I have an 8 year old son. I can not believe he is so old so fast. I am realizing just how quickly he is going to be a teenager, then driving, then graduating high school, then moving out, and so on. As I am acknowledging this, I feel the burden to make sure he hears and sees the right things over and over. Here are some things I have been telling him around the house and in our one on one times.
- I love your mother – I want him to know how I love, respect, value and cherish his mom. I think she is incredible and deserves to be treated with great appreciation. I do not need to clarify the countless reasons this is important. I will just highlight one key one – sometime he may get married.
- Be a leader – I want him to leverage any influence he may have. I tell him that if kids are picking on other kids to step in. I tell him to make good decisions around his cousins and classmates by being an example. I tell him that people will follow boldness, so have courage. I tell him that he can do it and not to be afraid. Followers are a dime a dozen. I want him to be an influencer for what is good.
- If you can’t lose with character, you do not get to play – He takes after his dad and he wants to win. He hates losing. I love that. But I do not love or condone him switching rules, lying or cheating to win. I do not condone the pouting or crying or anger that comes when he fails to win. You need to know how to have character in both winning and losing.
- You will respect women – I get so upset when he bullies his little sister. I hate hearing he yelled at a girl or he hit one on the playground. I tell him that women need to be treated with immense care. It is not acceptable for him to ever leverage strength, position, age or his mouth to manipulate or hurt a woman.
- God can use you – I want him to know that following God is not simply about having your character cleaned up. It is about allowing God to leverage your life for the mission to reach others.
- You are sometimes wrong – He needs to learn that being teachable needs to be a value for all of his life. He is not as smart as he thinks he is (none of us are). I try to celebrate when he is right, but also let him know when he needs to acknowledge he does not know what he is talking about. I want to build in to him, that this is ok. You always need to be willing to let others speak into your life.
- Be grateful – I want him to know that his life is good. He has a good home, loving parents, his health, opportunities, toys, food and so on. He needs to know that that is not what he is entitled to and not what is normal in the world.
I look forward to what kind of man he will be if he understands these 7 statements.