?”

Have you ever heard the saying: the hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world? Well, after reading 1 & 2 Kings, I discovered just how true that statement is.

Normally in scripture, the mother's name isn't mentioned in the generation line. But it's mentioned in the line of David. Most of those mothers were women who did not honor and serve God. Many of them worshipped idols, and when their sons became king, their sons turned the entire nation against God! Can you believe the kind of power those women had? It was subtle, it was behind the scenes, and their beliefs were exposed when their sons became rulers.

It is quite a blow to read each woman's name every time a new king was put in place. It is especially sad that so few sons are listed as having loved God. Hezekiah and Josiah are two that come to mind.

Here's what 2 Kings 18:2b-3 says about Hezekiah when he became king: he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem; and his mother's name was Abi the daughter of Zechariah. He did right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father David had done.

2 Kings 22:1-2 says: Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem; and his mother's name was Jedidah the daughter of Adaiah of Bozkath. He did right in the sight of the LORD and walked in all the ways of his father David, nor did he turn aside to the right or to the left.

What an honor for those mothers whose names are mentioned next to their sons who loved God. But what a shame and disgrace for those whose names are mentioned next to sons who worshipped idols and hated God.

It's vital that we understand the importance of our role as women and mothers.

I'm not saying the father's have no responsibility in how their sons turn out (after all, the kings married these unbelieving women), but we mothers are given our own unique role when it comes to teaching our sons how to become men of God. Just like today, a mother back then managed the household, and if she allowed foreign gods to be worshipped, the children would have been exposed to this lifestyle. However, if she loved God, her children were exposed to that lifestyle.

What kind of lifestyle are we exposing our sons to today? Are we taking part in the abuse the media is meting out on men? Let's take an honest look at ourselves and what we're teaching our sons.

One of the things my son looks forward to most is growing up to be stronger than his sisters. He can't wait! So, I tell him, “Do you know why God made you stronger?” He shakes his head, eager for the answer. “He made you stronger so you can help those who are weaker than you.” He seemed to like that idea. I also told him when the bullies confront him, to keep his chin up and look them in the eye. If he looks down or gives any indication that he's afraid, they'll go after him. (I learned this from a TV talk show. Guess they're good for something.)

My son has already put some of these lessons to use at school. He's defended the weak by protecting a younger girl who was being picked on by a couple of bullies. I was kind of scared for him at one point. He took my advice to extremes and threatened to tell on the local bullies for using foul language. Surprisingly, the boys stopped. My prayer is he'll grow up to be the kind of man his father is and even better.

Speaking of those all important fathers. How do we treat them in front of our sons? Do we treat their fathers with respect? Or do we correct our husband in front of our children, especially when he's disciplining them? Our son's self-image will mirror how we treat his father.

1 Peter 3:1-2 says: In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.

I don't know about you, but I can get pretty vocal when I disagree with something. Have you ever thought about how “admonishing” our husbands in public or before the children affects our sons? I believe we can win over, not just our husbands, but also our sons, by our behavior based on the above verse.

What about our behavior in the church? Do we complain about the leaders in front of our boys or do we show the leaders honor and respect? I've seen situations where women were disrespectful to the teacher in class for all to see.

1 Timothy 2:11-12 - A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet.
Some feel Paul was a male chauvinist because of the above verse, and they feel it no longer applies today. But these assumptions can't be true because just a few verses down Paul, who was inspired by God, says in 1 Timothy 3:15b .I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.

We are as much the “household of God” today as they were back then. So ... how are we “conducting ourselves?” What are our sons witnessing? Do they see us getting riled up and butting against God's word? Do we lift our noses with distain because of what we read? If so, remember, we're lifting our noses to the Most High God, not Paul, and our sons are witnessing that. Do you think that's going to encourage them to want to lead? Who would want to step in front of a shrew and teach her the truth, especially when she despises what she hears? Honestly, it's this behavior that keeps many of our men today from speaking the full truth. Instead, they tiptoe around these subjects for fear of getting burned. In light of this, we need to teach our sons not to “fear the bullies.”

Matthew 10:28 - Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Men are called upon to be leaders. What women should feel is relief, not put down. God is not telling us we're incapable or unworthy. We have plenty of opportunities to lead women. He has simply given us separate roles, just as he's given the legs their job to stand and the nose it's job to smell. One is not “better” or more important than the other. We need to be relieved that we don't have such a huge responsibility on our shoulders. Our men, whether they want to or not, carry the responsibility of taking care of not just those within the family unit, but also those in the church, teaching them, leading them on the right path. They will have to answer to God for what they did or did not do.

What are we teaching our sons in light of this? Are we teaching them to be leaders or to be followers? Are we telling them that they'll one day have to answer to God for their behavior? Or do we cater to their every need and not teach them responsibility? Remember, they'll expect that same treatment from their wives. Do we want our sons to turn out to be lazy, good-for-nothing slobs in their own home and in the church? Now is the time to teach these boys. They're not going to “suddenly-learn-everything-they-need-to-know” when they become adults.

Here's another valuable passage from Ephesians 5:25: Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.

This is talking about Jesus dying for the church, and our men are to do the same for us! (This should make us feel better about those “submissive” verses. God never commanded us to die for anyone.) Does that mean a man has to wait for a life and death situation to “die” for his loved one? Of course not! Teach your sons this! Teach them how to die daily for those weaker than them. To hold doors open, to defend others who are being abused, to stand up so someone else can sit down. Just as Timothy's mother and grandmother did for him, we should do the same for our sons. They'll be excited to know there is something they can do worthy of praise.

Let's train our sons to be leaders, protectors, and lovers of our Lord. Boys want to feel empowered. When you give them that power, they run with it. We mustn't allow our sons to be diminished and put down, whether through the media or through our own behavior. Instead, let's raise our sons to become the kind of men we would want to marry.

Sandi Rog
Previously published in the Rocky Mountain Christian.

Published in The Old Paths Archive