To The Mother Raising A Daughter,
It breaks my heart to hear the countless stories of women sharing how their bodies were violated by men. As a friend to some of these women, it brings me to tears when they share their stories. As a former foster mom, it enrages me when I see innocent children hurt and damaged, many by their own family members.
I know it’s scary raising a daughter and fearing what men could do to her, her body, and her spirit. I may not have daughters to worry about but I do have sons. Sons who I want to grow up to be kind, loving, and generous and not be the ones you fear.
I want my sons to respect your daughter’s talents, gifts, body, opinions, and mind. I want my sons to see your daughter as their equal and to value their worth. I want my sons to speak kindly to her while also encouraging her to succeed.
My sons are still young- I have a toddler and a teenager. I have no way perfected the process of raising sons who respect women but I am a mother in the thick of it. I’m a mother who sees the court cases and the #metoo movement and prays that my husband and I can effectively teach our boys to respect your daughter. I’m a mother who’s working hard.
FIVE Practical Ways I’m Raising My Son’s to Respect Your Daughter
1. PRAYER: I wholeheartedly believe in the power of prayer so I cover my boys in it. I pray for their salvation, their future, and for protection. I pray through each Fruit of the Spirit over their lives and for their purity. I tell my teenage son that he can choose to be obedient to God and wait until he’s married to be intimate. I also share with him that since God gives self-control to not believe the lies that it has to be hard to wait. Purity is beautiful and a gift. Purity is not the refusal of a burning itching desire. Purity is not an annoying fly you have to keep swatting away. Purity is a result of self-control and self-control is a result of a committed relationship with Christ. A committed relationship with Christ is waking up every day choosing to follow Him. A committed relationship with Christ is when your desires become like His and when that happens you will then desire purity. I tell my teenage son to run towards Christ and while he’s running he will find his wife doing the same thing.
Galatians 5:22-23 says, “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!”
2. LEADING: It’s mine and James’ responsibility to lead them to Christ and teach them godly characteristics. We show our sons how beautiful a marriage can be when Christ is the center by having our marriage be the example. They see us work together, make decisions together, and respect one another. They see James treating me as an equal and that my opinion has the same value as his. Like all couples, we’re not perfect so when we have a disagreement in front of our sons we make sure to resolve it in front of them too. I want my sons to work towards a resolution with your daughter and see the value in their opinion whether it’s in the workplace, social setting, or in their marriage. My husband does work around the house to teach our sons that it’s not solely the wife’s job. James changed diapers, gives baths, and stays home with the children often while I go out to teach our sons that fathers don’t “babysit”- they parent. We know we have four eyes watching every step we take and when we mess up- we own it. We lead and train our sons so if they marry your daughter they will know how to lead their home with her. We lead and train our sons so when they befriend your daughter, work alongside them, or work for them- they will respect her.
Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
3. SENSITIVITY: When my sons are upset, I acknowledge their emotions and allow the space for it. I don’t tell them to suck it up, or that boys don’t cry. I give tough love when it’s needed but it’s never done in a way to make them feel they can’t be a man and show emotion. While I allow the space for emotions I also guide and teach on how to express them in a healthy manner. I want my sons to listen to your daughter when their heart is broken or hurting and show compassion and empathy to her. I want my sons to see the strength it takes to express emotions so that they will see the strength in her. I’m sensitive to them so they will learn to be sensitive to others.
Romans 12:15 says, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.”
4. PROTECTION: I’ve taught my teenage son and will teach my toddler the same thing when he gets a little bit older; I teach them to look away. When a commercial comes on with a woman dressed in lingerie, or we’re walking through the mall and see a picture of a barely dressed women, or when a scene comes on the tv that’s provocative- I teach them to look away. I tell my teenager to respect the women’s body by giving her the privacy she deserves. I tell him that he can respect a woman’s body even more than she respects it herself. I show him that by looking away he is respecting her whether she wants the respect or not. I tell him how he can reserve his eyes for his wife and look at her with adoration all the days of their married life. And just between me and you-this really does work. Is my son perfect and has never been curious and looked? No. But, I have seen him look away when he didn’t realize I was around. I’ve had other people comment on him looking away when he’s not with me. I’m teaching him to protect his eyes so he can not only protect himself- but others too.
Matthew 6:22-23 says “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
5. NEVER ACCEPT THAT “BOYS WILL BE BOYS”: I’ve had friends and family members tell me that my sons will look at porn because “boys will be boys.” I’ve had the same people say that my sons will have sex before their married because “boys will be boys.” These people also said that my sons will talk about women and their bodies because of course, “boys will be boys.” I’m not raising my sons to be boys, I’m raising them to be men who passionately love Jesus, will serve and honor their wife, teach and train their children, and be kind to everyone. Porn, premarital sex, and perverse talk are never accepted no matter what gender my children are. I not only encourage my teenage son to read scripture on his own while we’re reading it together, I hold him accountable to it too. I know God’s word will protect my son as he grows into a man.
Psalm 119:9 says “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.”
I’m not a perfect mother and still have so many things to learn. How I train my sons will grow and adapt as I grow and adapt as a mother. But one thing is certain- I will always train my children to respect your daughter and anything short of that is not dismissable. Your daughter is a gift and so is my son.
My sons won’t be perfect, they won’t always get it right, and they will make mistakes. But if they’re loving Jesus more than your daughter- then I’m one blessed momma and your daughter will be well taken care of.
A Mother to sons