Have you ever asked yourself… Why are my boys so WILD? Why do they have so much energy? Why are they so loud and rambunctious and aggressive? In today’s episode, we’re going to find out where this wildness comes from.
Welcome to episode 18 of Redeeming the Chaos with Laurie Christine!
(In case you forgot, The Family Bible Connection is now Redeeming the Chaos).
HEY THERE, BOY MOM!
Does your life feel a bit chaotic right now? Do you feel overwhelmed by the weight of responsibility to raise those little boys God has given you?
Do you want to raise strong, courageous young men who are fully committed to following Jesus?
In all the chaos of raising boys, we recognize that Christ is the only who can redeem the chaos in our world, our homes, and even our own hearts.
I know that I can’t do this alone. I desperately need God to give me strength every step of this journey.
But guess what… I also need YOU. We boy moms gotta stick together, right?
I’d love for you to join me on this wild, wonderful, chaotic adventure of raising courageous boys and connecting their hearts to Christ.
WHY ARE MY BOYS SO WILD?
So, why are my boys so WILD? Why do they have so much energy? Why are they so loud and rambunctious and aggressive? As moms, we often see these traits as negative… we find ourselves telling our boys to “Be calm, be gentle, be quiet…”
But did it ever occur to you that our boys are wild because God made them this way? Did it ever occur to you that they are actually reflecting the image of God in their wildness and loudness and stubbornness?
WILD AT HEART – A MOM’S PERSPECTIVE
I recently re-read the book Wild at Heart, by John Eldredge (affiliate link). I had read it back in the early 2000’s, before I was married, as did just about every single girl in her early-20’s back then. I read it from the perspective of a potential wife, waiting for my “Prince Charming” to come sweep me off my feet. (And of course we all read “Captivating,” also written by John Eldredge along with his wife Stacy).
Recently, a friend of mine encouraged me to read Wild at Heart again, but this time from the perspective of a mom with four boys.
And so I did. For the next few podcast episodes, I am going to share with you what I learned from the book Wild at Heart. If you haven’t read it yet, be sure to check it out. You can order your own copy HERE on Amazon (affiliate link).
CORE DESIRES OF EVERY BOY
In today’s episode, I’m going to give you an overview of the three core longings that God has placed in the heart of every boy, and also discuss how our boys reflect the image of God in all the things that make them boys. In future episodes, I will dig a little deeper into several of those core desires, as well as talk about the “heart-wound” that all boys receive at one point or another, and what we can do to minimize the impact of that wound.
Eldredge states that boys were created with 3 core longings, placed there by God:
- A Battle to fight
- An adventure to live
- A beauty to rescue
For now, we are going to focus mainly on the first two desires – a battle to fight and an adventure to live. I believe the application of “a beauty to rescue” may apply more as my sons grow into their teenage and adult years (which sadly, is not very far off – my oldest is 10…), so maybe I will come back and revisit that desire on the podcast in a few years.
CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD
So, let’s take a look at HOW our boys were created in the image of God.
Genesis 1:27 says, “So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (NLT)
Eldredge suggests that because we were created “male and female,” there are specific aspects of God’s character that only the masculine heart can reflect and certain aspects that only the feminine heart can reflect. (Please note: this doesn’t mean women and men are not equally valuable…they simply have different God-given roles).
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BOYS & GIRLS
Our society today would tell you that there is no difference between boys and girls, or between men and women — that we are all the same.
I believe we dishonor God’s creative work when we try to deny the differences in males and females. Of course, most people would not deny that there is an obvious physical, biological difference between boys and girls. (Although even that line seems to be getting a bit fuzzy these days). There are also many studies that show there are physiological differences in boys and girls… different chemicals at work, different hormones, different areas of the brain that are more active than others.
And any of you moms who have both boys and girls in your family can attest that boys are very different socially, and emotionally as well. It’s no secret that our boys are often more active, more noisy, more messy, and more apt to pick up a stick and start shooting his brothers with it. (This isn’t to say girls never possess these qualities, but in general, boys tend to be more this way).
THE SOUL OF A BOY
So, if we agree to all of those “exterior” differences between boys and girls, it seems reasonable that there would also be interior differences as well, at the very level of our souls.
Eldredge suggests that the masculine soul reflects God’s character in a way that is very different and unique from the way a female soul reflects God.
Let’s take a look at some of those aspects of a boy’s character that reflect the heart of God.
We so often want to think of God as calm, gentle, and peaceful. He is a patient, loving father who gently guides us and cares for us.
Now, these qualities of God are not incorrect… they are simply incomplete. We forget that God is a warrior, that he is mighty in battle, that he is powerful and zealous, and yes, even dangerous.
Have you ever stopped to think about how your boys reflect the character of God in their wildness?
A BATTLE TO FIGHT
First let’s examine our boys desire for a Battle to Fight. Could this possibly be a God-given desire?
