Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Mothers and Sons
I've lately run across more than my share of folks who maintain, either explicitly or tacitly, that mothers shouldn't try to teach their sons anything after the age of about 12 or 13. They think that only fathers can have a positive impact on sons at that point. Many of them think that moms teaching teen boys is not only unproductive, it's ungodly.
As a homeschooling mom of a 14-yr-old son, this concerns me. Am I damaging my son by continuing to teach him? Will he fail to launch because he doesn't know how to be a man? Will he rebel or revile women because I've overstepped the bounds of godly womanhood? Am I dishonoring God?
I decided to put some of these questions to my son. We have a good relationship and can generally talk about anything.
Me: You know, a lot of people think that it's wrong for a mother to teach her son after he is older than about 13. What do you think?
Son: (snorts) Where do they get that? It's ridiculous! What's magic about 13?
Me: (surprised at the zest of the response) Well, they think that boys can't learn to be men if women are teaching them through their teen years. A lot of boys rebel against their mothers at that point.
Son: Mom, you're teaching me math and history! That has nothing to do with men and women. I learn skills and facts. I learn to respond well to women - OK, that's about learning to be a man, but a man doesn't necessarily have to show me that. I have to decide to respect my teacher whether that person is a man or a woman. What if my Dad doesn't know everything? He doesn't. And neither do you. If I only learn from one of you, I'm missing half of what I need to know.
Me: Well, what about spiritual things. Does it bother you to learn Bible or how to follow God from a woman? Women aren't supposed to teach men in church. Does it bother you when I initiate our morning family devotions?
Son: But, Mom, we aren't IN church! I like our family devotions. Besides, you usually ask me to read out the Scriptures and to lead in prayer. And when Dad is home, he's the one who leads family worship.
Me: Is there anything about becoming a man that you would not want to learn from a woman?
Son: (blushing) Well....there are a few things...You know...
Me: Right. Sure. I do know. But other than that?
Son: Other than that, I don't know what their problem is.
I love that boy!