RESPECT- For authority, for adults, and for girls. We require "yes ma'am" and "no ma'am" in our home to foster a sense of respect for those that are older than us. We try to teach our children to look people in the eyes when speaking to them, to stand when someone older enters the room, and to defer to others. Do we miss the mark sometimes? Yes! But we are all a work in progress.
CHIVALRY- I know that most guys do not show up on white horses and sweep ladies off their feet, but we do still believe in chivalry in this house. Opening doors for ladies, offering your seat, or walking on the street side of them down the street. I want my boys to treat the woman in their lives in such a way that makes them feel special, cared for, and protected.
HOW TO LOVE- This is a hard one to teach in some ways. We shower our kids with love and hopefully they see that and emulate it. While we do not encourage too much "PDA" as my grandmother used to call it (public displays of affection), we do want them to see a healthy marriage where hugs and kisses are given freely and "I love you" rolls freely off our lips. We want them to know that God wants us to love our spouses like He loves us- sacrificially.
HOW TO BE A GOOD FRIEND- A friend loves at all times. Are we teaching patience, humbleness, listening skills? Are we teaching our boys to lay down their life for a friend? To stand by them through thick and thin? In our life of moving every few years are we showing them how important true friends are and how to work hard to have them and keep them?
HOW TO BE A PROVIDER- We want to teach our men to be the providers of their families. We want them to know that money is not everything but it is something important to have a handle on. We want them to be good stewards of their money and be able to lead their families in those skills. We also want them to understand that providing is not just about money. It is equally important to provide stability, love, and support to their families and friends.
MONEY MANAGEMENT- Dave Ramsey anyone? ;) Actually, any wise spending plan will do. I am convinced one does not have to make millions to be able to provide. Thank goodness, right? Good money management and a good plan will take you far. When you know where your money goes and you are a good steward of what God has blessed you with, you can not only provide for and bless your family but others as well.
SELF SUFFICIENCY- Too many kiddos today carry an entitlement mentality around with them. They believe they can always get what they want and not have to work for it. That mom and dad will always provide. We want our boys to know that we will always be there for them, but we also want to teach them the life skills they need to be able to be a functioning adult in the real world. Things like changing the oil and tires on a car, survival skills and situational awareness, how to wash clothes and the dishes, what to do with a hammer and nails, and how to start a fire, cook a meal, and fire a gun.
WHAT NOT TO WEAR- Don't laugh, but there are too many young people out there who have never been taught what not to wear. Or at least how to dress appropriately for certain situations. We want to teach our boys that what they wear to hang out with their buddies is not the same thing they wear out to dinner. And those things are different from what to wear to a funeral or an opera. We teach them to think multi-generational, as what you think is ok may not be for your grandparents. My husband tells the boys that you can never be overdressed, but you will stand out like a sore thumb when you are underdressed. Clothes don't make a man, but they sure make an impression!
HOW TO BE A LEADER- Of their homes. Of their communities. Of their families. I want them to be bold in leadership without being a tyrant. To lovingly lead their future wives and children with clear direction and a lot of love. I want them to learn that leaders often lead from behind- being a cheerleader and motivator. Other times call for leaders to forge the way for others-being the first to clear the path
HOW TO BE A PROTECTOR- Can they defend themselves and others against harm? Are they situationally aware at all times? Right now that job in our family is that of my husband, but eventually the torch will be passed to our boys for their own families and we need to be teaching them those skills. Even more than that, are they being taught to protect others' freedoms, emotions and hearts? Do they put others before themselves?
PURITY- It may not be what society teaches, but it is what we teach in our home. Our bodies were meant to be shared only with the one God calls us to partner in life with. No one else.
FAITH- Our family grows in faith daily, but we work hard at it. We have nightly family devotions and we work hard to point our kids to God. We want them to not just know God but to have a relationship with Him, to love Him with all their hearts and to cling to Him always. Life is not always easy and it frequently throws us a curve ball. Faith can and will see you through!
Linking up with friends-