Raising Sons

In the same book I talked about yesterday, “Selected Studies from Proverbs” by Charles Swindoll of the Insight for Living Ministry, there is also chapter on “You and Your Son.”

Charles Swindoll describes 5 areas of teaching that are essential if our sons are to grow up to be honorable men of God.

Here is a summary of the chapter.

1. Teach him to stand alone

  • Teach him the importance of having biblical conviction and being willing to stand up for them – even when that means standing alone.  
  • Teach him what a good friend really is.
  • Teach him the consequences of wrong.

2. Teach him to be open to God’s counsel

  • Teach him to respond to our counsel. If he treasures our counsel as a child, then treasuring God’s counsel in his adulthood will be an easy transition.
  • Help him see the value of other people’s correction. If he learns to respect the correction of his teachers, coaches, grandparents and friends, it won’t be so difficult to respond to God’s discipline later in his life.
  • Share the experiences of our life with him.
  • Spend sufficient time counseling him. Our presence and availability will shape his personality and his future.

3. Teach him how to deal with temptation

  • Sexual temptation. 
  • Temptation to overindulging in food and alcohol.

4. Teach him how to handle money and the 4 basic areas of financial responsibility 

  • Giving – to God and to the poor. 
  • Earning – Learn a skill and make a living.
  • Spending – Spend and invest wisely.
  • Saving – Learn the importance of delayed gratification. 

5. Teach him the value of hard work

  • It’s a mistake to give to a child without allowing him to experience the value and reward of hard, diligent work.
  • Give him specific jobs to do around the home.
  • Help him find ways of earning money and sharing in the expenses of his education.
  • Help prepare him for living on his own.

I think most of these ideas also apply to raising girls.

Two additional ingredients mentioned in the chapter are constant delight and constant discipline. Our kids need to know that their parents care and delight in them so they won’t be discouraged by constant discipline.

Today I was listening to Dr. David Jeremiah‘s Turning Point Radio Broadcast from July 23, 2011 titled Children Need Cheerleaders from the series The Joy of Encouragement, he talked about 4 ways how parents can be better cheerleaders of their children, get off their back and get on their team.

  • Encourage them with focused attention.
  • Encourage them with individual affirmation.
  • Encourage them with genuine appreciation. 
  • Encourage them with physical affection.