Raising boys today is a challenge especially when they are bombarded with strange and wrong messages of what it is to be a man. Our culture has fallen off the cliff, devaluing truly manly men – traditionally masculine men and fathers (real gentle-men) – who lead their home, personal lives and family well.
Not too long ago, there was a J. Crew ad with the company’s president and creative director Jenna Lyons painting the toenails of her son Beckett. She had painted his toenails pink and stated, “Lucky for me I ended up with a boy whose favorite color is pink. Toenail painting is way more fun in neon.”
“This is a dramatic example of the way that our culture is being encouraged to abandon all trappings of gender identity,” psychiatrist Dr. Keith Ablow wrote in a Health column about the ad. Media Research Center’s Erin Brown agreed, calling the ad “blatant propaganda celebrating trans-gendered children. Not only is Beckett likely to change his favorite color as early as tomorrow, Jenna’s indulgence (or encouragement) could make life hard for the boy in the future.”
J.CREW, once known for its tasteful clothing, apparently does not mind exploiting Beckett behind the facade of liberal, trans-gendered identity politics.
However, to some people “it seems innocent — even cute: a photo of a mom and her young son laughing adorably as she paints his toenails hot pink.” Mainstream media declared “So what? It’s just painting his nails.”
Destroying Families and Vital Relationships
Anyone who is a member of a parenting group, forum or club today knows the scale of parents’ posts on their children saying they may be gay, trans, bi, etc.
The trend of boys (gay or not) painting their nails is just one of the topics:
Parents catching their children having ‘sex’ with best friends in early childhood as they are told that ‘love means being gay’ – and they’ve heard the specific ‘how-tos’ of sex in school, girls are often on birth control by 12 or 13 (in many cases they ask for it), and so on… The number of other parents commenting that it’s happening in their family is staggering, too.
Any dissenting or questioning voices (in this case to nail painting) are met by aggressive attacks. The following social media page is more benign than most but shows how all this is tearing families apart in irreparable ways.
When a concerned father finally actually tries to address his son’s behavior, the mother often supports the son. (Of course, that father very much may or may not have been involved was all the years prior). But, ripping men to shreds has been seen in commercials, shows and movies for decades, so it is now normalized in many homes.
Where does all this lead for humanity?
The following social media thread reveals the cultural pressure to leave a husband who disagrees with their son (or child).
Here are a few of them:
Lauren: I think this issue at hand is your intolerant husband and his behavior. Love your son and find a man who loves and supports your son unconditionally. Painting nails should be the least of your concerns and you should be proud to have a child that is strong and willing to be express themselves as who they are, regardless of what others feel. You have a strong and inclusive child, now you need a husband who is the same.
Violet: Pick your son or the homophobe. It is a trend. Lots of straight boys are doing it. It doesn’t mean anything, but your kid is at a higher risk of suicide if he is gay, living with this guy.
Karl: My almost 17yr old son has been painting his nails black whenever he feels like it since he was 15.
Lucy: It’s definitely a “thing” now. My son’s roommate in college started painting his nails and then asked my son if he could paint his. My son liked it and repainted his own several times. Both boys are as straight as they come.
Lila: Whew, I’m sorry, that’s a marriage ender for me. I would never be able to look at that man again without wanting to vomit.
Kelly: My 14 year-old son absolutely would paint his nails if the mood and opportunity struck him simultaneously. I’m a high school teacher. Kids these days are much less restricted by social mores than kids of past generations.
Missy: Take them and leave. Absolutely do not stay with someone who talks to or treats your kids that way!!! It will scar them for life if you stay, and also shows them you didn’t have their backs and that it’s ok to be treated or treat others that way. Not good.
Masey: I could not get/stay married to a transphobe, homophobe, bigot. You are showing your children right now how you feel about them by staying with this man.
So What Is the Solution For a Christian Family?
The first step would be to take your children out of the govenrment indoctrination system or NEVER put them in in the first place!
Homeschool or private school. And if that seems impossible, pray and ask God to show you the most important thing.
