When I learned I was pregnant with my first child, I started to see the world differently. When I learned my child was a boy, I panicked. With a world full of temptation and sin, how was I going to raise this little boy to love Christ and stay true to him? As a woman, I know and understand how to move about in the world while still protecting my heart. Men see the world differently and I don’t know how to live as a man. How can I teach my son to do so? Yes, I thankfully have my husband at my side, God bless him, but I was the one that was going to be with our child day in and day out while he went to work. And I didn’t know the first thing about raising godly boys.
The Best Advice for Raising Godly Boys
I started to look for other mothers who had little boys who were already beginning to show love for Jesus. I started to talk to these mothers, ask them questions, gather advice. There was a lot of information and tips I received, but one bit of advice stands out above the rest:
“You can’t raise godly boys. Only Jesus can provide them with the heart they need in order to be godly men.”
What a relief! I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I simply needed to lead my sons to Jesus and He would do the rest. He would raise them to be godly boys. After speaking to this mother more, and later with my husband, I came up with three simple steps to take with my son to help lead him towards Christ.
Dress Him Up
The church is an essential part of our faith life. In fact, we believe it to be the cornerstone. If I wanted to raise a godly boy, I knew he would need to understand the importance of going to church. From the time I brought my son home from the hospital, I have had one simple rule about church: my boys were going to dress up. Now, what I didn’t do was run out and buy three-piece suits for them!
I simply looked through their closet of clothes gathered by myself and grandmothers from various garage sales and found the best shirt I could. This generally meant either a button up dress shirt or a simple polo. Either way, that shirt (or shirts) became “Jesus shirts”.
Every Sunday, I would dress my infant son in his “Jesus shirt” and tell him we were going to Jesus’ house. Dressing up sends a clear message to children that this is something special. After all, the rest of the week we wore t-shirts! And I know that it works!
One day, I was hanging up baby clothes in anticipation of the birth of our third child (a little girl) my son, then just shy of turning 3, spied a fancy little dress and said: “That’s for Jesus’ house”. My son knew and understood that you wore your best clothes for Jesus and he wasn’t even 3 years old yet! It was a small step, but every little step counts.
Have you ever heard of the term “mere exposure”? It’s an advertising term that references a statistical fact that states the more often you see a product, the more likely you are to buy it. Not try it, taste it, or even touch it, but just see it! I decided I wanted to try this my home, but with Christ.
I started to fill my home with visible representations of Christ. Pictures, crosses, and images of the Holy Family to help me raise a godly boy. I added a picture of the Christ child to his bedroom in addition to the crucifix that was already there. Not only did the additional decor add visual input for my son, but it also emphasizes the importance we place of Christ in our family.
As my children have grown, I have learned that having pictures and images hanging on the walls easily leads into everyday conversations with young children. When we are eating, we reference the painting of the Last Supper. When we preparing to go to bed, we say “Good night” to the Christ child in the bedroom.
If I wanted my son to be a godly boy I knew that he needed a good prayer life, but prayer isn’t always easy. Having a good prayer life takes practice. In order to give my sons a running start, I decided that prayer needed to be a part of their lives from the very beginning.
Using simple, easy prayers, we scattered prayers throughout our daily routine. Bedtime, meals, and traveling in the car became synonymous with prayer time. Because the prayers we say are super simple, my almost 4-year-old can almost recite them on his own. My children are also prepared for prayer time because they have become so used it as part of their day. I have even been corrected when I have accidentally forgotten to pray!
Baby Steps for Raising Godly Boys
Raising godly boys isn’t an easy task, but we mothers can rest assured that we do not face it alone! Jesus wants our boys to be godly even more than we do. More than that, He also knows what their hearts truly need. There are many little things we can do to lead little boys to Him, but in the end, He is what they truly need. Baby steps towards Christ is the best thing I can offer my boys.
Together, let us pray for our boys. Pray that they find their way to Christ and become the godly boys we know they can be!
My name is Michelle Helen and I am the proud mama of two little boys and one little girl! My blog, Balanced Home and Life, is about recognizing that ‘homemaking’ is much more that cooking and cleaning. My goal is to help fellow homemakers find their balance so they can live a full, rewarding life while also creating a sanctuary to call home.