The Burden and Blessings of Boys


How do I know God has a sense of humor? He gave me boys. Two of them. Which is completely hilarious to me because growing up (and to this day) I was a girly girl. Think Malibu Musk-wearing, Caboodle-toting, New Kids on the Block-loving girl. So naturally, when my husband and I became pregnant, I assumed we were having a little girl. A mini-me. After all, I’m a girl and this is what I know.

At my twenty week sonogram, the sonographer asked if we wanted to know the gender. I emphatically said yes. (I am convinced there are two types of people in this world, those who want to know the gender prior to birth and those who wait to find out.) I am most definitely the first. If I could have found out the gender at conception, I would have. Anyway, as the sonographer looked around my stomach, she turned to me and uttered three shocking words “There’s the penis.” I. Was. Terrified. I remember asking her to double check to make certain that it was definitely a penis and not the umbilical cord. She checked, still a penis.

I have brothers. I have male cousins. I have a husband and father. Yet the thought of having boys frightened me. I was completely scared of having a boy. I mean I hate to camp in tents (I could totally camp in a cabin fully equipped with water, electricity and a fire place) and boy mom confession : I have never even seen Star Wars. How was I going to raise a boy? Do you potty train them to pee sitting or standing? Is potty talk funny or gross? These were some of the thoughts that I remember having while pregnant with my first son.

As scared as I was to have a boy, I think my biggest fear was not their anatomy or interests, but how to raise a boy to become a Godly man, loving husband, and one day (hopefully) a father.

Having a son is intimidating. Not because in a few short years he will be taller than me, but because he will one day lead a family. How do I prepare him for his future job, family, and life? How do I raise a boy to become a successful man?

Let me say this. In my mind the world will tell my sons that in order to be successful, they will need to do a plethora of things “right.”  Go to the right college. Land the right job, find the right wife, and earn a hefty salary.

This is contrary to what I want my sons to view as top priority. I want to focus on developing my sons’ hearts. Sure I want them to succeed, but not by the world’s standards. I want to teach my boys kindness, grace, empathy and hard work.

If I could give my boys a life verse it would be Micah 6:8 “Now he has told you this is what he wants, and this is all it is: to be fair, just, merciful and to walk humbly with your God.”

Seems simple enough, yet I know they will stray. I know they will test me. I know they will fail, BUT I also know the failures, mistakes, and mishaps will shape them into men who live life purposefully.

What traits do you value most when it comes to raising children? 

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