I heard an astonishing statistic (unverified) a while ago, that 70% of African American children are raised in homes without a father. This really bothered me and got me thinking for a long time. Then I realised that it’s easy to point fingers and deride those men for such irresponsibility but the truth is, men were once boys. No child came into this world fully formed, physically or ideologically.
In view of this, my simple question is: “How are you raising your son?”
We hear a lot, particularly amongst Africans, that girls need to be raised well in order to become responsible homemakers. But I wonder, is it only the woman that is responsible for “making” the home? What about the man? Does he get a free pass from homemaking because he’s a man? Is he exempt from the responsibilities of raising godly children and keeping the home because he has the XY chromosome?
There are battles going on in homes everyday, with the wife urging and begging her husband to do more in the house. To pay more attention to the children’s upbringing, to help more with domestic chores, to treat her with more consideration and respect. How many of these battles could we help prevent in the future by raising godly men? Men who are willing to lay down their lives for their families, not just outside the home (at work), but also within it. Let’s not forget, Jesus was not too “manly” to wash his disciples’ feet. There is dignity and reward in serving one’s family.
Does your son sit around all day playing games whilst his sisters are in the kitchen learning to cook? Do you imply by your actions that chores are only for girls? Does he get pampered and treated in an obviously more special way because he’s a son? Do you allow him to get away with behaviours you’d never allow in your daughter? In my work with children, I have come across teenage boys who show little or no respect to female teachers. They will not think twice about being abusive to women but are usually more respectful and reasonable when dealing with men. Why? They have been raised, intentionally or inadvertently, to believe that women are inferior to men.
In all of this here’s my point: we really have no right to complain about men if we are raising our own sons to become the men we complain about.
Photo credit: Mothers inspiring others