“It’s a boy!” We heard this phrase 4 times. Each moment of walking into the ultrasound room, we anxiously awaited the news of our baby’s gender. Baby #1 – BOY! Baby #2 – BOY!
And then the unexpected news of twins! Would our ratio be evened out? Would girls become a part of our family dynamic?
A quick scan over each of the twins’ anatomy showed that God certainly saw fit to gift us boys. Girls were not a part of the plan.
I’m often asked, “Did you want girls?” And the answer is always, “Sure, girls would have been wonderful too. But I’m also really happy with boys.” The truth is the Lord already knew each child He was forming and all the details therein. And I’m really glad He was in control ’cause He knit together some pretty awesome boys.
Boys Are A Handful
“What is this? Is that poop or mud?” (Insert smell test)
“Where are your pants?”
“Why is there pee all over the floor?”
“Get off your brother’s head!”
“Did you already eat ALL of that? You want more?”
Now, I’m sure these phrases are not only applied to boys. But if you do have boys, you know how common and frequent they are said. Like EVERY DAY. MULTIPLE TIMES.
Boys can be a handful. And so can girls (my mom friends of girls can testify). Yet boys are especially known for being loud, rough, mischievous, and downright insane. They get dirty, wrestle, do terrifying stunts, and eat you out of house and home. But they are also sweet and tender-hearted and kind and funny and … well, just plain wonderful. Not to mention they give THE. BEST. bear hugs. Somewhere though, boyish traits became equated with “too much.” They are too loud. Too rough. Too dirty. And so on.
Mothers Of Boys Don’t Need Sympathy
My 4 boys are can be particularly loud and crazy. Even the not so little twins like to run around, scream, and scare me half to death with their climbing abilities. And their demeanor has made lasting impressions on others as well. Over the years, I’ve received the “I feel so sorry for you” stare and the “I’m glad I’m not in your shoes” glare as well. These sympathetic gestures for having all boys are not only a little disheartening but they also downplay the wonderful privilege mothers have to raise the next generation of men.
So don’t pity a mother of boys. Encourage her. Spur her on to harness the God-given boyish traits in such a way that builds boys into godly men. Remind her that the Lord specially made her sons and He can raise men whose gender specific characteristics bring Him glory. Boyish traits are not accidentally hard-wired into their nature. They are God-given because boys are made to be boys. And these traits, even if unfavorably viewed, are stepping stones to a manhood of godly character.
Boyish Traits Can Grow Into Godly Character
What we often fail to recognize is the potential the boyish traits have as our sons grow and mature. We see with eyes of the now rather than eyes of the future. Yet, the Lord knows their future. We see rough housing and wrestling. But God sees a warrior for truth. We hear loudness. But God hears a “voice crying out in the wilderness.” We observe mischievousness. But God observes courage and bravery to go to the hard places. We see dirt and mess. But God sees a heart that relates to unclean sinners. We think too much energy. But God thinks he can run the race for the gospel.
Of course, parenting boys to grow into godly men will take work. It’s not a harvest we can expect to reap overnight. But parenting itself is a process. We sow and trust God to transform our children’s heart, one day producing fruit of godly character.
Boys and girls are not better or lesser than one another. They are equal. But equal in different, gender specific ways. Both are infinitely loved by God and can be used by Him for a myriad of purposes. Each carry the ability to advance God’s kingdom and shine light into the darkness. As a mother of boys, I am thankful I get to participate on the “masculine” side of the spectrum. For my friends who have girls, I am so grateful that you are striving to raise godly women who love Jesus. We need both men and women, who will use their God-given gender differences for the glory of Jesus.