Our sons need us to model and monitor purity and respect for them.
That doesn’t sound very fun, does it? And what does it even mean?
It means that our sons need us to model purity and respect for him and monitor his ability to follow our example.
Most fathers would never intentionally instruct their son into a potentially destructive habit like alcoholism or drug dependence. Yet that’s exactly what can happen if we aren’t intentionally modeling purity for them, demonstrating respect for those around us respect and helping them remain “pure” in their thoughts and actions.
This is why I say you must be a “purity and respect” model and monitor.
Many young men have lost their sense of respect, and it especially shows in their speech. They trash talk, curse, and make crude jokes about those who they view as being less significant than themselves. They denigrate women or use foul language in front of children. Somewhere along the way, someone failed to correct their behavior. Most often it was due to the lack of a strong father in the home. And they learned how to deal with others through late night on HBO.
It is our job to monitor the way our sons are talking, and to teach them to use their speech for positive ends—like articulating thoughts and feelings, building relationships, giving encouragement, and speaking words of respect and peace.
It is our job to teach them how to respect other adults, especially other men. They need to be shown how to look them in the eye, shake hands firmly, speak clearly, and even use the oft forgotten words “Sir” and “ma’am.”
If you sons are disrespectful toward a woman, particularly his mother, we must hold him accountable for his actions and let him know in no uncertain terms: “That is unacceptable. Your mother is my wife and I love her very much. And you cannot talk to her like that.”
We are our son’s main instructor about what a man is and how he should act. So, let’s Sit down with our sons and tell them what we have observed, and explain why that behavior is wrong and cannot be tolerated. If he continues to act rudely, be consistent and keep imposing meaningful and appropriate consequences until his behavior changes.
The ultimate goal here is to raise a boy into a man who has self-discipline. He must develop an internal strength that will help him avoid life’s many dangers and pitfalls and make wise choices, based on solid values. Values such as:
- Abstaining from pre-marital sex. Talk to your son about how putting the brakes on his raging hormones and sex drive now leads to greater rewards later.
- Having integrity with his school work, which will lead him to be a valuable employee some day.
- Playing by the rules in sports and games. Emphasize that many times shortcuts are just another form of cheating.
- Handling money with wisdom and avoiding the debt trap. Your son will be bombarded with credit card offers when he goes off to college. So, prepare him now to handle small amounts of money.
- Saying “no” to drugs and alcohol. Especially make sure he understands the dangers of compounding a bad decision with drugs and alcohol by getting behind the wheel of a car and driving somewhere.
So, what can we do this week to be a model and monitor?
- Is there anything in your life that would make you ashamed if your children or your wife found out? If so, then maybe it’s time to eliminate that from your life and put positive accountability into place. Here is an excellent resource on accountability for men.
- Talk to your son early and often about sex. You know your own children best, but remember this: first messages are usually the most powerful. It’s better for you to present an accurate message from a perspective that includes your faith and values than for them to learn from someone on the playground or even from their teachers at school. If yours is the first message he hears, you won’t have to argue against what they will surely hear.
- Ask your son’s mom if he is showing disrespect to her or to anyone else. Then talk with your son. Set clear, specific expectations for respectful behavior in his actions, speech, body language, and tone of voice.
- With an older son, tell him about your first exposure to drugs, alcohol, or pornography. Ask about how prevalent those things are at his school, and let him know that he can come to you with anything and also that you’ll keep checking in with him.
- Be the man at home that you are at church. Being a phony or a hypocrite will destroy everything that you say and are trying to model for your son.
Parenting is not for wimps. And being a father is the toughest and best job in the whole world. This week’s article was short, but it packed a punch. What do you think about being a model and monitor for your son?
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