My fourth son is a sniffer. (He’s also a licker, but that’s irrelevant right now.) He likes to go around smelling things, sniffing them out like a puppy. He especially loves sniffing me. When we’re snuggled up close, since he craves tight hugs often, he’ll sniff my neck, face, and arms. His eyes are closed, and he has a slight smile on his face. It’s become a new little game we play. I ask, “What do I smell like?” His eyes open, his beautiful bright smile lights up, and he says sweetly and full of love, “You smell like LOVE, Mama!”

Proverbs 4:3 For I was my father’s son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother.

Ah, mothers and sons. There is something incredibly special about the bond between them. I always wanted to have a son. Now I’m incredibly blessed with four. Four completely different and unique young men who love their mama fiercely. Yes, I’m actually rather proud that I have mama’s boys. I’m thrilled to hear “I love you, Mama.” I love being asked for a hug. I cherish moments they want to spend with me. I admit to being a little smug when I hear how much my boys missed me when I am away from them for just a short while.

Yet the term “mama’s boy” seems to be a negative one. I don’t know why. Mothers and sons have always had great relationships. I think maybe it comes when the son doesn’t ever grow up and away from the mom? If so, I can see that being a problem. Since my oldest isn’t even 12 yet, I have no experience there.

When I say I have “mama’s boys,” I just mean they are my boys. Not that they are wimpy, coddled never-to-be-called-men-boys. I want my boys to grow into godly men, who love the Lord, love their parents, love their fellow-man, and eventually, love their wives and children. I want grown sons who are not afraid to kiss their mama on the cheek, but who will stand up to me if I ever cross the line with their wives. The truth is, I’m not an expert. I mess up all. the. time. I disappoint my boys and let them down. But I have hope and pray daily that they will be men of God.

The following is a list of things that I try to do, in my limited experience raising four young men, to help you raise a mama’s boy who will (prayerfully) be a man of God:

  • If you are married, make sure your marriage comes first.
  • Respect his dad. I know this can be a tough one, especially in broken homes. But please try not to talk badly about your son’s father, at least in front of him…
  • Offer him lots of hugs and kisses.
  • Spend a lot of time with him.
  • Let him be a boy: dirt-playing, bug-finding, noise-making, chance-taking.
  • Allow for independence, even if it seems scary to you.
  • Let him get hurt. (I know!)
  • Let him express his feelings. Let him cry. Despite popular opinion, crying is good.
  • Don’t be afraid to let him be sensitive: sweet, calm, understanding, compassionate.
  • Offer comfort, but don’t force it on him. Oh, the first time when my oldest didn’t accept a kiss on a boo-boo to “make it all better!” But comfort should be for him, not for us.
  • I don’t want to raise hard, tough boys. I want to raise compassionate, kind men who are happy in their own skin and can respond gently and compassionately. – Wendy
  • Let him make mistakes.
  • Let him take responsibility for his own actions.
  • Encourage his daily time with the Lord.
  • Pray with him.
  • Read the Proverbs over and over and over again to and with him.
  • Read the Epistles over and over and over again to and with him.
  • Make meals with him.
  • Don’t be afraid to let him do household work: laundry, dishes, sweeping, cleaning. His wife will thank you some day. 😉
  • Learn his likes and dislikes.
  • Show an interest in his interests.
  • Speak to him about purity. Often.
  • TALK to him…a lot. If he has been with others, ask open-ended questions rather than just “Did you have fun?”
  • Listen to the little things your son wants to tell you. Some day, there will be big things you want to listen to.
  • Be available. Set boundaries. Balance in the key.
  • Let him take apart broken things. He learns how things work while he’s taking them apart.
  • Have fun. Laugh together.
  • Be HUMBLE.
  • Ask forgiveness.
  • Give him work; teach him that work is a good thing and that the Lord says working is good.
  • Don’t be afraid to have high expectations for him, but don’t shun him if he fails. He WILL fail sometimes, since he’s human (like you are!).
  • Admit your failures.
  • Make him responsible for things around the house. A boy wants to grow up to be a man and a man takes care of others.
  • And since a father is SUPER important in a son’s life:
  • Dad is the best living example to teach your son to love the Lord, respect his mom and be a servant to others by his actions in front of him every day.

    How about you? What are some things that you do/have done to help foster a close, loving relationship between you and your sons?

    What are some things that you do/have done with your sons to encourage them to grow into godly men?

    God bless,

    JennAbout Jenn: I’m a Christian wife to an amazing man (since 1998) and a stay-at-home-teaching mom to four special & incredible boys (born in 2004, 2005, 2007, & 2009). I’m messy and cluttered, but working on that (really, I am!). I’m a discouraged perfectionist and a classic procrastinator who probably has both ADD & Autism, so I tend to jump from topic to topic (and activity to activity) without notice. My Love Languages are Words of Affirmation and Physical Touch. I’m an INFP who enjoys friends but loves to be alone. I love getting and giving hugs, and encouragement is a Spiritual gift of mine that can too-easily be turned into the weapon of discouragement, if I’m not careful. I enjoy writing, singing, words, drawing, photography, digital creations, and reading. Oh, and pizza, tacos, and steak. Now I’m hungry. That reminds me; I eat gluten free and try to eat organic and avoid white sugar and GMOs as much as possible.  Find me on Facebook (Writer/Editor page) (Fan page), Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram.

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