When it comes to raising godly boys, one of the most important things we as parents can do is to practice the art of conversation. This involves more than simply talking to our kids. It involves talking with them.
Good conversations happen when we are able to truly communicate. So listening is as important as talking. And these conversations will help our sons to grow and mature in Christ.
3 Ways to Use Conversation in Raising Godly Boys
1. To pass down your faith.
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:4–9, emphasis added)
Did you catch that? You shall talk of them. This is how God prescribed that the Israelites should share their faith with the next generation. The principle remains the same for us. The passing down of our faith takes intentionality as we go throughout our day—as we sit, walk, and lie down. If our desire for our boys is for them to have an intimate relationship with Jesus, if we want them to love God with all their heart, soul, and might, then we talk to them about faith. We talk with them. Intentionally, regularly, naturally.
Really, that is the point of homeschooling, isn’t it? To teach their hearts, minds, and souls? Simply put, homeschooling is discipleship.
2. To teach them how to analyze worldview.
Our sons live in a world where they are constantly bombarded with information, opinions, images, and messages. With the Internet and social media, everyone has a voice, all of the time. It is simply a part of the world they live in. Therefore we need to equip them to do just that: to live in the world but not be of it.
Worldview is the lens through which we view the world. According to James Sire, author of The Universe Next Door, there are 8 questions a worldview must answer. Questions such as “What happens to a person at death?” and “How do we know what is right and wrong?” Obviously, a Christian will answer these questions much differently than a person of another religion or one who has no religion at all.
As our boys mature, they need to analyze the information they are hearing. They need to learn to discern the worldview behind it. And one great way to help them develop this skill is to watch the news or read about it together online, and then talk about it. Ask questions like,
- Can you tell what the people who are writing or telling this story believe based on how they are telling it?
- How does their choice of words reveal what they believe?
- What bias do you detect?
By asking questions, listening, and allowing your kids to talk through their ideas, you will help them to become discerning about the information they are taking in.
3. To help them learn to defend their faith.
Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. (1 Peter 3:14b–16, emphasis added)
Notice it says to be ready to make a defense “to anyone who asks you”. There will come a time during conversations with others that our kids will be challenged. Why not prepare them for those hard questions by asking them ourselves first?
Our homes should be a safe place to ask difficult questions about faith and grapple with the answers together. To talk about what God’s Word says, in addition to having the freedom to express doubts and deal with our own questions. And then to dig into the Word again.
By having these hard conversations, we are equipping our sons to…present [themselves] to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)
Raising Godly Boys Using Conversation
There is no formula for raising godly boys, but we can be faithful to follow God, to pray with our sons and for them, and to spend time with them. Let’s take the time to really talk, to have deep and meaningful conversations with our sons about life, faith, and all that it means to become a godly man.
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Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. May not copy or download more than 500 consecutive verses of the ESV Bible or more than one half of any book of the ESV Bible.
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