Our pushback has to start in our homes with how we model joy and peace. And it also needs to start very young in our children’s lives with intentional converstations and teachable moments.
Let’s not allow our children to be confused with mixed messages especially with something as important as gender identity. They are getting horrible messages in the public school system. Here are some of the worst.
Although our two sons are now men and no longer little boys, I want to raise an alert to those who may still be in denial. The world is actively feminizing our little boys. Hello! Our culture has blurred the lines between genders and showers scorn on those that hold to the way God designed us to be man and woman. Clothing design, mainstream media, campus housing, marriage, and sports are only a few areas in which we see this happening.
Raising Boys is a Special Job
Raising our boys is a special job, and we must take it seriously.
I’m so thankful that God blessed us with two sons to mold and teach to become young men. It was obvious that they wanted to be like their Daddy long before they could be encouraged in any one direction by others.
Little boys naturally want to be just like their dad. I would often ask one of them, “Can you please help me carry these grocery bags. I need somebody big and strong to help me.” They would come running to help me, showing me their muscles and telling me how strong they were. Both would say, “I’m big and strong like Daddy.” They wanted to be manly men, just like their father. They saw their dad opening the door for me and so they did, too.
They would be climbing trees or way up into the 3-story barn rafters (I do not recommend this!) or trying to fix or figure out something mechanical or making their sticks into weapons with out the help of a TV to give them ideas.
We decided early to ditch the TV so we would have time to really ‘do life’.
A boy needs to know how to get dirty and then clean up!
I wish I could find the picture of them shoveling manure at my husband’s family’s dairy barn.
[And a caveat: I am not talking about the wide range of God-given physical features or strength here. A man doesn’t need to be ruggedly built or look a certain way to be a wise, capable leader. And if there is a disability, the work becomes that of developing the mind and the inner spirit of the man. Hard work doesn’t always have to be physical.]
Also, they need to learn to value a good book, comfort a hurt child, help a neighbor, or grill steaks as much as play or wrestling each other.
Boys To Men
Boys need to be able to take some risks, to be allowed to get hurt so they know how to deal with pain and stress because there will most certainly be more in their future. They need to know how to work hard and think critically under the guidance of a manly teacher. They need to be exhorted to holiness in their thought-life, and they need to play hard, too.
Boys need to be equipped to be fathers of boys (and daughters) someday!
“The mind of a child is naturally active, it develops through exercise. Give a child plenty of exercise, for body and brain. The trouble with our way of educating is that it does not give elasticity to the mind. It casts the brain into a mold. It insists that the child must accept. It does not encourage original thought or reasoning, and it lays more stress on memory than observation.” ~Thomas A. Edison
It occurs to me to say that we did and still are doing this very imperfectly. While these photos might portray a picture-perfect family, we are not perfect – not by a long shot – and I don’t pretend we had or have it all together. The grace we are presently experiencing (on and off – Ha) is only achieved through much time spent on our knees. We still have so much growing to do.
Please do not use this post to beat your husband over the head. It will only do harm.
The book Raising Real Men: Surviving, Teaching and Appreciating Boys by Hal Young and Melanie Young is VERY HELPFUL!
But what if there is no father in the home?
My heart aches for the mother of boys with no father in the house; Mama, do not despair! In 2 Corinthians 6: 18, God says, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” God can and will be a real Father to you and your children! Call on Him for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10: 13)
Pray earnestly for someone to come alongside to be a safe, masculine father figure in their life. Often a grandfather can be that man, provided his input will be edifying.
Further, the Bible has something to say about the role of a mother that is vitally important.
Paul, the Apostle, talking to his spiritual son Timothy, said, “I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.“ (2 Timothy 1:5)
Mothers can raise godly, masculine young men without a father with the help of Almighty God. “But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19: 26) and “Is anything too hard for the LORD?” (Genesis 18: 14)
As Monica, Augustine’s mom found out, in God there is great mercy, great grace, and great power!
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