Monday, February 2, 2009

Bringing Up Boys

For Christmas, Clay received Bringing Up Boys by James Dobson from his parents. Knowing what a huge reading load he had for the semester, I volunteered to read it first and give him a good synopsis of the book. My in-laws wisely chose this book to give to their son, a father of two sons. They have come to know a lot about what it means to raise boys, having spent the past 27 years raising 3 grown sons, and this book was a help to them many years ago. With this in mind I began the new year with this book as my January reading material.
I was encouraged by many chapters thinking, "Yeah, we do that...and that...and that." I felt as though we had it figured out for the most part. Well, at least until you get to age of 2 years and 6 months. After that, we don't really have a clue! Dr. Dobson encouraged dads to wrestle with their boys, to play ball with them, and race cars together. I'm so blessed to have a husband that does these things with his boys. I'm also so blessed to have a husband that leads our family towards Christ. He plans our bible readings and facilitates them each morning. He leads our family is prayer. You may be thinking, "Why is that so important when you have a 2.5 year old and a 7-month-old.". I'll tell you why. Our 2.5 year old has now memorized an entire Psalm- 8 whole verses, knows several other sentence verses, knows many bible stories, prays for our family and for others, and knows that church is where we "sing songs to Jesus". God is using our obedience to draw Noah to Himself. I do not give ourselves any credit for these things. It is God's amazing work in Noah's life!
Now back to the point of the post, the book. I was reminded of how thankful I am for Clay's spiritual leadership when I read one such chapter about praying for your children's salvation and teaching them biblical truths. Dr. Dobson emphasized that it is our responsibility as parents to share the gospel so that our children can experience eternity with our Creator! What an amazing responsibility that is! But how encouraging to know that God is at work and we are only to be obedient towards that cause.
Another gleaning moment for me was when I read the following from Chapter 16 concerning lessons on money when teaching our children:
"There is always a trade-off between time and effort and money and reward...These are very important things to understand. Money should always be thought of as linked to work and the sweat of our brow. Think for a moment of the most worthless, unnecessary purchase you have made in recent years. Perhaps it was an electric shaver than now sits in the garage , or an article of clothing that will never be worn. It is important to realize that this item was not purchased with your money; it was purchased with your time, which you traded for money. In effect, you swapped a certain portion of your alloted days on earth for that piece of junk that now clutters your home. When you understand that everthing you buy is purchased with a portion of your life, it should make you more careful with the use of money."
I write this not to discourage you, but to encourage you. These statements remind me to be carerful with our family's money and to use it wisely. I know that I'm also setting an example to my boys with how they will handle money in the future. May God use each one of us to be wise stewards of our time and money.

Next on the reading list: Treasures of Encouragement by Sharon Betters.

1 comment:

melissa said...

Teared up all the way through this post! I am so thankful for the work God is doing in Noah's life- and I am so thankful for how He has worked in Noah's parents lives as well! Thank you both for being such great examples of what it means to point children to Christ! We have learned more from watching you guys in practice then any book could ever teach us. I know we are all seeing the fruit of our prayers to God for Noah and I am so encouraged at his knowledge of the Holy One at 2.5 years old! May Jude learn just as quickly and effectivley as God has allowed Noah too! Always praying along side of you!