My sons are still quite young, and they never cease to delight me with a barrage of questions about life. Sometimes the answers come easy, and sometimes they do not. My goal has always been to engage their minds in thought while engaging their hearts to be compassionate.
Raising Godly Boys with Compassionate Hearts
Not too long ago, we had a situation. One in which our oldest son needed some guidance to navigate. His feelings were very hurt and our hearts were broken for him. We were quite concerned that the resolution of the matter would undo so much of what we had instilled in him. Thankfully, with some time, prayer and a little extra love, he was back to his old self.
Although we are dedicated to their growth and development, I can’t say that I don’t worry about my boys’ hearts. Teaching them how to have tender hearts toward others hasn’t always been easy.
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Often, it has been downright painful, yet we persist. Along with faith, honesty, dedication, and grit, compassion has been one of the virtues I have and still strive to sow into the fertile soil of their little lives.
Having a compassionate heart is important in boys’ lives for so many reasons.
Here are a few that I hope you will ponder as you ask God daily for the wisdom to capture the hearts of your children.
- Compassion is something that must be taught to our sons. They are to put in on like clothing (Colossians 3:12). This does not mean that they can discard compassion when it suits them, but it is like a covering, that should be with them always.
- Compassion goes hand in hand with forgiveness, which is a godly characteristic (Ephesians 4:32). Compassion for others allows us to grant forgiveness of wrongs, which is a necessity for us to receive forgiveness from God.
- Having a compassionate heart is tied to being slow to anger (Nehemiah 9:17). We are able to control our responses and emotions to others when we have compassion for them. I’ve heard it said that people are often fighting battles we know nothing about – so be kind.
- Moses exclaimed that God is compassionate and gracious (Exodus 34:6). This is one way to teach our boys to be like Jesus. And this is the ultimate goal of raising godly boys!
- Having a compassionate heart will move them to care for the needs of others (Matthew 14:14). Just like Jesus, those with hearts of compassion will be moved by those in need. Whether it be a hug, sharing a kind word, or praying for someone, we are teaching them to see beyond themselves to help someone else.
Conversely, what are the consequences of having hearts that are not filled with compassion? What will our boys’ lives look like?
- Lack of compassion can manifest as harsh treatment of others. We can see this example in the parable of the king’s servant in the Bible who had been forgiven much but threw his brother in jail for owing him a small amount (Matthew 8:33). The amount the servant owed was more than he could possibly pay, yet the king’s pardon of his debt still did not serve as a good enough example for him to do the same.
- Hearts that are not filled with compassion leave room for anger and strife (Genesis 27:41). Esau held a grudge against his brother Jacob, because of the blessing he received from their father. Those boys, sigh.
- In that same vein, hearts void of compassion are desperate and do not take the feelings of others into consideration (Genesis 27:19). Jacob stole the blessing that was intended for the firstborn son, Esau. I have two sons, and I hope and pray that they learn compassion for each other at a young age. Had Esau and Jacob done so, this story might have ended quite a bit differently.
Being tenderhearted and kind (other ways compassion is portrayed in the bible) isn’t always believed to be a positive trait.
However, in God, we have a powerful example of the outpouring of compassion in everyday life and how the gospel was spread far and wide because of it. As our boys grow in stature, may they also grow to have hearts of compassion and may we as their parents, grow in compassion as well.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Colossians 3:12
Resource for Boys:
Lads & Ladies of Wisdom Character Curriculum by Kathie King Morrissey of The Character Corner!
Quantrilla (Quanny) Ard is a faith-based personal and spiritual development writer who lives in the DC Metro area with her husband and three littles. In addition to being a dedicated wife and mother, she is a entrepreneur, doctoral student, and curator of all things lovely. Quanny believes in the power in collective strength, community and fellowship. You will find her wherever people are sharing stories of triumph.