Raising Boys {Who Know When To Cry}

I always love having The Preacher stop by my little blog. His gentle but deliberate leadership in our home makes all the difference as we raise a houseful of cubs. This post is a direct result of something I witnessed just the other day, and asked him to write about for our encouragement.

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Guest post by The Preacher

Everyone knows that big boys don’t cry, right?

That’s funny….

At our house, we have a hard time going more than thirty minutes at a time without someone bawling their eyes out over one thing or another.  Is that the case in your house?  Well, as a father, it is my job to set things right and let the man-cubs know that crying just isn’t the manly thing to do.  Or is it?  I usually pull out the “man up” speech when I am tired, and struggling with patience.  But in my wiser moments, a conversation with my boys can go something like this:

Me: Why are you crying, son?

Number 3: [Brother 1, 2, or 4] took away my sword [insert any of the following: ran into me, won't let me have the car, isn't sharing the book]!

Me: Did you talk to him about it?

Number 3: “No, but"…[insert long explanation why he really deserves to have the sword.]

Me: “Son, is that really worth crying over?  Should your happiness really depend on what toy you have?”

Number 3: “No.” [sullen tone]

Me: [Insert drawn out conversation about how to communicate in an honorable way...] "It’s not fun when someone takes something away from us, but, son, of all the things we cry about, do you know what is actually worth crying over?"

Number 3: “What?”

Me: "A man should cry when he has sinned against someone else.  Our sin should makes us sad.  We should cry when someone else is hurting. Sadness over your brother's sin is right too, because we should be grieved when our brother fails to honor God."

At this point, it is questionable whether Number 3, at the tender age of 4 is understanding anything I say, but that’s alright.  My philosophy is, tell them early and tell them often because you never know when it will click, or stick.

I often find myself telling the boys about manhood, about the many challenges they will face and the decision they will one day make. My desire, as a father, is not to raise boys who are tough enough to never break down or be emotional, but to raise boys who are emotional about the right things, and are broken down over their own sin. I want to raise boys who are not ruled by emotion, but by the Truth that should govern that emotion.

So should boys cry?  The shortest verse in the Bible says they should.

It says of the manliest man that ever lived: “Jesus wept.”  Why would he weep over Lazarus when He knew that He was going to raise him from the dead?  The story doesn’t answer that question explicitly, but I have a suggestion for our Savior's weeping: sin.  Jesus wept over sin.  It was sin that killed Lazarus.  It was for sin that Christ died.  If we teach our boys (and girls) to do the same, we will be successful parents!  “Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.”