Thursday, April 19, 2012

Raising Men, Not Sluggards!

As a mother of all boys, I often worry about making sure that I am doing all that I can to help my sons become men.  Yes, they are boys now, but I always have to remember that there is a man growing inside each of those little boy bodies.  Thankfully, much of their actual "manliness" training falls under my husband's jurisdiction, but I know I also have an important role to play.  If nothing else, I owe it to my future daughter-in-laws to make sure that I deliver them whole and intact as Men of Standard, worthy of the titles of "Husband" and "Father!"

One of the things I wrestle with is teaching my sons how to follow through.  I will often assign a task and discover later that they did not quite finish the job.  Recently, I told one of my sons to go upstairs and return his truck to his toy box in his bedroom.  Well, I came up later and found that truck at the top of the staircase.  Follow through?  I think not.

When I am tempted to yell and punish, I often hear that still, small voice admonishing me and telling me that this is my fault.  I have not diligently taught my children to follow through.

In the middle of rushing to stay on top of my duties as mom, wife, homeschooler, cook, pastor's wife, sister-friend, daughter, and so much more, I often don't take the time to stop and make sure that they are learning the value of seeing a task to completion.  Honestly, I usually forget to check to make sure that they have finished the job.  Sadly, I will often just finish it so that I can move on to the next thing on my list.

God, in his infinite wisdom, chose to give me a solution to this problem during family devotion.  This morning, as we sat around the kitchen table, Andrew asked for the meaning of Proverb 19:24.

"The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; he will not even bring it back to his mouth."

In his explanation, my husband basically told him that a sluggard is someone who is so lazy that they never follow through, even for the tasks that are necessary for survival.

I have to admit that I felt so convicted during his explanation because I knew that I had not been setting a good example of following through by ignoring the fact that my children were not following through.

Within one hour after devotion, I had the opportunity to work with my boys during two instances of  lack of follow through.  Each time, I would ask, "Are you a sluggard?"

Of course, they don't want to be sluggards, so they would puff out their little chests and say, "I am NOT a sluggard."

Then, I would say, "Well, complete your task with excellence."

Then, they ran off to complete their tasks.  Of course, I did my part and checked for job completion.

Parenting and training is exhausting and repetitive, but it is worthy work.  If I want my boys to be good stewards of their time and resources, I must first set an example by being a good steward of the three precious little boy gifts God has given me.

We are far from adulthood, but I am determined to follow through on teaching my boys to follow through.  Besides, I want nice Christmas presents from my future daughter-in-laws!

What do you do teach your children to follow through?


  1. Kudos! I've been where you are...believe me the best is yet to come my friend. Love the sluggard analogy. Thanks for that pearl of wisdom that I can add to our box of jewels!

  2. Ty, thank you so much for assuring me that it does eventually pay off!

  3. Great post and insight. I have to admit that I am guilty of not following through at times and I have seen this in my boys recently. this was a great article for me to check myself and i have missed the mark. I'm so thankful for this timely article, now I can hit the reset button and focus on teaching this by example this summer and into the fall and beyond. Thanks!

  4. Rachelle,
    I'm glad to hear (read?) that recognizing my own parenting blunder has helped you. This mothering thing is hard work, but it's teaching me so much and helping me grow up in so many ways.