Watching me as I worked. Taking note as I built a fire to take off the early morning chill. My husband was out-of-town and this fireplace is how we like to heat our home. So it fell to me to light a cozy, crackling fire.
I was merely doing what needed to be done. But I could sense our son's disapproval.
"That looks like a man's job to me," he quietly observed.
I smiled up at him. Not really minding. I'm actually a rather fine fire-builder, thank you very much.
So I kept on with the task. Crumpled paper. Small kindling. Then the larger logs on top.
And that's when he couldn't stand it any longer.
He stopped me, "That seems like a man's job, Mom....so you'd better let me do it."
Those were big words coming out of a five-year-old's mouth. I hesitated, but his determination made me think I should probably step aside and let the Little Man take over.
I wasn't sure what to make of him lifting those heavy logs that were nearly half his size. Somewhat surprised at his willingness to do the hard work. Somewhat surprised as his instinct to look after his mom - rather than the other way around. But mostly surprised that he viewed his little self as, well, a little man.
So what does a mom do with her young son?
Always consider him as a young man in the making. Even when he is still quite small, consider your influence in forming his manhood. My friend commended her 3-year-old who'd patiently waited while she and I finished up a conversation, “You’re patient and I like that in a man.” How powerful for a little boy to hear those words from the woman in his life! She was already addressing him as one growing into a man.
Teach him to reach for the heights, but have a heart for the lowly.We want our sons to conquer mountains, to reach for the stars, and so he needs to hear our enthusiastic shouts of “I know you can do this!” Yet also to listen to our gentle reminders, “Look out for her; she can’t walk like you or me.” Or, “He’s smaller than you. Be sure and help him out.” A good man is mindful of those who need tender thought or care.
Don’t rush to rescue him if he stumbles or struggles. But be sure and stand by him until he's back up on his feet. It can be difficult to resist our mothering impulse to save him when he falters. Yet often the greater gift is to help him find his own strength in The Lord, rather than to depend on mama’s. So give him some space to discover the solution for himself.
Leave no doubt you’re his biggest fan. While he might not always show that he’s scared or unsure on the inside, he'll be looking for your support more than is apparent. So be cheering loudly from the sidelines as he ventures out into this world. He could use your “Go, Son, go!” more than he lets on.
A mom plays a special role in her son's life - whether he's three, five, or fifteen. She's that woman who's standing by to inspire him to be the strong, kind, and confident man God has called him to be. That young man in the making. Your son.
In His grace,