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Raising Godly Boys: It's Serious

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How do we raise our young boys to treat women with respect? How can we train them to follow the guidelines God has set up for sexuality, to not even ask girls for something outside of God’s plan?

I’ve been putting off this blog post for a while now because it’s neither lighthearted nor happy. Plus, sometimes it’s easier to live in denial that things like this happen. But they do, and I’d like to talk about it.

Back in January, the UK newspaper, The Daily Mail, shared the story of a 13-year-old girl who fell to her death from her bedroom window. By itself, that story is a tragedy, but there is so much more to this story—and it makes me sick to my stomach. The girl was talking to a boy who was standing 60 feet below her window and begging him not to show the video he had made of her performing a sex act on him. She even threatened to jump unless he deleted it. Instead, she fell.

My heart breaks for everyone involved in this story. For the girl, for the boy, for the parents, for our culture. I also am anxious, because I have two girls who will be 13 in the blink of an eye. Plus, I have a boy who needs to learn how to be a man—a strong and gentle man.

In my head I know God loves my children more than I do and will watch over them, but my heart wants to move to an island and shelter them. I also know that is not practical. (I’ve lived on an island already—and sad things still happened there.) So I’m hoping to start a conversation here. Over the course of three blogs—probably not all in a row because this is heavy stuff—I want to talk about boys, girls, and technology.

I’m going to start with boys because raising them to be men after God’s heart is getting harder and harder. Our society tells them they have to show no weakness and no self-control. When you add teenage hormones, you’ve got one of the scariest combinations possible. Some of the questions I’ve been wrestling with are:

  • How do we raise our young boys to treat women with respect?
  • How do we give the boys the respect they desire so they don’t feel the need to earn it in a power struggle among their peers?
  • How do you train the boys in your life to follow the guidelines God has set up for sexuality, to not even ask the girls for something that is outside of God’s plan? How do we raise our young boys to treat women with respect? (Frankly, we seem to put all the pressure on the girls to say no.)

For those who have raised their children to adulthood, share your wisdom. For those still in the parenting trenches, share your experiences. For those who don’t have children, please share your ideas too. Sometimes in the course of parenting, we can’t take an emotional step back, and your objective insight is valuable.

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