** This article was copied from D6Family.com
My friend Samantha Krieger just wrote a post called What I Want My Daughters to Know About Beauty & Worth. I recommend you read her post and subscribe to her blog. She is one of the best writers I know and you don’t want to miss what she has to say, especially for the wives and moms out there.
I don’t have any daughters, yet I found myself drawn into this post. Partly because I know the world gives women a very false message about beauty, and women live under an immense amount of pressure to live up to some false, air-brushed standard. I can’t imagine the pressure many/most women feel to do everything they can to make sure their daughter doesn’t grow up believing the lies.
The other reason I was so drawn to this article has very little to do with beauty and worth. Rather, as the dad to four boys, I desire for my boys to have the right message about masculinity and worth. While the battle/struggle for boys and girls might be different, the fight is still over their value and worth.
My kids are at a sweet age right now. The twins are almost 12, our middle boy is nine and our youngest is seven. They can do a whole lot by themselves, they are fun to play and talk with, and they still think I’m the greatest guy on the planet. I know someday (probably soon!) this will change, so I am enjoying it in the moment. This is the perfect season for me to drive home the lessons they need to learn about their value and worth. I know as my twins start junior high in the fall, their world will be shaken like never before.
A few years ago, I read the book Season of Life, by Jeffrey Marx. The book tells the story of Joe Ehrmann, a former NFL player who now spends his days teaching young men about a whole new meaning of masculinity. In the book, Marx shares the world’s definition of masculinity and how it centers around athletic prowess as an elementary/middle school boy, sexual conquest as a high school/college young man, and financial success as a young adult/man.
As I watch my boys grow older and older, I see these things being lived out in front of my eyes. The most “popular” elementary boys seem to be the ones with the most athletic ability, and as my twins get ready to enter into junior high next year, I know sexual tensions rise like crazy in these pre-pubescent, adolescent boys and girls. And as I watch young adults, I see the prestige that comes with nicer cars, bigger homes, and more powerful job titles.
And everything in me wants my boys to know that their value and worth is not tied into their athletic ability, sexual conquests, or financial success. I long for them to know they are loved by their mom and dad, and are loved even more than they can imagine by the God of the universe. I want them to know that Jesus died for them, that their value and worth is defined by His finished work on the cross of Christ, not by baskets scored, notches on the bedpost, or digits in their bank account.
I want my boys to know:
- They are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). My twins were conceived at just about the same moment in time (they are fraternal – VERY fraternal). Yet, even though they come from the same parents and were made and born seconds apart, they are still so different from each other. Where do those differences come from? Their Creator.
- Their value comes from the fact that they are human beings, made in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:27).
- Whatever the world offers is not worth it. So often the things we are drawn to (the desires of the flesh, the desires of the eyes, and the pride of life) are not from God but from the world (1 John 2:15-16).
- Choosing God over choosing to please man is going to be one of the toughest battles they will face. And it’s a battle they will fight every single day (I know I still do, every single day) (Galatians 1:10).
- I want them to know that porn isn’t worth it. That even though it looks and sounds alluring and enticing, that it isn’t worth trying it out. I know they’ll want to google words and want to see pictures and videos. I know they’ll wonder what it’s like to be held by a woman and to feel her body against theirs. I know they’ll hear stories from their friends and they’ll feel left out. And I want them to know how AMAZING it is, but only in the right relationship at the right time (marriage).
- I want them to know how much I regret the stupid things I did in my life because I thought the short-term satisfaction would be worth it. So many regrets because I chose to pursue the fleeting pleasures at the expense of God’s best.
- That their mom and dad love them, unconditionally. They don’t have to earn our love and acceptance. There might be some days when I don’t “like” them, but I want them to know, much like the Father’s love for us, that they can’t and don’t need to try to earn the love of their parents.
My boys have a battle they need to fight. The world continues to drive home a message that says sports, sexual conquest, and financial/vocational success drive their value and worth. I am grateful for Samantha’s reminders that just as a daughter’s value and worth don’t come from their outer beauty, so doesn’t a son’s value come from athletic, sexual, or vocational success. I want them to know that their value and worth is best demonstrated in the cross of Christ.
- One of the best resources I have ever seen in knowing and understanding what it means to be a godly man comes from Watermark’s lead pastor, Todd Wagner. Check out his handout on 5 Characteristics of a Godly Man and watch his message as he talks through this list.
- If you’re married and have sons, talk with your spouse about what you see in your son(s) that you are grateful for and what you see that concerns you. Pray for him/them after you discuss.
- Talk with spouse about how you’re doing at driving home the right values with your children. Are you perpetuating the message of athletic, sexual and vocational success, or are reminding them about the source of their real value and worth.