Saturday, October 9, 2010

Raising Men

This is not a normal post for me . . . but I ran across this article. How To Raise Boys Who Read . . . and it got me thinking.

As you probably already know, I am mother to 3 boys. All my boys are quite young, the oldest (Isaiah) being 4. Before my boys, I was a teacher. My mother was a teacher. My father was a teacher. Education is in my blood.

I want my boys to grow up to be men. Strong men who serve God, take care of their families, and love their neighbors. One of the things that my boys need in order to accomplish these things is education. Most importantly, they need to be able to read so that they can study the Word of God. They need to be able to read so that they will be able to provide for their families. They need to be able to read so that they will be able to serve the people around them, as well as the church. Yes, reading is essential to their education.

I have come across many articles over the past year about the discrepancy between men and women in the colleges and universities around the nation. More and more we are seeing the classrooms of higher education filled with women . . . and fewer and fewer men. I am in no way against educating women. But rather I think we are doing both our young men and our young women a great disservice.

Our young men are being taught that they have no real responsibility. I cannot say that they are being lulled into this, rather they were never given responsibility. As they emerge from boyhood into adulthood, they are more than willing to transfer the responsibility from their parents to their wives or girlfriends.
These men, who are really no more than boys in an adult body, may captivate the favor of their wife/girlfriend for a time. But sooner or later, the educated women is going to wake up and realize that she is more competent than the boy/man. Is she then going to be content to mother him? No, God designed her to long for a man to shepherd and care for her. By God's grace she can (and should) stay in a marriage (if she is married to him). God is able to turn her boy/man into a real man . . . but it may be very painful. However, this is not the point of my post.

The point that I want to make is that we as parents have the opportunity, the God given responsibility, of shepherding our boys into men. Men that are capable of taking responsibility. Men that can hold their heads high because they are men of good character, men that care for their families, men that love and support their wives, men that serve others, men that are humble, and men that honor God. Yes, my desire for my boys is that they grow up to be men. Part of that early education is teaching them to read.

An excerpt from the article:

Education was once understood as training for freedom. Not merely the transmission of information, education entailed the formation of manners and taste. Aristotle thought we should be raised "so as both to delight in and to be pained by the things that we ought; this is the right education."

"Plato before him," writes C. S. Lewis, "had said the same. The little human animal will not at first have the right responses. It must be trained to feel pleasure, liking, disgust, and hatred at those things which really are pleasant, likeable, disgusting, and hateful."

This kind of training goes against the grain, and who has time for that? How much easier to meet children where they are.

. . . If you keep meeting a boy where he is, he doesn't go very far.