Dear mothers of Christian daughters,
This letter is not intended to make anyone feel like a horrible person. I just want to offer another perspective on what I see happening in many of the realms of my life: in ministry, in my professional life, and in media (both social media and TV media).
Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
I was married in 1996 and just one year later I gave birth to a daughter. Many (or most) of my friends at the time were mothers of daughters. They were tired, overwhelmed young mothers whose husbands often failed to see the emotional and physical needs of their exhausted wives. These women bitterly remarked about how their men are stupid or lazy or uninvolved. They found solace with likeminded young mothers who pioneered or perpetuated a man-hating movement inadvertently in our Christian girl group. I have to admit, I also joined in entertaining this attitude toward our young husbands. I have asked for God’s forgiveness.
1 Timothy 4:12 – Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
Then in 1998, I gave birth to my first son and two years later God blessed me with a second. Holding my innocent little guys and looking into their eyes I was reminded of the failing reputation that manhood had in my heart. Did I anticipate that my boys would be lovely little creatures with big hearts until they turned 18 and then they would become dumb and useless to the world? Would my little guys grow up to be spited and mocked by the very women with whom they’d entered the covenant of marriage?
1 Corinthians 13:11 – When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
I have prayed and prayed that someday my sons would find wives that would love them more than I could ever imagine and that these gals would love God even more than that. We’ve had open conversations with our kids about love, sex, communication, expectations, hormones, desires, and lust. The boys (and the girls) automatically “bounce their eyes” and look down when a Victoria’s Secret ad comes up on TV or look away when a scantily-clad gal walks near them at the mall.
As my sons approach the age of “settling down” and as settling down becomes a focus of theirs, please know this: all men are not lazy or uninvolved or pigs. All men don’t want “only one thing” and my sons are not trying to add regret or pain to your daughters’ lives. My sons have been raised to be like Jesus. They want to protect and provide. They want to serve and give. They want to create a beautiful life for a family and if you could just hear their hearts and if you could just understand the goals they have for their futures. My mama’s heart is full.
But, I see the fear in the eyes of mothers of daughters as my sons enter a room. Would this boy take their girl away or worse yet, toy with them and send them home broken? I have the same fear, mamas. I have the same fear that your daughter will break my son’s heart but I trust my sons’ judgment because I trust the God in my boys. I trust the holy spirit is leading and guiding them in this area of their lives just like he has guided them through high school, college, and all the other things they’ve had to do without my being right there next to them.
1 Timothy 6:11 – But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
It is so hard to raise a man of God. Raising daughters has been easy for me and natural. My daughters spend their time with me learning, working around the house, running ministries of their own and leaning on me for mentoring advice, and being friends to me now that they are young women. My sons, on the other hand, have helped shoulder the hard work of having a small farm, fixed things that needed fixing even in the freezing rain and sleet, rubbed my feet when the pressure of ministry and life weighted heavily on me, learned to discern those moments when “mom needs pampering” and prayed fervently aloud during our family Friday night prayer meetings after dinner. My sons can cook amazing meals, have excelled academically and creatively. They have passion for God and desire a life of serving God wholeheartedly. My sons don’t take it lightly when a young lady looks their way, but they don’t look back unless God tells them to.
Micah 6:8 – He hath shewed thee, O man, what [is] good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
Mothers, please don’t lose heart and don’t let fear guide you as you encourage your Christian daughters to make friends with young men of faith. Caution them to be careful but to trust God. Counsel them to look for a man who puts God first and who will worship God in all circumstances. Check social media and your daughters’ text conversations with young men and be involved in the process. But please, don’t let fear rule your decision making. When your daughters fear relationships (perhaps they have experienced trauma in a relationship already) and you tell them that all men are pigs, remember this post. Some of us mothers of sons out here have strived to raise solid men of faith who are ready to love and lead a family of their own. There are good fish in the sea.