I left our last wrestling match feeling discouraged by my boys’ attitudes and conduct, recognizing OUR need for guidance on how to be solid citizens, teammates, and contributors. I am not disturbed that they do not know what they could not know– but that their father and I have diverging values and desires for them.
I would like to raise humans who strive for humility and grace. I experience their father as preferring poise, grim determination, and force, which, to me, feels opposed.
So, inspired by my friend’s God-centered life, I reached out to acknowledge the grace and humility I observe in her son as he moves on and off the mat, unchanged by whether he loses or wins the match. I texted my praise and and need for counsel. Her Ben possesses a gentleness and strength that is common to those whom I experience as great humans.
Me: My boys attitudes about winning and losing are difficult for me to address. I do not know how to help them. Your Ben is such a humble lil man. Any wisdom?
S: Thank you Maggie!!! Danny tells our boys that men take ownership for themselves, where as boys blame others. Character is more important than winning and our reputations are very important. Proverbs 22:1 is a great Bible verse to talk about. Also, Danny shares from Robert Lewis’s Book Raising a Modern-Day Knight: A Father’s Role in Guiding His Son to Authentic Manhood .
Me: Oh. The father’s Role seems key. My boys’ father does not share the value of seeking, believing in or leaning on a God or power greater than himself. I make no claims to having God, only to needing and seeking. This feels impossible with our differing values.
S: It’s ok you can still talk to them and have other men weigh in too.
I ordered the book last night (Why isn’t it here, yet?) and am reading as much as I can about Proverbs 22:1 so that I may learn and share its wisdom on character development. I have so much learning to do myself, and I cannot possibly learn(and unlearn) quickly enough to parent my children in these wholesome and often still unfamiliar ways. Also, I feel my efforts are strongly opposed and undermined by their father’s demand for reverence to him, as if he wants to be their God. Fortunately, Sweet Greg and Favorite’s husband are two consistent models of strong and gentle men, with whom they experience consistent positive connection.
I am stumbling all over this bible verse, trying to find a way to make it digestible (relevant) for my sons. I can do hard things, but not alone. Thank God, we have caring people whom we can count on for their wholesome support of our family and presence in our boys’ daily lives.Much Love,
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