Exodus 15:3 says, “The Lord is a warrior. Yahweh is his name.” (NLT)
Throughout the Old Testament, God is referred to as “the Lord of hosts.” (Is 44:6) This title could also be translated “The Lord of Heaven’s armies” or the “God of angel armies.” God is the captain of the guard – the commanding officer of all the armies of heaven.
There is no doubt that our God is a warrior… look at all the battles throughout the old testament where God is leading his people to fight the enemy.
For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.” Deuteronomy 20:4 (ESV)
Do not be afraid of them; the LORD your God himself will fight for you.” Deuteronomy 3:22 (NIV)
“The Lord will march forth like a mighty hero; he will come out like a warrior, full of fury. He will shout his battle cry and crush all his enemies.” Isaiah 42:13 (NLT)
Is it any wonder that our boys are naturally fighters? That every game they play turns into a battle of good against evil? Is it any wonder that they want to prove their strength, that they are loud and aggressive and fierce? Eldredge says, “There’s something fierce in the heart of God.” (Wild at Heart, p.31) The God we serve is mighty in battle, and no doubt he has given our boys the desire to fight battles right along side Him.
AN ADVENTURE TO LIVE
Now, how about the desire for an Adventure to Live? Where do we find that in the heart of God?
Many Christians would like to view God as an old, wise grandfather… always ready to hold us on his lap, read us a story, and tell us that everything is going to be okay. But this is not the picture of God we find in the Bible. At least, not a complete picture of God.
Matthew 10:28 says “Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (NLT)
It reminds me of the scene from C.S. Lewis in the Chronicles of Narnia when Mr. Beaver is telling the children about Aslan.
“Is he-quite safe?” Susan asked. “I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”
“Safe?” said Mr Beaver. “Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.” — The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
As moms, we naturally want our boys to be safe. We often want them to make wise choices that involve very little danger or risk. But that’s not how God operates. God is not a safe God. When we put our lives into his hands, we better hold on tight and buckle our seatbelts. The very nature of the Christian life is all about taking risks… about committing to a course of action before we are certain of the outcome… that’s what living by faith is all about.
Perhaps in our boys’ desire for adventure and risk, God is preparing them to step out in faith and follow Him to the ends of the earth.
THE EARTH IS NOT SAFE
Eldredge points out that – “Most of the earth is not safe, but it’s good.” — Wild at Heart, p.32
Think about the danger and wildness of nature –the grand canyon, Mount Everest, the depths of the ocean, hurricanes, tornadoes, and ferocious beasts.
Think about the wildness and danger of the universe itself — the balls of fire and gas that are the stars, the unexplored ends of the galaxy.
“God made all this, he pronounced it good… he rather prefers adventure, danger, risk… this whole creation is unapologetically wild.” — Wild at Heart, p.32
So, the next time our boys want to climb the highest tree in the woods or jump off the biggest rock in the park… let’s try to remember that they are reflecting the wildness & dangerousness of God’s character. And God loves it.
OUR BOYS REFLECT GOD’S HEART
In conclusion, God created boys to uniquely reflect his character in their very soul. The masculine soul reflects the image of God in a way that the feminine soul does not. Our boys were created to show the world that God is strong and powerful; he is a mighty warrior; he is fierce and wild and dangerous. And he is good.
So here’s my challenge for you, momma:
The next time your boys are running around the house, whacking each other with pool noodles, or your son climbs onto the roof of the playhouse with a bed sheet, hoping to parachute to the ground, or the next time you catch him mixing baking soda and vinegar together, trying to “make a bomb”… remember that God has created him for adventure and for battle. Your son is a reflection of God’s heart. His heart is wild and it does not want to be tamed. And then go tell your boys how strong and brave and courageous they are, how God made them this way, and how you can’t wait to see how God uses their wildness for his glory.
A PRAYER FOR YOUR MOMMA’S HEART
Father, I know it wasn’t a mistake that you have given me these boys to raise. Our house is loud and wild and chaotic most days. Would you enter into the chaos of our lives and redeem it for your glory? On the days that I get discouraged and feel like giving up or losing my patience, would you give me the strength to keep going? Help me to see all the positive character qualities in my sons that you have given them. Help me to see how they are reflecting your heart and your character, even in the middle of what seems like chaos. Help me to see my boys the way you see them. As strong, courageous warriors for your kingdom. Amen.
DON’T DO THIS ALONE!
Now, I was wondering if you could do something for me. Do you know any other moms who are feeling overwhelmed by the daunting task of raising courageous boys? Would you share a link to this podcast episode with them? Don’t try to raise those boys on your own, Momma!
Also, I would love to invite you to join me in our new Facebook group. It’s called “Raising courageous boys,” and it’s a place for Christian boy moms to connect and encourage each other on this wild, wonderful, chaotic adventure of raising boys. JOIN US TODAY!
Thank you so much for joining me for Episode 18 of Redeeming the Chaos with Laurie Christine.
If you would like to download free resources that will help you raise courageous boys, CLICK HERE.
If you would like to listen to the podcast version of this blog post, listen here: