Masculinity is in crisis. Numerous studies show it. Boys are struggling to mature into competent young men, and men and fathers in general are often dismissed, or denigrated, in the culture.
Even when criticism is justified, the solution isn’t to tear down masculinity. It’s to teach boys how to harness manhood and to channel it properly.
That’s where you come in, Mom.
For every study that shows boys are in trouble, there’s another showing that boys grow into healthy, strong, and courageous young men when they have healthy and secure attachments with their mothers. Statistically, these boys have higher self-esteem, do better in school, and have lower rates of mental and behavioral disorders.
Why does a boy’s relationship with his mother make such a profound impact? According to my friend, Dr. Meg Meeker, a mom is her son’s first love.
When a boy is first born, he attaches much more quickly to Mom than he does Dad. That evolves down the road, but in the early years especially, Mom is a boy’s primary source of nurturing, attachment, trust, and love. It’s through interacting with his mother that a boy learns that femininity and womanhood are sacred and ought to be respected and honored.
Mom, if you ever needed proof that raising boys is heroic, there you go. You are crucial to shaping your sons into godly young men.
Exactly how do you do that? I discussed that question a few months back with Dr. Meeker on our Focus on the Family Broadcast “Raising Boys to Become Godly Young Men.”
Dr. Meeker told me, “I am convinced that, second to giving them life, the greatest gift we can give to our sons is an emotional vocabulary.” The ability to communicate what they’re thinking and feeling is how boys learn to control their emotions and to channel them in positive ways. That life skill will be invaluable when your little boys become adults.
Communities need good men in order to thrive. That’s true across cultures around the world.
- Good husbands and fathers contribute to strong communities.
- Good men live with courage, integrity, self-control, and humility.
- Good men confront problems head-on, and they do what’s right even when it requires sacrifice.
- Good men command respect, and they respect others, especially women.
- Good men are loyal. They stand up for the weak, and they defend truth.
And, Mom, the formation of all of that begins with you.
Dr. Meeker’s book Strong Mothers, Strong Sons: Lessons Mothers Need to Raise Extraordinary Men is available in our online store, but I’d like to give you a copy of the book and a CD of my conversation with Dr. Meeker for a gift of any amount. For more information, visit our website or call 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459).