My daughter Zoie brought home a sign up form for an after school program called Guys Club. It stated, Only the Manliest things will be happening: Dodgeball, Video games, Proper airplane making, Team sports, Individual sports, and How to be a Gentleman (how to tie a tie, how to set a table, how to do a proper handshake, how to juggle, how to tell a joke.) No Girls Allowed. I laughed out loud and realized she accidentally grabbed the wrong one.
I made the comment, “If your big brother was in first grade, I would sign him up for this!”
“But, mom he’s already a gentleman.”
I smiled and agreed, “Yes, your brother is a real gentleman!”
I threw the form in the trash can, but a few hours later was inspired to dig it out and share this with you.
I’m blessed to have the most incredible son in the world. Throughout the past 21 years, I’ve often encouraged him to be more of a gentleman, especially when I caught him as a young boy hitting his sister with a plastic bat, rough housing at gramma’s house, burping in church, or making holes in the walls with his golf clubs.
So, moms how do we encourage our sons to be a gentleman?
First, I think we need to understand the definition of a gentleman. We live in a world that has defined what a real man is with very blurred lines.
- A gentleman is a chivalrous, courteous, or honorable man.
- A man of calm demeanor, strong preserve, intellectual thinking, polite yet meaningful speak and a good upbringing. A fighter for the cause of right with words, not guns. (Urban Dictionary)
Scripture says: “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love” (1 Cor 16:13-14). According to these verses, a true man is vigilant against danger, faithful to the truth, brave in the face of opposition, persistent through trials, and, above all, loving.”
I’m very blessed to have a hubby that has modeled for his son what a gentleman looks like. He has never dishonored me as his wife or mom of his three super-kids. He’s loved me just the way I am. He has never wavered in his quest for deeper connection and having fun as a family. He’s my best friend and strong spiritual leader. What an example he has set for our son.
But, sometimes we don’t have that example of a dad in our son’s lives. If you are a single mom, it’s important to help your son connect with a strong role model to help set the standard for growing up a gentleman. There are some wonderful programs and ministries to support you, as well as your church family.
The past 21 years, I’ve watched my son grow up in a culture that has blurred the lines of what a gentleman looks like and his role in society. Of course, this means a lot more than knowing how to tie a tie or build a proper paper airplane. They are bombarded with twisted media, pornography, and violence.
There are no shades of gray. God is very specific with the roles of a godly man. It’s black and white.
We can encourage our sons to:
STEP UP: Lead. Initiate. Be a man of action. Assume it is your job and your moment. Hate apathy. Reject passivity.
SPEAK OUT: Silence in the midst of sin is a sin. Be courageous. Fear God not man. Speak the truth in love.
STAND STRONG: Don’t give in when you are challenged, attacked or criticized.
STAY HUMBLE: Be vigilant against pride. Get the log out of your eye. Don’t think less of yourself, think of yourself less.
SERVE THE KING: Seek first His Kingdom, His glory, His righteousness. Hope in the eternal. Live for a greater reward. (Todd Wagner, “Act Like Men: Defining and Discussing God’s Calling for Men”)
Moms, we can have incredible influence with our sons. I’m really excited to share that I’m currently writing a book with my son, Michael tackling the tough issues together and bringing you encouragement as a parent of a son. I’m going to be posting with a purpose and sharing parenting stories throughout the next several months as we write and would love your feedback…you might even see your wisdom shared in our book.
What are the most important things you are instilling in your son’s life to be a gentleman?