My husband encouraged me to write about parenting. He knows I love it! I’ve spent the past 16+ years trying to perfect it. Haven’t gotten there yet, however, and I have no experience at all with raising girls. In fact, I kinda think of little girls like aliens, even though I used to be one. I mean I’m still a girl, just not a little one, and sometimes I wear skirts and paint my toe nails just to remind myself. But I still despise make-up and refuse to shave.
My one piece of advice for mothers of girls, though, is not to be too judgey of mothers of only boys. I know it’s easy when boys are little, and you don’t have any of that particular gender, to assume that their wild sword fights are violent and need tamed, but the conclusion that most mothers of sons come to, even if they begin entirely opposed to any form of weaponry, is that boys are natural born warriors and there’s just no removing that warrior out of the boy, only tempering it with wisdom.
I recall hearing once that if you take guns away from a boy, he will chew his graham crackers into guns. Agreed. We started our parenting journey with the “no gun” policy as well, and although we’ve been pretty good at “sticking to our guns” (sorry for the cheese) about most things, we realized right away that this wasn’t a hill we were willing to die on and it would require death if we hoped to destroy the warrior-spirit in our sons. So, instead of banning guns, we decided to teach gun safety. So, they perpetually hunted zebra in our living room, with Nerf guns, sticks and Finger guns (you know, the kind they invent when they don’t have any man-made weapons in their hands).
I’m fairly confident that if something is that distinctly masculine that it probably is part of God’s design for things.
Recently I discovered that all 4 of the other members of my family think through how they will protect the rest of us if a burglar or someone breaks into our home in the middle of the night and they are the only one awake. I never think about stuff like that. And they said it so nonchalant, like of course that’s what they’d be thinking of in the middle of the night. And not a single one of them hinted fear in their voices when they affirmed this in front of me. I feel like the most protected lady in the county.
There is something really sacred about this. We have been living in this feminist culture that breeds the mindset that we don’t need anyone else to protect us and that the warrior in every little boy is wrong. Even the public school system deceives parents into believing that their kids need drugs if they are too “energetic”.
But isn’t having energy a good thing? I know I could definitely use a little of their energy.
Isn’t the desire to protect and care for others a beautiful gift? I don’t worry a whole lot about how I will defend myself if someone attacks me, because I know they’d have to reckon with my sons and my husband and by the time it was all said and done, they’d never try to attack another woman again. I feel safer because of them.
I think we were made to feel safer because of the men in our life. It’s a courageous thing to let ourselves feel vulnerable and dependent sometimes. We’ve come to believe the lie that both genders are the same and that it’s a crime to say any different. But I will tell you from experience, and I don’t need to raise girls to know it, my boys are different from your girls and they can out-eat your girls any day of the week, too. But that’s beside the point.
It is a tragedy when men use their strength to take advantage of and harm the women around them. This has fostered a mindset that we must suppress that natural masculinity, but I don’t think it need suppressed, but rather redeemed. What if we all raised our sons, not only to know gun-safety, but how to use their courage and strength by defending and protecting the women in their lives?
What if more fathers stayed involved and taught their boys what it means to be a good man? What if we loved our boys for being boys and tried to strengthen the gift of character that is naturally given to men? And what if we refused to drug them into submission or tame them? They don’t need feminized, they need to be channeled and challenged and taught.
I didn’t expect to go on such a rant about that. In fact, I didn’t really even expect to go into that at all, but I guess it needs said.
And to all you mothers of boys, don’t forget what it feels like to be judged when those docile, little girls that belong to your friends, grow up to be emotional teenagers. We have no idea what it’s like to raise girls and I’m sure their emotions are a gift from God as well, and just need channeled in the right direction. God help those precious mamas. I’d much rather be raising warriors!