Boy on the top of hillIf I’d known then what I know now…  When I held those precious babes bundled in blue. When during the night watches I rocked them to the rhythm of my prayers. When I was their whole world and innocence was still their reality. If I’d known then…

I would have held them tighter.

Prayed harder.

Kept them from the world.

—-

This day, women’s whispers haunt me. I’ve never told anyone before, they begin. Faces stained with tears. Eyes hooded with shame. They pause. Swallow. Start again. I search my mind for wisdom, but find none. Instead, silent, I nod my encouragement. I hold their stories close. I understand.

We were bludgeoned.

Wounded.

By men.

Women betrayed by men who promised faithfulness. Women abandoned by men who promised steadfastness. Women belittled by men who promised respect. Women violated by men who promised protection. Husbands, fathers, brothers, uncles…

I cry out to God.

Where are Your men?

 Who will lead our sons?

 Where are the warriors?

 —-

He opens an album and points. Remember? He asks.

I see my grandfather, fly rod in hand—tender, faithful, sacrificial. Hero to my sons.

Yes, I remember, I say, as I smile through my tears.

And this one, He turns the page.

There’s my great-uncle, laughter in his eyes—fun, caring, strong. For a season, he made breakfast for me every morning. Yes, I recall.

Others come to mind—a coach, an agent, a father figure, a handyman, friends—James, Steve, Ted, Tony, Neil, Dave, Jim…

Imperfect men.

But good men.

Godly men.

But what of the others? I ask.

He shakes His head. Some are wounded. Others are weak. Many bow to other gods: money, lust, themselves. His tone is marked by grief.

—-

Her hair is gray, her features lined with age. Her countenance emanates peace—her words embody wisdom. “I am your wife. If you go to her, do not come back. This is what I said to him.”

I lean forward, “What happened?”

“He went to her. And when he came back, I spoke truth.” Quiet strength supports her words. “I told those who had spiritual authority over him and they met with him. They told him he must change his ways. But he refused.”

She looks beyond me to the trees swaying in the breeze. I wait. And wonder.

When she looks to me again, a tear has left a track on her cheek. “I live with my son and his family now. I am grateful. God has provided for me.”

“But…are you still married?”

“Yes, I am still his wife. But I filed the paperwork for a legal separation. I had to protect myself financially. I could not let him use all our money to court another woman.”

“You’re wise.”

“No, I am just old.” She shakes her head. “I will not divorce him. But I remain resolved because it is the most loving action.”

“What do you mean?”

Again, she stares beyond me and I wait. This time when she looks back to me, I see mercy in her eyes.

“He is hurting me, but he is also hurting himself. He is doing the most damage to his own soul. To love him is to tell him no.”

—-

They are young men now—no longer the babes I rocked to the rhythm of my prayers. They are good men too, I believe. Though like each of us, they were born with sin woven into their very nature. Our culture of hedonism woos and a dark, consuming world is just a mouse-click away. What I didn’t know then, I know now…

A lion crouches.

Snarling at my young men.

Ready to attack.

But the lion doesn’t lie in wait for just my men. He is after our men. And we—wives, mothers, sisters, aunts—must rock the lion with our prayers. Stoning him unto death.

To our men, we must speak truth. With quiet strength supporting our words. We must say, “No more.”

Because, to love him, is to tell him no.

 

To love him is to tell him no. Click To Tweet To our men, we must speak truth. Click To Tweet

 

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14 thoughts on “Raising Men

    • April 17, 2014 at 11:54 PM
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      Anne, you are so dear. I pray they are cleansing tears.

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    • April 17, 2014 at 11:55 PM
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      Thank you, Janet. God used you to help me find my voice and speak truth.

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  • April 17, 2014 at 7:56 PM
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    What a beautiful call to “quiet strength” as you put it. It is easy to forget in a world full of noise, that often quiet strength is the most powerful. Thank you, Ginny for the reminder.

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    • April 17, 2014 at 11:56 PM
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      Quiet strength is something you possess, Rebecca.

      Reply
  • April 17, 2014 at 11:11 PM
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    This hits home. Just today I was praying for my son, with tears wondering how to raise him. Thank you for these words and this wisdom, Ginny.

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    • April 17, 2014 at 11:56 PM
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      They are God’s words through me, Teddi. We must pray for our men.

      Reply
  • April 17, 2014 at 11:48 PM
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    God has blessed you with the ability to speak hard truth with gentleness and hope. As a woman hurt by men, I have struggled with trusting and forgiving men. I have struggled with the fear of raising my son to be a man who hurts. But, in sovereign lovingkindness, God has continued to heal old wounds and mold the scarred edges of my heart so I can feel safe in the fellowship of godly men and say no with the confidence of a woman certain of her value in Christ. Thank you for writing from the heart so that the Lord can continue to use you to minister to the, often concealed, hurting hearts of your readers. I love you and am praying for you, Sister!

    Reply
    • April 17, 2014 at 11:57 PM
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      Xochi, someday when we’re face to face with Jesus, I hope He’ll reveal all He accomplished because of your prayers…

      Reply
  • April 18, 2014 at 4:14 PM
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    Powerful post. Raising boys to men is a difficult job, but God equips us. Jesus is our example. Joining you in praying for our sons.

    Reply
  • April 16, 2015 at 2:32 AM
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    I have been patiently waiting for Flames. I know it is being written for me. I trust Father to give you the words.

    Reply
  • September 2, 2015 at 2:57 AM
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    Have no idea why I’ve never read this before. His timing I know to be true — real and strong. Thank you G for this. Touches me deeply. A bittersweet for me to carry – to follow, prayerfully allowed to teach. Thank you my friend. You are His beautiful, forever servant-daughter to our precious Father King.

    Reply

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