Can we talk? Yes, you, the exhausted mom whose living room is filled with trucks and footballs and rock collections. And you, the lady whose sons are outgrowing their basketball shoes and sprouting peach fuzz on their chins.
All of you boy moms who wash blue and red T-shirts, stinky socks, and muddy fingerprints day after day after day. I want a word with you.
Please help me.
I’m the mom of daughters, see—the shepherd of two beautiful little girls who are growing up too fast. One day, sooner than I fear, they will stop seeing your sons as innocent playground mates and instead start flipping their hair when your boys walk by. I’m trying to raise my girls to be modest, respectful, confident and pure. To know they can be doctors and scientists and computer programmers and police officers yet choose to love babies and perfume and picking flowers if they want to. It’s a messed up world we live in today, mom friends, and I’m just trying to navigate my girls through the jungle according to God’s design.
You can make a big impact on my ability to do that well.
Can we work together?
Here’s what I need from you.
First, please teach your boys to respect my girls.
I’m talking about respecting their brains, their bodies, and their hearts. Smart girls are awesome. They’re a positive influence. Teach your boys to seek out smart girls and not to take advantage of the lesser intelligent girls, to appreciate and value both ends of the spectrum as females created by God who loves them all.
And I’m begging you, please don’t let your boys watch YouTube videos or play Xbox games featuring scantily clad women. Don’t give them opportunities to buy into the cultural lie that a woman’s value is measured by her sex appeal. Girls struggle enough with body image, I’m telling you—please teach your sons that all women are beautiful, in every shape and size, simply because God thought them up. And He doesn’t make mistakes.
And that girl’s heart? It’s fragile. Thoughtless remarks about her “giraffe neck” or her “hyena laugh” can cut and sting for YEARS. It’s not right but it’s true—your son’s words can shape my daughter’s image of herself well beyond her formative seasons. Puberty is cruel to girls, especially during the middle school years when many of them enter it before your boys do. Please teach your sons to be kind. To be encouraging, compassionate, discreet, and disinterested, for the love of humanity! Could you maybe explain to your sons that bra straps and pantiliners are perfectly normal, boring topics, not worth their attention in the first place? Everybody wears underwear, end of story.
Second, please let your boys grow up to be men.
Don’t try to control them or emasculate them or turn them into hairier versions of girls, as if God didn’t design gender with a brilliant purpose for His glory. I want my girls to believe they can lean on your boys—their husbands one day—knowing that men were created to be the family provider/protectors and it would be SO great if you’d teach and encourage them to BE THAT, to fill that role with sacrificial love and courage and a servant’s heart.
And finally, bring chivalry back to America.
There is no way I’m going to let my daughter hang out with any boy who honks his horn in the driveway and expects her to leap. Your son will ring the doorbell like a gentleman and shake my husband’s hand. He will pay for my daughter’s coffee at Starbucks (not because He has to but because he has that servant’s heart we just talked about). He will have her home five minutes before curfew because he respects her parents and he fears God, for whom He lives and breathes. He will spend the hours between pick-up and drop-off looking at her face and listening to her voice, keeping his hands to himself.
Will you please explain to your sons that dating isn’t just about trying girls on for size? It’s experiential training for marriage. So please teach your boys to treat my girls as they would their future fiancé. And I’ll teach my girls to do the same.
I know we can’t protect our kids from everything. But we can at least try to protect them from each other. I pour my aching soul into guiding my girls toward Jesus, instilling in them godly virtues and respect for people as God’s created ones—your sons included. They’ll make mistakes, yes, and so will your boys. But maybe if we work together, we can build up a generation of families who reflect Christ.
Starting with your sons. And my daughters.
I can’t think of a better legacy to invest in. Are you with me?
This post originally appeared on The Better Mom and was republished with permission.
Becky Kopitzke is the author of “The SuperMom Myth: Conquering the Dirty Villains of Motherhood” and “Generous Love: Discover the Joy of Living ‘Others First’. Becky lives in lovely northeast Wisconsin with her husband and their two daughters, where her home office is overrun with bouncy balls and tween craft supplies. For weekly, keeping-it-real encouragement, visit Becky at beckykopitzke.com.