When my husband began looking for a wife, he had already decided that he wanted to be married to a smile, and so that is what he went looking for. He found a smile when he met my mom, and so, with a little deduction, he knew her daughter was the girl for him. He reasoned, if the mother is happy, the daughters are likely to follow suit.
In raising my little girls, I am conscious of the need to produce smiling wives who will be stable, secure, strong, confident, happy, submissive, and full of life.
It is readily apparent in three-year-olds what kind of wife or husband they will become. It is a broader way of looking at training. But we are not content to just train them to sit still and be courteous and obedient, never interrupting adult conversation. More important, are we instilling the personality and character that will make them good wives and mothers?
As my husband and I were traveling this past summer, we met lots of wonderful, obedient children. But if you project their attitudes and temperaments into grown bodies, there weren’t many that I would select as husbands for my daughters. It wasn’t because they were mean or obnoxious. They were something even more distasteful—many were sweet, kind, and soft “mama’s boys.” I know, some of you are about to say, “But that is how I wish my husband was; if he would just care more about my feelings or be more gentle, then I would be so much happier. I am going to make sure that I raise a son who will be loving and caring about a girl’s feelings, and be willing to sit and listen and spend time talking with me.” I have seen a few men like that, and, oh yes, they are sweet to the point where you wonder if they truly are men. God created men to be men and women to be women, so let’s take his cue and start raising men and women in the image which God intended them to be. That means mothers letting go and fathers stepping up to the plate.
I met many happy, beautiful young ladies while traveling, and they all said the same thing: “There are no men; just mama’s boys, and who wants to be married to that?”
We met one family that had a son who was all over the place; he wanted to do it all. He was the only son in a houseful of women; his dad worked out of the house. Yet this boy was a man all the way, and even at that young age it was obvious that he will be a real man, a leader, kind and strong at the same time. That is what you need to be raising for my daughters, Gracie and Laila. He already manifests leadership qualities—most notably, manly dominance.
I observed as he and Gracie were playing. She got into the driver’s seat of the play car. He told her that being the man, he was going to do the driving, but if she married him, he would give her a debit card. She readily agreed. Smart girl.
Every child I met was different. Some were shy. Some bold. Some weak, and some strong. We must be honest and objective in relating to our children. If your son is sensitive and caring, God can use him in some service or ministry that needs compassion. But do not let yourself cater to the sensitive and caring side of that child. Carefully and patiently steer him to be tough in order to be able to face the trials of life.
If your daughter is sensitive and gets her feelings hurt easily, starts coming to you for sympathy, complaining of ill treatment by others, just smile and say, “Well, that is his problem, not yours. We will try to help him have a better attitude.”
Show your daughter how wonderful life is by being an example of joy and creativity. Treat your little boys like men, and expect manly responses. Don’t demand that they be sensitive like girls.
If your daughter is not a servant by nature, you must give more time and attention in training her. Example is an indispensable teacher. When she sees you always serving Daddy, she will adopt your attitude.
It is sometimes hard for us as parents to see the weaknesses in our children. So never be afraid to ask a friend if they see something you are missing. My daughter will need a MAN in about eighteen years. I am particular. She will be too. So don’t come knocking if you are not training up a boy in the way a man should go.