No, Please, After you

One all-important lego piece. Like the holy grail of lego pieces.  There’s only one.

metallic_goldAll three of my boys want it.

Negotiating, arguing, and ultimately fighting ensues.

Here comes mom.

By now they know what I’m going to ask.

“Who’s more important than that Lego?”

They grudgingly speak the name of their brothers.

Yes, good answer.  Next question… How are you guys going to figure this out?

Sometimes the guys figure out how to share and work together. Other days Mom has to take the Lego away. (or whatever is the toy/ privilege of the day).  I hold out this standard for us, because I want my boys to develop genuine humility.IMG_1604

Humility is challenged regularly when my boys play with kids, outside of our family bubble. They discover that our rules at home are not often followed in the world around them.

It can seem like everybody else is allowed, if not encouraged, to try to be first. And win! Maybe my sons think “Everybody else pushed and shoved for the best toy in the pile. I waited for a turn and ended up with this lame toy.” I see their face and eyes, and posture shout out “Dude, I don’t like how this feels to be last.” My mommy heart breaks to see my sons feel so defeated.

And so it goes at every corner: at sports, in the classroom, on the playground, in the neighborhood and even at church. I can see their repeated confusion: why does mom insist that we put others first when is seems like nobody else is doing it?

Honestly, I do know a few mothers who are teaching their sons to put the needs and wants of others ahead of their own.  It is actually a deflating goal to have as a mother of boys. It’s more common to see moms who want their sons to be first. To be winners.  To have the best of everything. To be on top.

 I am tempted to think, What’s so wrong with that?

Who wants to raise a meek boy anyway? It just doesn’t seem like a very happy or successful kind of life.

Ironically, Jesus says “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the whole earth”. Matthew 5:5.

I have never heard a mom say to her son, “Sweet boy, remember to practice meekness at school today, k? Put others ahead of yourself and be humble.”

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First day of school.  Remember to be humble!

But that is the way of Jesus.  Jesus will bless the meek with the whole world! That certainly looks like a pretty great reward.

I guess it is no surprise to learn that even moms in the bible got their priorities out of whack sometimes.  Matthew, chapter 20, tells us about the mom of James and John, two disciples of Jesus. She too was concerned about the success of her boys.  She brought her grown sons to Jesus, knelt down and basically said, “Jesus, since my two awesome sons here have been with you from the beginning, will you make sure they get a place of honor along with you? Like perhaps one can be seated at your left and the other at your right?”

What a bold request! But, I don’t think Jesus was surprised.  Jesus knows our self-serving desires to posture and position and move up the ladder.  He responds with an All Hands meeting for his 12 disciples.

Jesus called them together and said, “…Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave— for even the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve others, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Wow! Not exactly what the mom of James and John had in mind.  But for us today, wouldn’t it be revolutionary if our boys knew that to become great, you put others first?  If they walk like Jesus did, serving others in humility, they will experience also the joy that Jesus had.  Instead of hearing, “Me first!” we’d hear that funny exchange of “No, please, after you.”Instead, boys competing for last place!

Isn’t it men with humble and meek hearts who love the broken and destitute?

How else will our sons grow up to take care of the widows and orphans?  Who will lead our children’s generation to serve the poor and not forget them? 

If we teach our sons to depend on God’s strength rather than their own natural abilities, they could be world changers.  Our boys could live counter-cultural lives, just like Jesus did. And be just as revolutionary and impactful too.  

Jesus said, “whoever believes in Me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these… You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”  (John 14:12-14)

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It’s a different road to take as a mom.  To raise up meek and humble sons. Many others won’t get it and might even disregard our sons at times, but God never will. (1 Peter 5:6).  We don’t have to define success the same way our culture does.  Let’s dare to embrace our promises in Jesus and trust God to lead our sons, and us, in humility.  It’s guaranteed to be a truly satisfying and rewarding life.   

Want more scripture on humility

 

6 comments

  1. WOW! What an amazing testimony and so very true! A lot of times I get from my son, apparently just from the look on my face, “I know, I know, be humble”. I also get the response after I’ve reminded him, “but mom, it’s not always easy to be humble”. I remind him, “Yes son, I know but you really need to be”. It is even harder when your child has a natural ability he is constantly being praised by others for. My boys have huge hearts and I do see the humility and humbleness in them most of the time. For that I’m grateful.
    Thank you for this testimony. Even I question myself as to why teach them humility from time to time. This is s great reminder of why. 🙂

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    1. Roberta, that is so great that your sons verbalize their struggle with you! That speaks volumes on your own example as a humble mom. One day our sons’ natural abilities will fail them, but God never fails. You are already preparing your sons for that reality. For me, it is easier to teach humility to our sons if I just *believe* the promises of God, that humbleness will be rewarded by God. Here’s hoping that you and I both can keep our eyes on Jesus, and raise up world-changers!! whoop!

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  2. Yes! At home we just recently read Mark 9:33-37. The teaching of servant hood IS radically different from the way of the world and man (or boy). Thank God for Jesus who is our ultimate example of what it is be the greatest, the servant of all. May our boys follow him always. Keep up the amazing work momma!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Evelia! Reading your encouragement helps me remember that being a mom, and raising up boys who will hopefully follow Jesus even as grown men, is a special privilege and joy. !!! You are my comrade!

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  3. This so resonates with me, especially the Lego part. I feel like little David in a world of Goliaths when it comes to rewiring my boys to put others’ needs before theirs. Sometimes, though, it feels like a losing battle because there isn’t an end to the “me” mentality in my home. My boys feel as though they are getting the short end of the stick if they were to let others “have it.” Prayers is all I can say.

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    1. Oh, I hear you Mel. Such a never ending battle, it seems. Teaching our sons humility is not a one time deal. And, it’s not the only thing we are teaching our sons!!! haha. No wonder we are tired. Prayers are the best solution, I agree! Because we mommas cannot do for our boys what only God can do. Change their hearts! I’ll join with you Mel in prayer for your sons and mine to grow into men with humble hearts. Love you girlfriend.

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