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Culture War on Young Boys; Not For this Mom

BOYS TO MEN

There’s a battle raging for the hearts and minds of boys today. Young men in this generation face pressures like never before—from their peers, the media, and a society that routinely paints a picture of the young male as aloof, uncaring, and unmotivated. Our culture is experiencing a major physical, emotional, and spiritual crisis in teenage masculinity. As tomorrow’s future leaders, this is something that should concern us all.

What might tomorrow’s world look like if today’s mothers took the responsibility for their sons’ futures and raised courageous young men who seek the heart of God in every situation? Christian speaker and mother of four, Rhonda Stoppe understands the struggles faced by modern mothers and sons and challenges every mom to hand her son his manhood—partnering with God in upholding biblical rules and defining clear boundaries while creating an environment in which her son can grow independent and spiritually strong. Rhonda says that the first place to start is by seeking God in prayer and by reading His word.  

TRUSTING GOD WITH THEIR FUTURE

Years ago when her son, Brandon, was six and her daughter was four, Rhonda’s family had moved to a new area and her husband Steve was out of town. Their four-year-old daughter Kayla was afraid of sleeping in her new room by herself, so she asked her brother Brandon to sleep on the bottom bunk of her bunkbed that night. Around 11 p.m. she heard her brother make a gurgling sound and fall to the floor. She screamed for Rhonda who came in to find him seizing and called 911. During the process, Brandon stopped breathing and turned blue. He was taken away by helicopter and Rhonda was terrified. She didn’t even know where the hospital was in their new town.

Brandon survived but was diagnosed with epilepsy. Rhonda was so gripped with fear that she had Brandon sleep on the floor in their room each night so she could hold his hand if he started having a seizure and wasn’t breathing. Steve helped her during the process of finding their new normal with Brandon’s diagnosis. Steve didn’t want her to coddle Brandon so much that he lost all hopes of having some kind of independence and a future of his own.

After adjusting medications and figuring out how to help Brandon their life was so different. Rhonda shares, “Once very active, Brandon now preferred to stay inside. Any athletic aspirations that his father or I had for him were now lost in lethargy (due to his medication).” But then something started happening when the teenage boys who played music took Brandon under their wing during youth group rehearsals. His musical skills began growing quickly and it became apparent that music was his passion.

Not only can Brandon play several instruments, but he also has an amazing singing voice. He is a worship pastor and has toured with a number of Christian artists including Matthew West, Casting Crowns, and Shane & Shane. Rhonda explains, “My vision (for Brandon’s life) had been the glory of the crowd cheering as Brandon passed the ball, sunk a basket, or knocked one out of the park. God planned to fashion a musician who would glorify Him.”

MOTIVATE INSTEAD OF MANIPULATE

Rhonda says as mothers it’s important to learn to motivate our sons instead of manipulating them. Instead of meddling or pushing to make something happen, it’s far better to show our sons opportunities and encourage them to take advantage of them. She explains, “Rather than try to control events to promote your son’s success, turn the control over to Christ, who can work all things together for good (Romans 8:28). 

SEVEN PRINCIPLES FOR RAISING GODLY SONS

Rhonda says there are seven principles for raising godly sons: Teach your son to respect authority; Have a clear idea of the kind of man God calls your son to be; Guide your son towards independence; Knowing your son well allows you to encourage his strengths and correct his weaknesses; Learn how to talk so your son listens, and listen so he talks; Teach your son to think biblically and; God is your source of wisdom and strength. 

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